We train the fearless to avoid the earless
Fred--New River, AZ
I would like to thank you for performing a valuable service for me and my dog Guess. On the 4th of July, a month or so after attending your class, I let Guess out to do his duty in the dark. He started to act funny and bolted up onto the deck. After I grabbed a flashlight, I found that a rattlesnake was coiled near a wet area on the ground created by the condensate line from the air conditioner. The snake was obviously hunting its dinner. Had you not done your magic with Guess, I'm sure that the curiosity of my year old pup would have created disastrous results. One more thing, the rattler DIDN'T, (rattle, that is) not even when driven off! (Guess is a Labrador)
Debbie--Desert Hills, AZ
Having Chaco rattlesnake-proofed really paid off tonight. She alerted us to a diamond back rattler on our back porch while we were all inside watching a movie. She kept slinking over towards the Arcadia door making this strange guttural sound and then would come back to the couch and cower as if she had done something wrong. We couldn't figure out what was up with her at first. Finally it dawned on us: she was exhibiting the same exact behavior as when she catches the scent of a rattler. What threw us off was that we were indoors. How could Chaco smell the scent of rattler through the walls of our house??? My husband turned on the porch light and sure enough, there it was, laying right outside the Arcadia door. I grabbed my camera and snapped a quick pic as it slithered off into the yard. Had it not been for Chaco and her keen sense of smell, one of us may have very well been bitten. The movie was ending and I was just about to let the dogs out to potty. Kudos to Chaco for preventing that possibility. And thank you, Jim, for doing such a super job training Chaco to avoid rattlesnakes. Debbie went on to say that Chaco has exhibited her "snake behavior" seven times, but always on hikes or on the trail. (Chaco is an Australian Cattle Dog)
Tina, Phoenix, Az
Two days ago I went outside to turn off the sprinkler system in my yard. It was getting dark outside. As I approached the sprinkler system my dog
walked outside onto the patio. He barked once, growled and ran back into house. When the dog barked I heard a rattling noise. I looked down and right next to my foot was a rattlesnake coiled up. The snake blended
with the patio and was camouflaged. If it weren't for my dog's keen sense of rattlesnakes I would have stepped on the snake. I was so proud of my dog and truly know how important having him snake trained was. The dog is Denali--a Lab mix.
Lynn and Jim, Scottsdale, AZ
Jim and I wanted to let you know how Daphne's snake avoidance training this morning paid off far sooner than we ever dreamed. As we were riding home from our session with you, we wondered aloud how Daphne would react now if she saw a rattlesnake on a path or loose in a yard somewhere.
Not three hours after we returned to our house, Daphne was in the back yard and suddenly started barking her head off. Daphne is not a barker, so that in itself was highly unusual, but then I looked out the window and saw her backing up and "dancing" around the patio while she was barking.
Laid out right by our patio door was a good sized rattler. Had one of us walked out the door without looking, we might have stepped on it. Since Daphne is a hunter and is attracted to the quail, rabbits, and lizards in our yard, I shutter to think how she might have approached the snake had she not just returned from her snake avoidance lesson.
Thank you for performing such a valuable service and for providing that service in such an educational way.
Thankfully, Rural Metro came to remove the snake for us--it was not a happy camper and was rattling like crazy as it got dumped in the container to be relocated. (Daphne is a German short hair pointer)
Rose and Lou--New River, AZ
After our conversation this morning, I thought I would drop you a note of our experience with the rattlesnake this morning.
About 4:30 a.m. I opened our front door to put Scooby-Doo out for his morning break when Scooby literally pulled me back into the house. At once I knew he sensed something, and about 4-5 feet away was a rattlesnake. The snake did not rattle until we reacted, so I'm assuming that he was asleep and we startled him as much as he startled us. However, this is positive proof that your "snake proof training" has been well worth it. We are so proud of Scooby and are so very thankful to you for helping us protect our beloved friend as well as ourselves. With this coming only after one session, we will see you in a couple of weeks for the second session.
Again, thank you for your wonderful training services. (Scooby is a Coonhound/Australian shepherd mix.)
