Our vet does not recommend it. He also said the vaccines are not very effective and only give peace of mind to dog owners.
METHODS – The ‘clinicians’ drag a dog up to a de-fanged prairie rattlesnake, even if the dog is naturally trying to avoid the snake, they will take it up close anyway. Then they give a harsh, heavy, and punishing electric shock to the dog, that most of the time lifts them off the ground screaming. It is so violent and traumatic that many dogs never recover. NOT TO MENTION, the dogs standing in line watching this, and trying to get away, are restrained and made to watch and experience the horror, as they wait in line for their turn.
Then, many of these ‘clinicians’ will take the snake, and place it on a dogs back, and shock the hell out of the dog again, all the while the dog is trying to avoid everything.
To state this another way, so there is no confusion for those that might be slightly desensitized to hearing about this, the electric shock is not used politely or with any care. It is an excessive amount of electricity for a prolonged period, delivered to the dogs neck, to purposefully cause great pain and excessive fear. And most dogs don’t even know why.
Another method is to have a small trail system, and around every corner is a de-fanged snake either in a cage or tied to a post. With a dog on leash and an electric shock collar around their neck, the ‘clinician’ will walk the dog down what seems like a nice trail, and then gives them a severe and punishing HIGH level shock as soon as the flag or cage appears. It doesn’t matter if the dog didn’t see it, didn’t acknowledge it, or was already trying to avoid it. This goes on and on through the little trail system, at every turn. The ‘little trail of horrors’. I have never seen a dog who ever recovered from this type of training, and most dogs remained fearful and did not trust new environments. Many of these dogs remain highly reactive to men after being handled by the ‘clinicians’. No surprise there.
The dogs are being corrected and punished for something, most of the time they are either trying to avoid, or were unaware of.
To say this is over kill would be an understatement. Most dogs, most mammals, have a primal instinct to avoid reptiles. I know that during the past forty years hiking with my dogs, I have never had a single one of my dogs ever go to investigate a snake, and we have come across enough for me to notice their reactions.
I've had my dogs through it by three different providers. Never saw anything like that. I call BS on that. As for the vet not recommending the Vaccine, I would get a new vet. It is not an end all cure but could save your dogs life. It is only meant to slow the effects so you can get to the vet. I swear by the training. We have snakes all around the property here. Have shot two Rattle snakes this year. My dog went through the training two years ago and will take a long wide route around a snake now. I've watched her jump back from a bull snake as soon as she saw it. I also use the E collar on my dog to break bad habits like chasing deer and the like. My dog is like my kid. Most of the time I just have to vibrate it. Oh and I test it on my fingers before I put it on her.
Holy smokes! That exageration makes me wonder if that post was made jokingly.
This weekend I was with a dog who got bit on the nose by a rattler. Fortunately, the snake did not inject venom. We killed the snake, and I brought my dogs (separately) into the scent cone of the snake a few feet away. As soon as they showed interest in the scent, I stimulated them with the e-collar on a very high setting (an ecollar will not physically harm a dog, although it must be used properly to prevent behavioral problems). After two or three walks into the scent cone, my dogs would not go near the snake. My dogs, one in particular, were very interested in the snake prior to stimulation, so the idea that dogs naturally avoid reptiles is wrong. Dogs do not fear snakes.
My dog has been through the training twice and has had 2 years of vaccine. He is a high prey drive drahthaar and I think he now has an understanding that snakes are not his friend. If something goes wrong hunting, I will know I did all I could to prevent it. Pack Benadryl and know where vets are located if hunting in warm weather in snake country.