Positive Reinforcement Rattlesnake Avoidance
Snake avoidance training using positive reinforcement methods in a rare find it today’s world. We do not use shock collars and there’s no need to repeat the class or go back for a booster shock. In fact, this class doesn’t focus on fear or pain at all. We teach you how to train your dog on each behavior. Our course is developed from Confident Canines Rattlesnake Course (See the About this Course section below). No prior training is required and our classes are open to everybody. From there, we will take those baseline behaviors, learn how to combine them, then cover how to transition to training in the outdoors and onto your favorite trails. At the end of the six week course, you and your dog will receive a customized training plan to continue training, and perfecting rattlesnake avoidance without ever shocking your dog. When available, the final class includes training with a live, humanely sourced, rattlesnake.
Build trust and a deeper bond with your dog by teaching them snake avoidance training and what to do when they encounter a rattlesnake. No more shocking them to create fear. And the best part is, you and your dog will have fun learning!
In-Person Group Classes
$185 for 6 Weeks
$185 dollars for a 6-week course (Each additional dog for the same owner is $10*. If you have more than 2 dogs, please email us before registering). Each class will range from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the number of dog/human teams in class. We will meet once a week and you will have plenty of support available along the way. There is a minimum of 2 registrants required for the class to run. If we don’t meet the minimum, you may join us in another group class at a later date, or sign up for private lessons (at an additional cost).
Scent articles will be provided. You will need to provide your own lifelike, yet fake, rattlesnake for training outside of class (about $30), a dog bed/mat, and a long leash or rope.
Join us as we create a community of dogs and dog lovers who use positive reinforcement for snake avoidance training!
*Additional dog price is only valid for dogs who belong to the same owner. Dogs who belong to separate owners must pay the full class price.
The benefits of snake avoidance training without shock
- Unlike the shock collar method, using positive reinforcement methods removes both fear and pain for your dog, neither of which are necessary to learn to stay away.
- Aversion training relies on the fight or flight response of your dog, which can’t be predicted, as the dog decides in the moment. If your dog has a fight response, he/she could learn to attack snakes or people. Avoidance training removes the unpredictability and the fear/pain, which allows the dog to learn more easily. It isn’t a painful, traumatizing or scary experience.
- Positive reinforcement snake avoidance training is much more forgiving. If an aversion trainer shocks at the wrong time, it can take months, years and even a lifetime to undo such a mistake. If you make a mistake with positive reinforcement, the dog just gets an extra reward. No harm done.
- It is easier to keep fresh in your dog’s mind because it does not require you to have a shock collar or own a live rattlesnake. You can teach your dog snake avoidance training dog year-round so they are always ready.
- It teaches your dog what to do when they see, smell or hear a snake. They will know to back away and give the snake space.
- Perhaps most importantly, you do not have the potential fallout and risk associated with snake aversion shock training. Positive reinforcement is much safer and more humane.
- As a bonus, the positive reinforcement snake avoidance training allows you to develop an even deeper bond and trust level with your dog—something that is eroded each and every time you use pain and aversion techniques in any training.
About This Course
Training to a T, LLC uses Confident Canines Dog Training (Las Vegas, NV), and Eileen Koval’s Rattlesnake Avoidance course as a foundation for this course. We have customized it to the state of Utah by adapting it for Utah state laws, added in additional behaviors that help guide your dog’s progress as we get farther along in the course, and we have added in other helpful obedience behaviors that are applicable in this training and outside of class. We also customize our teaching to meet the training level for each individual dog/handler team. If one way of teaching particular behaviors doesn’t work for your pup, we have several different ways we can teach the same concepts. We do not require prior knowledge of behaviors or attendance in any other prior classes. Most dogs will not be fully trained at the end of the 6 weeks. At the conclusion of the class, we will provide a customized training plan for you to continue that training beyond the course. All participants should plan to continue training after the course. The more you train, the more your dog learns, and the more reliable he/she will be in whatever you are training.
“Melissa is very knowledgeable on the topic of dog behavior and how to train them on difficult tasks. I completed her rattlesnake avoidance class and was pleased with how responsive she was to my questions/concerns. She goes above and beyond in making sure you have the tools you need and the support–definitely doesn’t leave you high and dry after the class is done!”
“I worked with Melissa outta state/over the internet. I was skeptical about dog training at a distance but to my surprise, it worked and I believe it’s on account of Melissa’s keen observations, solid training, and animal intuitiveness. She did a wonderful job of recognizing my dog’s breed and considering his high energy, youth, and disposition. I feel she went above and beyond to help me and my doggers. Make the investment, take the time and enjoy a more trained fur-family member.”
Resources for Further Study
https://youtu.be/iH10DFuZohM – An Interview with Amy Hughes-Creaven, a Colorado Dog Trainer who is spearheading the Positive Snake Avoidance Training movement.