Arizona Animal Welfare League Grand Opening

Sonia Breslow Adoption Center Grand Opening

Join the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA for the Grand Opening of the Sonia Breslow Adoption Center on Saturday, April 21, 2012 – 10:00am to 12:00pm! The new state-of-the art facility will be hosting free tours, offering goodie bags, and hosting the adoption of spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, healthy animals.

Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA
25 N. 40th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: 602-273-6852

Event Contact
Michelle Ramos
602-273-6852 x122
mramos@aawl.org

Chicken Jerky Recall Info

There is so much information available from social networks, hearsay, and other media sources. Here’s some well researched info regarding unsafe chicken jerky products.

The text of the most recent FDA advisory (18 November 2011) is as follows:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the numberof complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.

FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.

Chicken jerky products should not be substitutedfora balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely foranyorallof the followingsigns that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe orpersistformore than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses.FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identifieda contaminant.

The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state orgo to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

“Cups for Pups” in Mesa, AZ August 7th, 2011

Once again, the American Mustache Institute is demonstrating the giving spirit of the sexually dynamic Mustached American lifestyle.

On August 7 at 1pm, AMI’s Arizona Bureau will hold its second annual “Cups For Pups” fundraising event at Uncle Bears Bar & Grille in Mesa, AZ (Ellsworth & Baseline location).

The charity event will raise funds for Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue, a no-kill animal shelter which accepts all breeds but specializes in American Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers.

As Uncle Bears is a dog-friendly venue, pets are welcome….along with extra large mustaches.

For more information, email AMI Arizona Bureau Chief Curtis W. Flournoy III at cflournoy3@gmail.com.

Original content can be found here.

WHEN:
Sunday, August 7 · 1:00pm – 4:00pm

WHERE:
Uncle Bears – Mesa
9053 East Baseline Road # 101A
Mesa, AZ

Dog Bite Prevention Week – LOSE THE LEASH Dog Training – Phoenix Arizona

          National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 15th-21st, 2011, and organizations around the country are promoting education and awareness campaigns to reduce the staggering number of dog bites that take place each year.  Here at LOSE THE LEASH Dog Training, our professional staff has worked with thousands of owners and their dogs, as well as the general public in order to prevent dog bites through education.

Did you know?

  • About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.
  • Almost one in five of those who are bitten, a total of 885,000, require medical attention for dog bite-related injuries.
  • In 2006, more than 31,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.

Who is most at risk of being bitten by a dog?

  • Children are the most at risk group for being bitten by a dog, adult males are the runners up.
  • Simply having a dog in the household increases the risk of being bitten by a dog, this is why proper training is so important.
  • Consulting an experienced dog trainer can greatly reduce the risks of being bitten by a dog!

Need some tips about dog safety?

  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog, to greet a dog, let it dog come to you.
  • Do not run away and scream from a dog, standing still or moving away slowly will help to keep the dog calm.
  • Do not allow children to play with dogs without adult supervision.
  • Do not approach or disturb a dog while it’s sleeping or eating.
  • Always ask any dog owner for permission before greeting any unfamiliar dog.
  • Always report stray, unfamiliar dogs to your local animal control agency.
  • Always report a dog bite to your local animal control agency.

          LOSE THE LEASH Dog Training is committed to increasing safety and awareness around dogs!  If you have an organization that may benefit from a dog bite prevention seminar, contact LOSE THE LEASH Dog Training to discuss our dog safety education programs.  For dog owners, LOSE THE LEASH offers FREE In-Home Dog Training Demonstrations and In-Home Dog Training Programs which will educate owners on the safest, and most effective ways to protect your family from a dog bite.  For more information, contact LOSE THE LEASH by clicking here.

Statistics in this article have been collected from the Centers For Disease Control. More info available by clicking here.

Paws for Parkinson’s 5K Walk and Fun Run April 17th, 2010 @ Liberty Station (Point Loma) San Diego

running_start.jpg

Step up to the challenge! Join the Parkinson’s Disease Association of San Diego for their 24th annual Parkinson’s 5K Walk & Fun Run at the beautiful and newly opened NTC Park at Liberty Station in Point Loma. The fun festival area will include snacks, live music, face painting and much more!

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!! Start a team, join a team, run or walk with your dog. If you can’t make it, register as a virtual walker!

