Thought you would like to know how Riley is doing out here. we have lived
here 10 mo. and he loves it. I am weaning him from phenobarb with no issues
so far. He is happy and active, jumping 20" with ease and very content
though low dog on the totem pole with the girls. However he is still my
best boy and wraps himself around my legs every night. Here are the results
of our test today.
First, the test is run in an open field with two rattlesnakes that have
fangs and venom, but have had the injection gland removed. One is more
docile than the other and has had its rattles removed. The other is
irritable and has rattles. The dog is handled by an experienced dog handler
and the owner stands close by with the trainer.The dog is fitted with an
e-collar and is introduced first to the more quiet snake he is allowed to
look and sniff from a distance then quickly and briefly shocked strongly.
He is then walked around the snake and only gets shocked if he looks at the
snake or tries to approach. Then the dog is walked over the the one with
rattles. If he tries to flee, no correction, if he tries to approach he
gets shocked. The owner then stands on the other side of the aggressive
snake and calls the dogs to come. The proper response is for the dogs to
come to the owner circumventing the snake. He still has the collar on so if
there is any chance he would run over to his owner "through" the snake he
would get corrected (probably wouldn't happen at this point.). Then the
owner takes the leash and tries to walk by the snake as a test to see if the
dog responds with avoidance. A good dog will avoid the snake and possibly
push the owner away too. The whole idea is to see, smell, hear the snake
and associate with a very negative feeling.
Here's what happened with my three.
Ellie(ABRL rescue-giant schnauzer mix, 5 yo) went first. She saw the snake
and began to rush in and got shocked. She jumped 6 feet in the air ,
screamed and hit the end of the leash running in the opposite direction.
Every attempt by the handler to bring her close to the snake was a wrestling
match with Ellie pulling with all her strength away. She would not recall
to me as she was trying to run in the opposite direction the whole time.
When I tried to walk her by the snakes the handler had to help because she
was so wild. Hope she learned her lesson, but suspect she will not be
interested in getting anyway near a snake.
John did Spirit(bearded collie/bouvier mix, 9yo). She got almost all the
way to the snake before she was shocked because she was almost casual in her
approach. After that she wanted nothing to do with that creature. By the
time they tried the 2nd snake she stayed at the end of the leash, not a
frantic as Ellie, but a low key "Get me out of here!" at first she wouldn't
come to John, but finally came around to his right side and wouldn't get on
the heeling side where the snake was.
Riley was amazing! He entered the field, caught the scent and immediately
eyed the snake. Correction was given. Trainer said he has fantastic sense
of smell which bodes well for his memory of the experience.He circled the
snake with the handler looking several times for which he was corrected. He
was a little skittish after that, but as they approached the second snake he
stayed with the handler but wouldn't look in the direction of the snake,
turning his head and only sneaking an occassional glance in the direction of
the snake which he received lower level corrections. Then the handler
dropped the leash and I called him and he came in like a perfect dog would
skirting the snake widely, but straight to me. Then I walked him in heel
position by the snake and he pressed heavily into my thigh forcing me away
from the snake. Everyone was impressed. Riley is my guy! He wouldn't let
me near the snake. I know who I want by my side when I hike out here.
Total cost:$200, but worth it if it saves their lives. Neighbor ran over
rattlesnake in his driveway this week.
Thought you would like to klnow about life here in the wild west.
Know your kennel is doing well and best wishes for continued success.
Really nice to have a quality dog.