Dhyana and Gary. Circle S Australian Shepherds--Desert Hills, AZ
Early one morning, my 1 1/2 year-old Aussie, Spicy, appeared to be playing a goofy game on our patio with our other six Aussies. I walked out of the house to see what they were doing and thought I heard water running over by their water bowl. I turned to go check on the water and was looking at the dogs "playing" while I was walking and was not looking at the path ahead of me.
Young Spicy came running up to me and intentionally pushed me back at my knees. When I regained my footing after having been shoved back several strides by this little forty pound dog, I looked down at her to remind her of her manners and could see she was noticeable upset. Her eyes were like giant saucers and her hair was disturbed indicating that she was greatly afraid. She wasn't looking at me but instead was glancing back over her shoulder in the direction I had been walking. I followed her gaze and saw that she had purposefully saved me from walking right into a diamondback rattlesnake that was coiled and appeared ready to strike just eight feet further on than where she'd blocked my path.
I immediately praised Spicy for her snake-avoidance behavior and hurried back into the house to recall all the dogs to safety and to get my husband to dispose of the snake.
What I had thought were my dogs playing in a somewhat goofy manner was actually their "alert" reaction to the snake. What I thought was the sound of running water was the warning rattle of the snake that the dogs were trying to alert me to. And what I thought was a clumsy young dog crashing thoughtlessly into my legs was actually my "best friend" saving me from harm.
(This incident took place nine months after Spicy had her snake avoidance training.)
Barbara-- Lake Havasu City, AZ
Toby and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the snake training.
We had an encounter this morning while returning from our walk in the wash. Toby saw that rattlesnake and danced way over the left while asking me to pick him up. That is his signal -- "Mommy I'm scared". So I picked him up, carried him for a few steps, put him back down and he was reassured.
Then Ruth called Buddie to her (he always wanders) and he said he also did not want anything to do with that snake.
So, we have two well trained dogs and we are very appreciative. And to think, just two weeks ago, Toby would have wanted to go over and check that thing out. Makes me shudder.
Toby is a Bichon Frise and Buddie is a Springer Spaniel
Susan- Cave Creek, AZ
Just a note to thank you for Emmie's training - we had a rattler tonight near the barn (I walk at LEAST 6 times a day by this spot). We had a snake in the drainage ditch and a person, a dog and a horse all walked right by this spot and just after all that we (Emmie, Taz my horse and me) walked over the ditch and Emmie (on my left) jumped backwards and jerked her leash almost out of my hand. I turned to look and as I did I saw the SNAKE! It never rattled - it just locked, loaded and fired! Thank GOD Emmie was FAST and she didn't get hit - and neither did I (the snake was 3 feet from my left leg.) geesh... I think I convinced my neighbor to give you a call for her dog's training. Emmie never went back for her second visit - she ended up getting really sick (with a virus) and it took 2 months for her to recover - so I never went for the second time - but you can see that even that first visit really counted!
Emmie is a Rat Terrier
Jim gave my Labrador, Kaley snake avoidance training last year and a tune up this past August. It works! While on a Quail hunt in October, Kaley came over a berm and abruptly stopped, ears back, hair on her neck up, in front of her about 20 feet was an area of tall grass & weeds by an old metal water tank. She would not go any closer and we preceded a full 20 feet around this area and when clear she started hunting again. Both of us know there was a rattler in those weeds. Kaley is a black Lab.
Barbara A. Yarnell, AZ
Splash walked with me to the pigeon coup today and started barking around a pine tree and would not approach. She acted just like she did in training. There was no snake there, but I am sure one had been there. She definitely alerted me to danger!!!
Jim, I didn't bring Splash back to you this year for her yearly retest because she retested just fine at home. She was outside and started barking. I realized that it was a different kind of bark, sharper and more frantic than her usual, "someone's here" bark. I went outside and she was at the edge of the garage looking inside and barking. Inside the garage, in a corner, was a coiled rattlesnake. Wow. I'm glad she had the training. Thanks. Splash is a flat coated retriever
Lou and Vickie--Cornville, AZ
Hi Jim -
We had Katie down for your training in March and returned 3 weeks later for a test. Katie obviously remembered her training and avoided the cages with the snakes.