***New this year – dog registration! If you choose to register your pup, your canine friend will receive a Paws for Parkinson’s dog shirt.***

 Walk, run or roll and raise funds for the vital programs and services offered locally for San Diegans affected by Parkinson’s. Half of the funds support promising Parkinson’s research.

 Event Details

When:  April 17, 2010 @ 9:00AM-12:00PM (Check-in from 8:00AM-8:45AM)

 

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 This post brought to you by LOSE THE LEASH Dog Training San Diego

Lose The Leash Dog Training San Diego County’s March 2010 e-Newsletter

 

March ’10 E-NEWS  

 
Greetings!   

     Welcome to the Lose The Leash electronic newsletter designed for dog people who are interested in dog training, dog care, and anything else going on in the dog world!
Erin and Rob Jewell
Lose The Leash Dog Training San Diego County
San Diego, CA
619-818-6462 
 
 

     We hope that you enjoy the news!  To manage your subscription to this newsletter, just scroll to the bottom of the page. If you really like this email, feel free to forward it to all of your friends and family.

 

 

In The News
What Clients Are Saying
Meet with us for FREE!
Spring Dog Friendly Events
Help Protect Fiesta Island
Article: Snake Avoidance Training
Businesses We Recommend
Quick Links  

 
www.LoseTheLeash.com

 

 
Send Us your Testimonials  

 
Share how LoseTheLeash has improved the relationship with your dog!  
or
 
 
Make sure to include a photo for our website! 

 

What Our Clients Are Saying
 

 “She’s a Pit Bull, but doesn’t know it”  
 
 

“Hello, I wanted to write a brief testimonial about my dog Chloe and the training I chose for her. She is a Pit Bull but does not know it. And I plan to keep it that way because I got her enrolled with two great trainers, Erin and Rob…”

—————————————————————————————————
 
“He would bark uncontrollably”
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 “I Just Call ‘Come’ and He Walks Right to Me”
“We’ve tried two other trainers, both very knowledgeable and experienced…After only two lessons with Rob, (very personable and great with dogs), 10-15 minutes of daily reinforcement, Buck is a new dog.”

 
click here to read more

 

 
 
 

 

 

“I called for aggression issues at the door, where he would bark uncontrollably and there was no controlling him. The other day someone walked by…”

 

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SCHEDULE A FREE IN-HOME CONSULTATION TODAY!
   

We are so confident that we have the right dog training program for you that we’ll come you you for FREE!
 
 
This gives you an opportunity to meet with a trainer before you pay anything!
 
This allows us to meet your dog to recommend the perfect training package! 
Call Today 619-818-6462
 
Serving ALL of San Diego County!
 
Dog Training San Diego
 

 

 

We’ll come to your home on your schedule and meet you privately

 

 

Upcoming San Diego Dog Friendly Events
  Here’s a list of just some of San Diego’s spring dog events!

    
Sunday March 28th – Paws in the Park – Escondido
 
Find out more by clicking here.
 
 
  
Saturday April 10th – WOOFSTOCK – Balboa Park  
 
Find our more by clicking here. 
 
 
 April 1st – 25th – Coronado Canine Mayor Elections 
For More information click here.
 
If we left our your favorite dog event, please let us know by sending your event’s information via email!

 

 

 

Help Protect Fiesta Island  

 

 
FIDO
Fiesta Island Dog Owners
FIDO is a project of a California 501(c)3 non-profit corporation
and contributions are tax deductible according to law

Our mission is to preserve the Fiesta Island Leash-free Recreational Area.  We are a community based organization with over 3600 members which is rapidly growing.  We are a diverse group of citizens who share a common passion and vision for Fiesta Island.  We are the largest user group of Fiesta Island and unlike other user groups, we use the island 365 days a year, rain or shine. FIDO has a board of 11 members who are working hard with the city to find a reasonable solution that meets the needs of ‘all’ Fiesta Island Users.

 

Article: Snake Avoidance Training
  

 
Snake Avoidance Training With Dogs:  Making Informed Choices.

 

Businesses We Recommend
 

 
 
 

 OhMyDog Photography

 

 

Bark Cheese Pet Portraits

 

 
   

 

 
 
Sincerely,
 
Erin and Rob Jewell
Lose the Leash dog training
 

 

 

 
 

  We’d like to thank you for your business, and we look forward to seeing you soon.  Go have some fun with your dog.  Sorry, we don’t train husbands, wives, or kids!

