“Rattlesnake season is every season in Southern California,” said Gina Gables, owner of Ma & Paw Kennel and professional dog trainer for over 20 years.
“Since the temperature is always warm in Southern California, the rattlesnakes are always active and about.”
In order to circumvent rattlesnake bites and bring awareness to this prevalent issue, Ma & Paw Kennel is expected to host rattle snake avoidance training for canines Oct. 27 at William S. Hart Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“This is the second time we’re holding rattlesnake avoidance training at William S. Hart Park and I’ve only heard good things about it. We’ve, unfortunately, had a few casualties to snake bites and we had the dogs undergo the training and they were successful and the training was definitely beneficial, ” said Frank Hoffman, recreation services supervisor at William S. Hart Park.
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Each session brings extensive knowledge to dogs and their owners about how to prevent poisonous rattlesnake bites.
“We believe that if the owner is observant and recognizes its dog’s individual avoidance behavior to the presence of a rattlesnake, it can prevent them from being bitten as well. So this training is very important to both the dog and owner,” said Gables.
The rattlesnake avoidance training is approximately 20 minutes long and can be accommodated to however long the dog needs to be trained.
The comprehensive training session involves the prevention of rattlesnake bites primarily through familiarizing the dog with the senses of sight, scent and sound of a rattlesnake.
“Learning is cued by their environment, so we take the owner, dog and the dog handler and we will walk around the course going to six to nine different stations where some are just strictly scent, sight or sound or a combination of two or all three,” said Gables.
Stimulation from a remote collar, that comes in three different varieties of shock, vibrating and spray, will be applied each time the dog shows interest in a simulated sound, scent or sight of a rattlesnake.
“Hopefully, by the time they make rounds to all stations they will avoid anything that resembles the sight, smell or sound of a rattlesnake,” said Gables.
The final test to see whether the dog has learned to avoid rattlesnakes is where a live rattlesnake that is muzzled is placed in front of the dog.
“We hope that by taking part in this training, the dog as well as the owner will be spared the pain caused by becoming a victim of a rattlesnake bite,” said Gables.
Each session requires a reservation in advance that can be placed on Ma & Paw’s website and an advance payment fee of $95.
William S. Hart Park is located at 24151 Newhall Ave.
For more information, visit Ma & Paw’s website.
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Source: Santa Clarita News