We were hoping that her training would never be tested here but that changed yesterday. Vicki was out walking her on leash late yesterday afternoon in our driveway which is covered with small river rock.
Katie stopped at one point then backed up a bit and did not want to go any further. Vicki looked in the direction that Katie was looking and spotted a Diamondback sunning himself. He blended very well in with the river rock and was hard to see but Katie knew that he was there and alerted Vicki to that.
The snake was a bit over 3 feet long and did rattle, but only after Vicki spotted it. We had a terrier that was bitten on the tongue by a Diamondback a few years ago while protecting Vicki. That dog had not gone through your training. She made it after a trip to the vet for treatment with anti venom though it was a close call.
Thanks again for providing a great service for us folks and our dogs who live in rattlesnake country. We would highly recommend your training for anyone that lives where rattlesnakes roam.
Katie is a mix breed incident took place in June
Pam--Desert Hills, AZ
Scout, my black and tan Aussie, received your snake training last December at six months of age. I live in Desert Hills on the hillside and we've had a lot of rattlesnake sightings this year. One day last week, Scout and I were walking around the house and he stopped short. I thought he was just checking out a sound so I urged him to move forward. He took a few more steps and stopped again and just stared forward. That's when it dawned on me that he had picked up the scent of a snake and he had no intentions of getting closer to it.
Thank you SO much for your excellent training. My neighbor was almost bitten coming out of his front door at night so knowing that Scout is "tuned in" is a big relief. Incident took place eight months after Scout was trained.
Clay- New River, AZ
I was awakened last night at two a.m. by the dogs barking. This barking was different from their usual "we've got a coyote on the run" bark. Upon checking, there was a diamondback on our back porch, close to the spot where we leave our shoes. The dogs did not settle down until after I took care of the snake. My conclusion is that the training works and works well. Dogs are a golden retriever and two cattle dogs
I just wanted to contact you- to give you a big thank you. The service that you provided in snake breaking our dog truly paid off, only a couple of weeks after his training. As you know, we do a lot of trail running in the desert and Rudy, our Vizsla, typically tags along. While just getting started on a run we noticed another couple coming our way with their dog off leash, a couple of pleasantries were exchanged and the dogs were excused to run free and meet each other. The dogs were about 30 yards a part when they started to run towards one another. About half way to their meeting spot, Rudy slammed on his brakes, threw dust and rocks everywhere and went the other direction, back to the truck. Fortunately, the other dog followed his lead and stopped as well realizing something was out of normal. Good thing for the both of them, as Rudy's crazy turnaround was his realization that there was a large rattlesnake in the middle of the trail. I believe that his training actually saved the both of them as they would have met up in the same spot that the snake laid coiled up and ready to strike. We can't thank you enough for this training- we will be recommending it all of our dog owning friends!
Chad, Michelle and Rudy
Jim...I must tell you about the success with Moose. You trained him just three weeks ago. Last night, May 14th, about 8 PM I heard Moose barking in the back yard. All of a sudden he came running through our doggie
door into the kitchen. Then he went over to the glass door and was staring out with his fur up and tail back. I opened the door and he went into his defensive posture low and staring at a spot near the back door. I knew it was his behavior when seeing rattlesnakes and following his gaze I saw a 2 1/2 foot long snake. Upon further examination, it was not a rattler but a shovelnose snake. I believe he saw it on the patio and recognized it as looking like the rattlers...he would not go near it. I love it...thanks Jim. Moose is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Bobbie-- Sedona, AZ
Hi Jim.....Well, I have to tell you that I was a little skeptical that the Rattlesnake Training would work on my dogs! But I'm here to tell you I believe in it now! WOW, I am impressed!