 
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LOSE THE LEASH Dog Training San Diego County | PO BOX 15933 | San Diego | CA | 92175

How To Give Your Dog CPR

HOW TO GIVE YOU DOG CPR

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, as it is called, is a version of artificial respiration that includes assisting the HEART to BEAT. The purpose of CPR is to keep oxygen moving to the lungs and blood circulating throughout the body. The directions contained here APPLY TO DOGS. While these instructions may be good in an emergency, it is wise to check with your VET to establish the procedure that is best for your DOG.

How To Administer CPR
If your DOG is NOT breathing use a finger to clear any mucus or other objects from the mouth. TILT the head back to straighten the airway passage.

Hold the mouth shut with one hand, and place your mouth over the DOG’S nose and mouth making sure the seal is tight.

Blow into the nose while watching to see if the chest expands.

If the chest DOES NOT EXPAND start over again by clearing the mouth. If the chest DOES EXPAND release your DOG’S mouth so it can exhale.

Repeat the breathing procedure once every five (5) seconds until your DOG is breathing normally, or until your Vet or other Emergency technician is available to begin treatment.

IF YOU CANNOT DETECT A HEARTBEAT YOU MUST PERFORM ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH CARDIAC RESUSCITATION.
PUT your DOG on its right side. PUT the heel of your hand on the ribcage just behind the elbow. PUT your other hand on top of the first hand.

Firmly press on the ribcage in quick, smooth movements. Depending on the size of your DOG press down 3-4 inches using both hands. The compression should last no longer than 1/2 second. The smaller the DOG the fewer inches of compression and less force are needed. At all times try not to damage the ribcage.

Repeat this procedure a total of 10 times.

Then, if your DOG is not breathing, perform CPR as described above.

Alternate between the chest compressions (10 in a row), and one breath into the DOG’S nose.

GET YOUR DOG TO A VET!!!!!

How Well Can Dogs See?

NEED A DOG TRAINER?

Dogs can see color, but not nearly as well as we can. The reason is because the dog’s eye has considerably smaller ratio of cones to rods in their retinas. Cones enable color vision; rods are useful for black and white vision in dim light.

Dogs, therefore, can see far better in dim light than we can. This makes sense because dogs originated from animals that hunted in the dawn and dusk when there is little light and it is important to make the most of what light there is.

The dog’s eye also possesses a light-reflecting layer called the tapetum lucidum that acts as an image-intensifying device. This reflection makes an object seen in dim light more clear. And the tapetum lucidum also causes dogs eyes to shine in the dark.

Dogs perceive motion better than we do, but see detail less. If an object is far off and is stationary, it will be nearly invisible to a dog; tests have shown that a dog cannot see its owner when the owner stands a mere 300 yards away, but is not moving. However, a dog can easily detect someone a mile away waving his arms! Again, the dog’s vision is a result of its ancestry as a hunter that needs to track fleeing prey.

Finally, dogs have a wider field of view than humans do. A greyhound has a visual range of 270 degrees. Typical dogs have about 250 degrees. Humans have only 180 degrees.

Source: Illustrated Dogwatching, by Desmond Morris, Crescent Books, New York, 1996, p. 84.

Holiday Safety Hazards for Dogs

While holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, and The Fourth of July, can bring us much celebration and joy, they can also offer some potential hazards to our pets. Here is a partial list of things which are potentially dangerous to your pet:

Aluminum Foil

When ingested, aluminum foil can cut a dog’s intestines, causing internal bleeding, and in some cases, even death.

Anti-Freeze

If ingested, anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) is often lethal — even in very small quantities. Because many dogs and cats like its sweet taste, there are an enormous number of animal fatalities each year from animals drinking anti-freeze. Poisoning from anti-freeze is considered a serious medical emergency which must be treated by a qualified veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. Fortunately, the Sierra company now offers a far less toxic form of anti-freeze. They can be reached at (888)88-SIERRA.

