Rattlesnakes have already been active for months due to the mild winter and low precipitation, fostering an earlier and longer snake season.
Get Rattled Inc. will be hosting a rattlesnake avoidance training for dogs by appointment 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Mountain View Park in Yerington.
“If you enjoy activities that take you and your dogs outdoors, you and your pets may be at risk for encountering rattlesnakes,” John Potash co-founder and co-owner of Get Rattled said. “And as the snakes keep moving in search of food and mates, they may even end up in your own backyard.” According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the state’s current drought means more rattlers will find their way into urban areas proving for an active snake season.
“I’d say that most dog owners don’t really think about snake bites until they see a rattlesnake for themselves, in parks, or their backyards, and then realize their dogs can be at risk,” said Potash. “Get Rattled is a unique training clinic designed specifically to teach dogs on rattlesnake avoidance. We have been teaching this clinic for 15 years and have successfully trained thousands of dogs.”
Potash is licensed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and has more than 25 years of experience working with venomous snakes and wildlife in areas of animal control, wildlife rescue, and public education.
He works with dog trainer Willie J. Stevens Jr. who has more than 20 years of experience training and judging pointing dogs.
Rattlesnake avoidance training is a crucial tool for dog owners, Potash said.
“Prevention is your number one line of defense in protecting your dogs from venomous snakes. When dogs and their owners go hiking or to the dog parks to go off leash, this training teaches them to be fearful of the rattlesnake,” he said. “It protects people as well, as the dog becomes an alert system. This training has proven to be an effective tool in teaching rattlesnake avoidance to all dogs from Great Danes to Chihuahuas.”
Because rattlesnakes can regulate the amount of venom they inject into another animal; the health risks to dogs from a bite can vary greatly depending on the amount of venom injected, the species and size of rattlesnake, and the size of the dog and where it was bitten.
Dogs can also be bitten when owners are not around, so Potash suggests people know some general signs of a bite along with health risks.
“Dogs are usually bitten on their limbs, neck, head, or face so look for severe swelling in those areas. After some time, the venom may produce nausea, vomiting, and the dog can seem lethargic and will begin to act as if something is bothering them. If you see a snake bite happen or notice these symptoms, keep your dog calm and take them to a vet right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
Pre-registration for training is encouraged but walk-ins are welcome.
Sessions last approximately 20 minutes.
Costs for the training are $75 per dog.
The clinic does require the use of a remote training collar that will be customized to each individual dog.
“This clinic will provide local dog owners extra assurance and peace of mind this summer that their dogs will avoid dangerous rattlesnake encounters, protecting their health, and their families from suffering the pain and medical costs of a rattlesnake bite,” Potash said.
To register or for more information, contact Get Rattled at 775-234-8844, or GetRattledNV@gmail.com.