You trained my dogs, Buddy and Punkin, up here in Sedona last month. My husband and I do a lot of quad riding with the dogs here in Sedona. We were traveling down an old dirt road and I had let the dogs off to run ahead of me. I saw Punkin and Buddy sprinting ahead and then all of a sudden Buddy jumped sideways completely off the road to his left. Punkin was already off the road to the right. As I got closer I could see why....there was a medium blacktail rattlesnake laying across the road in front of me! After a little ways the dogs ran back onto the road and continued on toward my husband. I stopped to check out the snake and I always carry a "snake stick" with me. So I caught the rattlesnake and called to my husband to bring the dogs back so I could see what they would do. Buddy and Punkin came jogging back up the road and about 25' from the snake they stopped, went around the snake and ran back to jump on my quad. They would normally be over there seeing what the heck I was doing, but they wanted no part of that snake....and he hadn't even rattled yet, so it was definitely the smell that kept them away from the snake! I was very impressed that the training actually worked! After securing the dogs on the quad, I released the rattlesnake. I am so glad that
I had the training done....so thanks so much, Jim, for doing a superb job of training Buddy and Punkin. (Note: the Black Tail rattlesnake at the top of each page of this website is the snake that Bobbie is describing in her message) Dogs are both mix breeds
Patty--Cave Creek, AZ
Jim, I just wanted you to know how Hanna reacted to your training. Today, we walked out of our apartment and down the sidewalk when Hanna stopped in her tracks and refused to move. I then noticed there was a rattling sound coming from somewhere. Hanna was tipping her head from one side to the other in an effort to localize the sound. The source of the sound was a truck in the parking lot, but it did sound just like one of your snakes. She remembered and responded, good job!
Hanna is a Great Dane
I thought I'd send you an update with our first "test' on the trail. Bonnie finished her training the first week in April this year. She was the yellow Queensland Heeler / Lab who made it through my Sante Fe window on her follow up session. We were out this past weekend on our fist trip to the top of Shaw Butte on Trail 306. Just below the old foundation near the top, a diamondback crossed the trail a few feet in front of Bonnie, who was a few feet in front of me on her leash. She sensed the snake a half second before me, and was doing a 180 reverse and heading back down the trail as I spotted the movement. We were both in reverse before we heard the rattle. It was still rather up close and personal, but we were both heading south, putting distance between us before the rattling began. That was my biggest fear, having Bonnie run into a rattler in front of me before I could pick out the danger while moving on the trail.
Thanks for all your help. She did just what you said the training would do for her. We are both happy customers....
Hello! I am a believer because snake training worked so well for my dogs last year! My Weimaraner Allie is a natural hunter and searcher so I took her for training because I knew she would meet with rattlesnakes soon enough. Last year she had puppies and lo and behold I came home from work and she and her half grown puppies were huddled safe against the front door while my other dogs (that weren’t snake trained) were harassing a rattlesnake. I was able to get the other dogs away and save myself an expensive vet bill but I was so glad Allie led her puppies away from the snake and I did not need to worry about them, too. I saw that the puppies listened to their mother and because she was snake trained they stayed safe, too. This year I am making sure the rest of my dogs are snake trained! Thanks, Jim! True story!
Sallie-- Wickenburg, AZ
Elle had a rattlesnake encounter in the back yard about an hour ago. Just in time with the training!! She did just as she should have done--set up the alarm, stayed way back and the snake was dispatched to snake heaven post haste. Good work! Thank you ever so much. Without the training we'd be in a much different and much more alarming situation right now.
Elle is a French bulldog
I'm writing to thank you for bringing your viper avoidance training classes to Kingman. I had my German Shepherd go through your class and retesting session. We've had two encounters since your classes. One was on our early morning walk. He was off-leash, running along through the open country side. All of a sudden he stopped and jumped backwards. Then I heard the buzzing sound of a rattlesnake.
The next time was by my porch. My dog walked up to the sliding glass door as if he wanted to go outside. He stopped, sniffed the bottom track of the door, and jumped back. When I looked down by the bottom of the door, I saw a rattlesnake outside on the porch stretched out along the bottom sill of the door. I realize now the importance of being aware of your dog's body language. I remember you stressing this point in your class. Our morning walks are no longer done off-leash, and I take a few seconds before stepping outside. Cold weather can't get here soon enough! Thanks again for bringing your classes to Kingman.
Just out on an evening walk with the doggies and Gail walking down the "scrub" portion of North 51st Avenue that parallels a large wash and dead ends into the desert. Our German Shepherds, (Heidi, was off lead & Gretchen was on lead). Then, all of a sudden,....I heard this "rattling" sound and looked down at my path about three feet away and about two feet off of the sidewalk to see what Heidi was alerted on - YIKES! A Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (I believe) - a big one too! All coiled up and pissed off, ready to "greet" us!