BloatBloat (gastric torsion & stomach distension) is a serious life-threatening emergency which must be treated by a qualified veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. Bloat is relatively common among large and deep-chested breeds, such as Basset Hounds, Dobermans, German Shepherds and Great Danes. Many experts believe that a feeding a large meal within 2 hours of exercise or severe stress may trigger this emergency. Eating quickly, changes in diet, and gas-producing foods may also contribute to this serious condition. Symptoms of Bloat include: unsuccessful retching, pacing, panting, drooling, an enlarged stomach/torso, and/or signs of distress.

Bones

Bones from steak, veal, pork, turkey or chicken, as well as ribs, can be hazardous to your dog and are not recommended.

Chocolate

Chocolate contains an element which is toxic to dogs, called Theobromine. Even an ounce or two of chocolate can be lethal to a small dog (10 lbs. or less). Larger quantities of chocolate can poison or even kill a medium or large dog. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolates are especially dangerous. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include: vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity and seizures. During many holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter and Halloween, chocolate is often accessible to curious dogs, and in some cases, people unwittingly poison their dogs by offering them chocolate as a treat.

Corn Cobs Many dogs have suffered and, in some cases, died after eating corn-on-the-cob, when the corn cob caused partial or complete intestinal obstruction. Never allow your dog access to corn cobs.
ElectrocutionChristmas tree lights and electrical cords can be fatal if chewed on by a dog (or cat). Whenever possible, keep electrical cords out of reach.

Fireworks

Never unnecessarily expose your pet to firecracker noise or fireworks displays, as they can cause companion animals tremendous fear, and in> many cases, long-term phobias. Make sure to keep dogs indoors, and keep walks (on a leash) very brief. Try masking loud firecracker noises with “white noise” (from the air conditioner or white noise machine), as well as with music or other familiar sounds (radio or television). Or if possible, take a brief vacation with your pet in a quiet rural area, until The Fourth of July fireworks are over.

Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion

A dog’s normal internal body temperature is between 100.5 degrees F and 102 degrees F. Leaving a dog in a parked car in the summer (even with the window a few inches open), can cause heatstroke within minutes. Heat exhaustion is usually caused by over-exercising a dog during hot weather. Both heatstroke and heat exhaustion can result in brain damage, heart failure or even death in a short period of time. To cool off an overheated dog, wet the dog’s body and paws with cool water, then fan. If the dog experiences heatstroke or heat exhaustion, he should receive veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Hypothermia

When a dog’s internal temperature drops below 96 degrees F (by being exposed to cold weather for long periods, or getting both wet and cold), there is a serious risk to the dog’s safety. Small and short-haired dogs should wear sweaters when taken for walks during cold winter weather. Any sign that a dog is very cold — such as shivering — should signal the owner to bring the dog indoors immediately.

Ice-Melting Chemicals and Salt

Ice-melting chemicals and salt placed across sidewalks and roads can cause severe burning to your dog’s footpads. Whenever possible, avoid walking your dog through these substances, and wash off his footpads when you return home. There are also products available such as Musher’s Secret which can be applied to your dog’s footpads prior to going outside, that may help reduce the pain that is often caused by road salt and chemicals.

Poisonous Plants

Dogs (and cats) can become extremely ill or even die from eating poisonous plants. Keep all unknown types of plants and any plants suspected of being poisonous out of reach of your pet, and/or spray with Bitter Apple (for plants). [See below for a partial list of poisonous plants.]

Plastic Food Wrap

Plastic food wrap can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Some dogs will eat the plastic wrapping when there are food remnants left coating its surface.

Tinsel and Other Christmas Tree Ornaments

When ingested by a dog (or cat), tinsel may cause obstruction of the intestines, and the tinsel’s sharp edges can even cut the intestines. Symptoms may include: decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessless and weight loss. Treatment usually requires surgery.

Training Collars

Remove your dog’s training collars whenever left unsupervised or crated. Never tie your dog by attaching a leash or tether to your dog’s training collar. Always use a flat buckle collar when tying your dog, and then only when supervised. Never leave your dog tied unsupervised in front of stores, restaurants or supermarkets, as they can be harrassed, poisoned or stolen.

