Poisonous snakebites can be fatal for dogs and a costly expense for their owners, and the threat is especially prevalent in the rural areas of SoCal.
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“If you take your dog on a walk, or on a hike even on your residential street in southern California you could encounter a rattlesnake,” said Laura Peters, a program developer at Mountains Restoration Trust.
Poisonous snakes bite nearly 15,000 dogs every year. In an effort to teach dogs how to avoid rattlesnakes, the Mountains Restoration Trust will host a training session at William S. Hart Park in Newhall July 28.
“Most dogs when they see a rattlesnake will be attracted to it and won’t know what to do,” said Peters, “The right response is to run.”
Dogs can be taught to associate the smell of live rattlesnakes with negative correction.
In training, snakes are placed in a field setting and the dogs are fitted with an electronic training collar. The dog is led through the field and allowed to encounter the rattlesnakes at which point the dog is stimulated using the electronic collar.
The training process is repeated several times to ensure that the dogs understand the sight, smell and sound of a rattlesnake.
Tracy Jenson-Presson of High On Kennels will conduct the training in one-on-one sessions. She has many years of experience training dogs to avoid rattlesnakes.
Each session takes about an hour, which includes check-in, training and check-out. Training itself takes approximately 20 minutes.
Dogs usually require a reinforcement training a year or two after their initial session, according to Peters.
There is an advanced payment fee of $70 per dog.
Proceeds benefit environmental education programs, restoration, and acquisition of parklands and trails.
Space is limited and reservations are required.
William S. Hart Park is located at 24151 Newhall Ave.
To register or view alternate times and locations visit www.mountainstrust.org
Mountains Restoration Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, California public benefit corporation to preserve and enhance the natural resources of the Santa Monica Mountains.
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Source: Santa Clarita News