Well, Heidi stayed put,...just stared at it from her distance - and I quickly got her back on lead. So, I guess Heidi passed the rattlesnake avoidance in "the wild" test tonight. However, my wife Gail, was not very happy to have experienced this good actual field test,....she just must not understand!?
Jerry and Dodie-- Golden Valley, AZ
Just want to thank you again for coming to Kingman. We have had three rattlesnake encounters since the training here. If you remember our conversation, we had killed 9 in 2009 and 12 in 2010...so this year is starting out pretty much the same.
The first time, the dogs were in the house, but we took them out after Jerry killed the snake and they reacted perfectly.
The second, was on our walk last week. They passed him, then smelled him and alerted us with their behavior.
The third, this morning, a big Mohave Green on our walk. Shadow went ahead and came back toward the snake to alert us, and Calico took the side, both alert, but low to the ground. Then we heard the rattle.... Jerry killed it also.
If you ever need a reference you can use our name. We are really pleased.
Terry- Wickenburg, AZ
Jim, you trained my female Jagdterrier over a year ago. This spring, on a wet, windy day, we were walking in a nearby arroyo. Aika stopped and actually pointed, with front foot up and tail straight out. I looked and didn't see anything. She wouldn't move from her point. I got down and looked over the top of her head to follow her line of sight, and there, woven in the base of a creosote bush, was a snake. She only broke her stance when we walked back the way we had come.
(Jagdterriers are also called German Hunting Terriers)
Heather- Sedona, AZ
Hi, we had our dog, Buddy, trained by you about a year ago and had a follow-up session six months ago. Yesterday afternoon, we were walking on a trail when Buddy suddenly stopped in his tracks and would not go forward. We looked around and sure enough, there was a big rattlesnake ahead, curled up right next to the trail. It blended in with the background and if Buddy had not alerted us we would not have even known it was there. We praised him and ran with him away from the snake. We were so proud of him. Your training worked! It was well worth the money and we are so glad we had him trained. Thank you so much for offering this valuable service!
Buddy is a red heeler mix.
Sheryl and Thomas-Phoenix
Thought I would share this great/funny story. You trained our two golden-doodles; Joey and Riely a few months back only needing one shock each. On their follow up visit they showed they had the lesson and got no shocks. We have been hiking daily in the desert with no snake sightings so far. This morning we were walking thru the grassy yard of our neighbor when all of a sudden the sprinklers came on making a chuck-chuck-chuck sound like a rattler. Riely jumped in the air, all eighty pounds of her and she ran off like she was on fire. So again, a good testament to your methods of teaching smell and sound! Thank you so much!!!
Dr. Jeannine, DVM, Sedona, AZ
Hi Jim, you trained our lab last year in Cottonwood. Three or four months after his training, he was eating his dinner in the kitchen. His bowl was close to the sliding glass door that goes onto our patio. Typical lab, he was vacuuming up his food like a Bering Sea gold dredge, when suddenly he stopped eating, ran to the front door of the house, vomited, and stood there shaking. We rushed to the kitchen to investigate and that's when we heard the snake rattle outside on the patio. The curtain was drawn across the patio door, and the door was closed, so he didn't see the snake. He either smelt it or heard it. Wow, pretty dramatic, not to mention messy, but he obviously has the total concept, the T-shirt, and the wallet card.
Lisa--New River, AZ
I 'm your neighbor on 7th Avenue. I want to say "thank you" for training my dogs two years ago, and let you know how they handled a diamond back rattlesnake in my yard last week. Since I have lived in my home in New River for nine plus years, I have had bull snakes, coach whips, and red racers in my yard--but no rattlers. The dogs have always barked at snakes and I can discern by their bark when there's a reason to be concerned. Last week, I came home from work and was on the phone with a friend. As soon as I heard the dogs barking I knew I had a snake. It turned out to be a fair sized western diamondback right next to my back porch, in my fenced back yard. Both dogs were barking and growling but not approaching the snake. Neither dog appeared to be bitten. We dispatched the snake with a pellet gun. The snake apparently crawled under my gate fence. I work downtown and have no idea how long it had been in the yard. My young dog was nervous for several days. I can attribute your training with both my old lab June, and the young rescue dog Jasper, (2.5 years, shepherd/ pitbull mix) as why I didn't have a dead dog or expensive vet bills. thank you so much. I have highly recommended you to my neighbors and friends.