Poisonous Plants — Partial List

Acocanthera — Fruit and Flowers
Amanita Mushroom
Amaryllis — bulbs
Amsinckia/Tarweed — Foliage, Seeds
Anemone
Angel Trumpet Tree — Flowers and Leaves
Apple Seeds
Apricot Pits & Seed Kernal
Atropa Belladona
Airplane Plant
Avocado Leaves
Azalea
Balsam Pear — Seeds, Outer Rind of Fruit
Baneberry
Beach Pea
Betel Nut Palm
Belladonna
Bird Of Paradise — Seeds
Bittersweet — Berries
Black-Eyed Susan
Black Locust
Bladder Pod
Bloodroot
Bottlebrush — Flowers
Boxwood Bleeding Heart
Boxwood Tree
Bluebonnet
Buckthorn — Fruit, Bark
Buttercup — Sap, Bulbs
Caladium
Calla Lily
Cardinal Flower
Carolina Jessamine
Cassava — Roots
Castor Bean — Leaves, Bean
Chalice vine / Trumpet vine
Cherry Tree — Everything Except Fruit
Cherry Laurel
Chinaberry Tree — Berries
Christmas Berry — Berries
Christmast Cactus — Sap
Christmas Candle
Christmas Rose
Christmas Tree — Needles, Tree Water
Common Prive
Columbine
Coral plant
Corn Cockle
Crocus (Autumn) — Bulbs
Crocus — Bulbs
Croton
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Daphne — Berries
Datura / Jimsonweed
Deadly Amanita
Deadly Nightshade
Death Camas
Death Cap Mushroom
Deiffenbachia / Dumb Cane
Destroying Angel / Death Cap
Diffenbachia
Dragon Tree
Dutchman’s Breeches
Dogwood — Fruit
Eggplant — Foliage
Elderberry — Foliage
Elephant’s Ear / Taro — Foliage
English Holly Berries
English Ivy
Equisetum
Euphorbia / Spurges
False Hellebore
False Henbane
Fiddleneck / Senecio
Fly Agaric / Amanita
Four O’Clock
Foxglove
Gelsemium
Ghostweed / Snow On The Mountain
Golden chain / Laburnum
Holly Berries (English and American)
Horsechestnut
Horsetail Reed / Equisetum Hyacinth — Bulbs
Hydrangea — Flower Buds
Iris — Bulb
Ivy
Jack-In-The-Pulpit /Indian Turnip
Jasmine
Jasmine Star
Jatropha — Seeds, Sap
Java bean — Uncooked Bean
Jerusalem Cherry — Berries
Jessamine — Berries
Jimsonweed
Johnson Grass
Juniper — Needles, Stems and Berries
Laburnum
Lambkill / Sheep laurel
Lantana
Larkpsur
Laurel
Lobelia
Locoweed
Lords and Ladies / Cuckoopint
Lily of the Valley — All parts of the plant, as well as vase water
Machineel
Mayapple — All parts, except fruit
Mescal Bean
Milk Vetch
Milkweeds — Foliage
Mistletoe Berries
Moccasin Flower
Mock orange — Fruit
Monkshood
Morning glory
Mother-In-Law’s Tongue
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms (many wild forms)
Narcissus — Bulbs
Narcissus Jonquilla
Natal Cherry
Nicotine Bush
Nightshades
Oak — Acorns, Leaves
Oleander (very poisonous)
Peach — Pit
Pear Seeds
Pennyroyal — Foliage & Flowers
Peony
Periwinkle
Philodendron
Pikeweed
Pine Needles
Poison Hemlock
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Poison Sumac
Pokeweed
Pokewood / Poke cherry — Roots, Fruit
Poppy
Potato plant — New shoots and Eyes
Privet Shrub
Rattlebox
Rhododendron
Rhubarb Plants
Rosary Peas — Pods, Seeds, Flowers
Russian Thistle
Sago Palm
Salmonberry
Scarlet Pimpernel
Senecio / Fiddleneck
Skunk Cabbage
Snapdragon
Snowdrop
Spanish Bayonet
Spider Plant
Star Of Bethlehem
Sudan Grass
Sundew
Tansy — Foliage, Flowers
Tarweed
Thornapple
Tiger Lily
Toad flax — Foliage
Tobacco Leaves
Tomato Plant — All parts, except for fruit
Touch-Me-Not
Toyon Berry — Berries
Trillium — Foliage
Trumpet Vine
Tulips
Venus Flytrap
Verbena
Virginia Creeper — Sap
Tobacco Plants
Water Hemlock
Wildflower
Wild Parsnip — Roots, Foliage
Wisteria
Yellow Jessamine
Yellow Star Thistle
Yew (American, English and Japanese)

Note: Veterinary treatment should be immediate if poisoning is suspected.

