Summer is here, and with it comes rattle snakes! A dog just got bit saving his human the other day while hiking one of my favorite local spots. Eeeesh! As much as he is a hero for taking the hit instead of his mom, this could have been avoided with snake training.
Humans – If you have a dog and live anywhere with rattle snacks, please read this and consider getting your dog properly trained. Here in the Phoenix area, we went to see Jim with Viper Voidance. He is located in New River and owns his own rattle snakes. Here’s how it went…
My mom and dad loaded me up in the car, and off we went for an adventure of the unusual kind. We weren’t going camping, hiking, or biking. I knew this because we didn’t have any of the appropriate gear. It was the middle of the day, so I knew we weren’t visiting folks for dinner. Mom and dad didn’t have their suitcases, so I didn’t think a hotel was in my future. As we pulled up to Jim’s house, he greeted us. He is most friendly and tall like my daddy! He put a special collar on me. Hey, a gift. Thanks, dude! After some human talk, my mom took me walking toward some strange cages on his property. I’m a dog, so I was very curious. The smell was weird to me, and as I approached it, the thing started hissy and rattling its tail. Just as I got close to the cage, ZAP! I felt a jolt in my collar. Mom said NO at the same time, and I got it. This thing was bad news. Every bone in my body told me to run away, so I did, with my mom following behind saying “let’s get out of here.”
Once again, my mom walked me toward another cage. Immediately, I could smell it, and I didn’t want any part of it. I turned around and headed for the car. I got praised and got approval as being snake trained.
Let me explain something. Dog noses are the best. No offense humans, but you cannot smell something in front of you no less a mile down the road. We can, and we don’t forget smells. Ever smell a skunk? Do you need to be reminded of what it smells like or do you immediately know its stench? Dogs live through their noses, so we put them in our memory bank. I now associate that nasty smell with danger, which is what rattle snakes are to humans and dogs alike.
Now that I am trained, I will not let my humans hike in the direction of a snake. I will not sniff at bushes that have snakes. I stay clear of them. This keeps us all safe! A year later, I was retested in an open field with a hidden cage that I could not see; yet, I smelled the snake long before I got in the vicinity of it. I turned around and headed AWAY from it. If this dog had ben trained, he would have had his human turn around long before coming up on the snake. Neither of them had to get bit. Thankfully, he is okay, but do you really want to take the risk?
The key to this is trusting your dog. My mom has learned the difference between me being lazy (yes, I’ve been known to drag my heels on early morning hikes in rebellion) and me alarming her. I basically lay down and won’t budge. This means we should not go forward, so we turn around. This can be frustrating, but it beats getting hurt. In the rare occasion where it is too hot or difficult to go back and you must go forward, pick up your dog. Carry him or her and run. This way, your dog knows you understand the danger and are getting through it as quickly as possible. Stay safe my friends.
Hi! I am Kumaito (Kuma for short), a multi-tan Shiba Inu. My breed is one of the oldest and purest from Japan. I personally was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, moved to Friendswood, Texas, and now call Phoenix, Arizona home. I enjoy running or hiking almost every day with my mom, chasing rabbits out of my neighborhood, playing with toys, pestering my brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, I love just about everything and everyone!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith (Founder of the FIT Leader Formula™) is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of eight published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
Enjoy my blog at https://www.lorrainebosse-smith.com/category/kuma/ and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog?ref=hl
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!