I wanted to let you know how successful your ViperVoidance training has been with my dog Porta, a German Shepherd. We're having a lot of problems in Cornville with rattlesnakes because of a huge new vineyard that's being cleared. My dog has alerted on 5 rattlers in the front and backyard. Three I saw; two she alerted on and dashed into the house. Only two rattled. Didn't see them but I have so much confidence in her that I know they had been there. She even gives us the "all clear", when the scent is gone. She has also alerted when we've been hiking. I am so impressed. I can go anywhere and know that she'll alert on rattlers and I can go in the opposite direction. This has been a real life saver, literally--training. I have recommended your training to everyone I know. It was the best money we ever spent.
Jim, here is a testimonial for you
When I took my dogs to you for snake proofing, I was worried about the hunting dog getting bitten out hunting the brush or the Doxies sticking their curious noses around, in, and under things. Little did I know they would need this training for the day a rattler crawled into their dog run. It was dark and I went out to find out why they would not shut up. Ellie is our German shorthair, one of the dogs you did for us, Thank YOU!! She was in the run with a rescue heeler that we have not proofed yet...gulp. I believe she saved him from a bite because of her distress over the snake. They were both huddled at the gate when I went over to discover a very angry, rattling-like-mad snake in the center of their run. Neither dog had been bitten, again, THANK YOU! So we thought we have our dogs safely tucked into their area and the snake found them instead. SO GLAD we had Ellie done.
[ Jim's note. Dog kennels can be snakeproofed by wrapping them in "hardware cloth." This is a 1/4 inch mesh welded wire cloth found at Home Depot or similar stores. Bury the cloth in the ground 3-4 inches and then wire or zip tie the cloth to the chain link on the outside of the dog run-kennel. Anything bigger than quarter inch mesh, and a baby rattlesnake may be able to get through. My dog kennel is wrapped in hardware cloth, and it kept a Mohave rattlesnake out--my dogs let me know he was there.] Tom--Sedona, Arizona
You trained our three white Scotties to avoid rattlesnakes several years ago here in Sedona. Then, a couple of weeks later we drove to New River for retests. The training has proved a success at least two times now.
--Last fall, our neighbors warned that the babies [baby rattlesnakes] were on the move. A couple of days later our little female Scotty started barking at the large sliding glass door going from our house to the backyard. We couldn't figure out what was wrong. We finally noticed a baby rattlesnake about the size of a pencil between the screen and the glass door. All it had was a button but it was sure making some noise if I got too close. If Miss Emily hadn't alerted us to that little tyke there is almost a 100% chance it would have gotten into our house without us realizing it.
--Yesterday afternoon I got home from the gym about 2pm. I let the Scotties out, and busied myself in the kitchen. Miss Emily and Garrett are lizard hunters, but I noticed them barking for no apparent reason. They were in the middle of the front yard barking near a prickly pear cactus in the flower bed. I thought "uh-oh" and got the dogs in the house. Sure enough there was a rattlesnake coiled up next to the cactus trunk. The snake was only about 2 feet long but had 12 rattles. I've been warning my wife about messing with her flowers at twilight. I think she got the message yesterday.
Thanks so much for the great training you gave our Scotties. Said training has not only saved them but it has saved us too.
John and Peggy--British Columbia, Canada
Two years ago you gave our two dogs, a Belgian Tervuren, and a Labradoodle, viper training. We learned that the Labradoodle would avoid going anywhere near where a rattlesnake was by doing the largest circle around the area possible, and the Belgian would just stop and not move forward. Last year we walked down the road toward your property and you happened to have your cages out ready to do a training session. The labradoodle proceeded to head into the desert and take a large circular route around where she obviously picked up the scent. We brought them to you that year for a "formal" retest and the dogs reacted the same way as they do on walks. We live in the southern interior of British Columbia Canada, (Kamloops B.C) and this year we had a rattlesnake caught in our deer fence on our property. The Labradoodle did her big looping route around the area and the Tervuren just stopped. This lasted for approximately one week before the dogs would walk past this spot. We assumed that this was because the scent had dissipated. This year while walking in the wash by your house, once again our Labradoodle reacted and then I heard the snake rattle.