Snake Avoidance Training with Dogs: Making Informed Choices

Dog Training San Diego

As temperatures rise in the springtime in San Diego, humans and other creatures increase their outdoor activities. Sightings of wildlife increase with an associated worry on the part of the humans about close encounters with the more dangerous types, for example California’s rattlesnakes. Dog owners in particular share concerns about keeping their canine companions safe when venturing into the desert and mountains for hiking, hunting, etc. Homeowners who live close to the desert and whose yards are exposed are also concerned about keeping their dogs safe. A service provided by a number of individuals that appears to be growing in popularity is called snake avoidance training. Some call it other things: snake proofing (a very misleading term), de-snaking (inaccurate at best), or just snake training (which sounds like it would take a very long time as snakes don’t seem to learn as quickly as other animals). The basic strategy involves a snake, an electronic shock collar and the dog. The purpose is to present the snake to the dog, usually several times under different conditions so that the dog is exposed to the sound, smell and look of the snake. When the dog approaches the snake, a “trainer” administers the shock, usually at one of the highest settings. The hope is that through rapid aversive conditioning, the dog will learn to associate pain and/or fear with the snake and, therefore, will avoid snakes in the future. It sounds simple, but this is actually a very complex situation that deserves careful attention. The purpose of the remainder of this article is to help dog owners make informed choices about snake avoidance training. In addition to notes about the training itself, humane treatment of all the animals involved is also emphasized. The end of the article is summarized with a series of questions dog owners should ask (and get answers) from any potential trainer. My main point of this article is that this is a choice for the owner to make, and I want to encourage the most informed choice possible. It is NOT my intention to say whether one should even attempt this training. That is entirely up to the individual dog owner.

Snake avoidance training is most often recommended for people whose dogs are frequently in the field. People who are active out-of-doors or who live near the desert/suburb interface are also motivated to get the training. The costs range from $40-$80 or more and sometimes include a “free” follow-up session to make sure that the learning stuck. The trainings are frequently offered in a clinic format, with a number of people bringing their dogs to one location over a day or weekend. All trainers seem to note that this process is not guaranteed to work 100%. Many trainers attempt to conduct the training in as safe a manner as possible: safe for the human, safe for the dog. As mentioned above, the usual “presentation” of the stimulus (i.e., snake) is done in several ways where the dog is exposed separately to the sight, sound, or smell so that the dog hopefully will “get it” that this is a snake, and bad things happen to you when you approach a snake. The snake is usually a rattlesnake, and is either caged in some way, loose but defanged in some way or muzzled to ensure the safety of the dog. Ideally, the dog is shocked only once and figures out that snakes are to be avoided. Unfortunately, some dogs don’t seem to get it as quickly (or some trainers don’t know what they’re doing) and multiple shocks are administered. If the timing of the trainer is off by even a millisecond, the dog will be confused. Some of the potential long-term effects on the dog when the training is done improperly range from avoidance of anything remotely resembling a snake (including shadows and other innocuous things), to attacking all snakes. For some dogs, their fear becomes so great that it may interfere with their normal activities. Let the buyer beware.

QUESTIONS TO ASK A POTENTIAL TRAINER:

• What is your experience, training and education about the following: dogs and dog behavior, snakes and snake behavior, operant conditioning? (Check for excellent knowledge and experience… not just “OK.”

• What kind of snake is it? Where did you obtain the snake? How long have you had it? What happens to the snake once all the training is over? How many dogs are used with the one snake? How do you keep the snake on-site when you’re not training a dog? (Check for humane treatment and evidence for compliance with California law about reintroduction after captivity and moving snakes in the wild (that’s a no-no). Also, they better know exactly what kind of species it is… And so should you. If it’s a rare or other protected species of rattlesnake, you should report them to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700.)

• How will the snake be presented to the dog? If de-fanged, exactly what procedure was used for that process? (If you hear the word “pliers,” run.)

The bottom line is that snake avoidance training is not for every dog. If you decide to pay for someone’s services, choose your trainer carefully and wisely. Finally, keep in mind that there are larger issues to consider, both for your dog and for the other creatures involved.

This article was edited, the original article written by Allison Titcomb.

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