Thank you so much for the training you did, we felt it more than worthwile for our dogs and our safety.
(Jim's note: the rattlesnake John and Peggy are describing in Canada is probably a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake--a subspecies of the Western Rattlesnake.)
We went for a hike down the Auga Fria (river) about 10 days after your training. After a long hike, where Ella would run ahead of us the whole time, she was suddenly at my side, at heel. Since my husband had stopped to fix his shoe, I thought she was just waiting for him. After a couple of minutes of walking, I spotted a large rattlesnake stretched out in the shade right next to the trail! She never looked at the snake and I'm not sure she saw it, but she no doubt smelled it and decided next to me was the safest place to be! There was really no wind, so I'm guessing the scent was probably diffused through a large area and she didn't quite pinpoint the location. About a minute after we passed the snake, she started wandering out up ahead, as she'd been doing the entire day.
(Ella is a Kelpie mix)
Bob and Sandi--Cottonwood, AZ
Just a note to say thank you to you and Jan. We brought our two miniature schnauzers to you two weekends ago for snake avoidance training in Cottonwood. This afternoon I heard the dogs barking at something in our front courtyard and went to check. They were barking at a snake but did not go to it like they would normally do; jumping on anything that moves. I told them no, run, and they did. Thank you so much for helping keep dogs safe. We will recommend your training to everyone.
I just wanted to extend my thanks to you. I brought my lab, Bailey, in for training about 2 years ago. I was just thinking a couple of days ago that I should bring him back in for a retest to make sure he remembered his training. This morning I looked out the window to the backyard to see him standing erect, tail in the air, staring at something I couldn't see from my vantage point. This is not typical behavior, as he is extremely inquisitive and will stick his nose into and/or chase pretty much anything (even bugs). I went out to see what he was looking at and a rattler was sitting up poised to strike about 6 feet or so in front of him. I called him to me and checked him all over. He was fine. I guess that was our test. I am extremely grateful to you.
Hi Jim--Thanks so much for saving my dog's life--twice! Both encounters with a rattler gave Duke (our black Lab) the smarts to jump backwards and away from an upwind rattler 'strike', and then stay clear altogether from a second encounter (that he could actually smell) about two months later. I walk Duke in the desert regularly, and with the combination of your training and regular snake venom inoculations from my vet (just in case), I can confidently take him where he loves to go.
Thanks so much for this invaluable service you provide.
I just wanted to email you with some feedback on the snake training. The training you did with Cody last October saved his life today. Jake and I were hiking this morning outside of Cave Creek in Tonto National Forest, and Cody was off leash. With all of our hiking the last few months, we have not ran into a snake yet. Cody usually runs ahead of us and then runs back to check in with us within a minute or two. We hadn't seen him for about 3 minutes so I was looking up ahead and suddenly Jake told me to stop because there were two huge, probably 4 foot long rattlesnakes laying right in the middle of the trail. I immediately was looking for Cody and worried he would run back to us and run right into the snakes. Then I saw him sitting ahead of us on the trail about 40 feet past the snakes, sniffing the air and whining. I took a wide path around the snakes and got him back on leash. He knew exactly what they were and that he needed to avoid them. Once the snakes were off the trail, we tried to walk back past where the snakes had been and he was so scared that we had to carry him past the spot. As soon as we were away from them he acted completely normal again. I think without the training he would have been extremely curious about them and I am certain he would have been bit by one, if not both. Thank you so much for the great training you provide. It definitely works and I will continue to recommend it to everyone I know with a dog.
Cody is a German Shorthair
Dog avoids sidewinder in Mexico
Dave-Suprise, AZ and Pto. Penasco, Sonora, Mexico
This afternoon, my wife was walking the dog through a vacant lot with some desert plants visable, headed for the beach to walk the dog on. The dog did a sideways movement (not like in the class but a definite "snake" avoidance movement.) Sure enough, my wife recognized the dog's movement and looked closer and spotted the sidewinder about 3 ft. from the traveled route.
Thanks again for the "snakes vs. dogs" class.
Dog is Breeze, a boxer.
Rune, Sedona, AZ
If any of you have had your dogs rattlesnake trained and are wondering about the effectiveness, I offer the following:
Today I was hiking back up the new Twin Buttes trail and was almost to the point where it intersects with High on the Hog. Sundy was just ahead of me and I saw that she had stopped dead still and was staring ahead. I said, "What do you see there, girl?" Then I took one more step forward and saw and heard the rattlesnake ahead in the middle of the trail. I am glad Sundy was close at the time as I was moving pretty fast, it was windy, and I may not have heard and seen the well camouflaged snake in time if not for her. This is pretty good testimony to the effectiveness of the training I think. We don't see rattlesnakes that often here and I am glad she didn't forget her lessons.
Sundy is a Border Collie mix
Rich, DVM- New River, AZ
My small dog Beemer ( chihuahua/corgi cross ) recently revealed the
effectiveness of your rattlesnake avoidance training.
On a moonless night, outside my bungalow in New River, Beemer unexpectedly,
vigorously, and relentlessly, tugged me away from a creosote bush with his leash.
I knew something was up. After we returned to the house I took a flashlight outside.
A diamondback slithered away from that bush.
Now I owe both Beemer and your training a great debt. Thank you.
Gary and Sally, Phoenix, Az
A couple months ago I made a wise decision to come see you and have our Goldendoodle, Daisy, snake trained with you. I figured that sooner to later she would come nose to nose with a rattler as we hike the Phoenix Mountain Preserves often. Tonight as we neared the top, with Daisy leading the way, she stopped and took a mighty leap back just as she had done when you gave her a jolt. Just as she jumped, the snake started buzzing which made my wife jump back and almost went down. I looked up just to see the big Tiger Rattler crawling across the trail buzzing like crazy. By the time I caught my wife, leashed Daisy and sent them down the trail the rattler had crawled under a big rock and was still buzzing his ass off. Yes Tiger's must smell as bad to her as your Diamond Backs do :) I figure you receive a lot of these kind of stories but I just wanted to add mine to your collection and say thank you as you do a great service to many dogs and people. Anyone who takes their dogs out into the outdoors and haven't gotten them properly trained is just plain crazy. We will probably have future encounters but we will be out next year to see you and do a retest with Daisy even though I'll bet she passes with flying colors!
Third Party Stories:
I've been snake proofing dogs long enough that I'm starting to hear stories from new customers about former dogs I've trained. I haven't used third party stories to date because I want to hear from the owners directly and get their permission to use the story. However, sometimes the story is just too good not to pass along and I've gotten permission to use the following story.
The Mall Dog
I trained a black lab service dog several years ago. This year, he accompanied his owners to an upscale mall in Tucson. While the husband went off to grab some things on the list, the wife strolled along with the dog just taking her time and window shopping. Suddenly the dog began to "act up." He pulled on the leash, he blocked the woman from moving down the corridor, and generally was acting very upset.
The owner couldn't understand what had just happened to her normally placid dog. When just then, the husband came around the corner, gestured over his shoulder and said, "hey there's a big exhibit of live rattlesnakes back there."
The Poodle's Noodle
Recently, a standard poodle came back for his yearly retest. He jumped out of the car and came over to me to say "hi." He sniffed my pants, backed up in a panic, and hid behind the owner. The dog peeked around the owner's leg and looked at me like I'd just grown another head. The owners and I looked at each other and said together, "wait, that's a snake reaction." It took me several seconds to unravel his response.
When a dog comes back for a retest, I move the cages to an area that's different than I use for a new dog training session. One cage goes into the desert behind my garage. Because the path is so rocky, I carry the cage. Because the cage is bulky, I brace it against my thighs as I walk down the path. The dog got the smell of the snakes that had transferred from the wire of the cage to my trousers.
For the actual retest, he detected the snakes in the desert from a distance of about 30 feet.
New River, AZ