Why you train your dog to avoid snakes

May 15, 2015  •  1 Comment

Why You Train your Dog to Avoid Snakes

by Leighton Oosthuisen (Training Director / Founder / Owner of Partners Dog Training School Email)


“A few seconds of discomfort is better than weeks of pain”

History of our Program

  • At Partners Dog Training School in Northeast Phoenix (Scottsdale/Cave Creek area), we offer a program where we train dogs to avoid contact with rattlesnakes.
  • Partners is a professional school that trains behavioral problems, offers agility and other sports, and is thus the best suited in the Valley for this.
  • The program was started five years ago in response to a need from Search & Rescue to train their dogs to avoid snakes while tracking in the desert. S&R needed a technique that was based on real world conditions, but would not need the handlers’ involvement.
  • We started with three snakes and a dozen dogs. We evaluated the training being done, and evolved into a system which is now the standard in the industry.
  • Partners Dog Training is now the largest snake proofing program in the world. Our training has been featured on every major TV network, and is recognized as the safest and most effective in the country.

Why is Partners considered the best?

  • Partners focuses on obtaining the highest possible level of conditioning.
  • We use our own equipment as this prevents contamination.
  • Our experienced trainers personally handle dogs to minimize unintentional cueing by owners.
  • Our custom built cages prevent injury to dogs, yet allow odor and sound to be present.
  • Our three dedicated snake habitats offer “real-life” scenarios; something no other school provides.

How does training work?

  • During training, we first introduce the dog to the odor. As soon as they recognizes the odor they receive a stimulus from an electronic collar. This causes a negative association that “odor” equals “discomfort”.
  • Then we introduce the dog to the snake sound. Again as soon as they recognize this sound, they receive a brief nick. This association teaches the dog to think “discomfort” when they hear this sound.
  • Finally we walk the dog “in the desert”, where we have hidden snakes. This tests whether the dog can detect a hidden snake. Depending on the results of this test, the instructor may retrain the dog.
  • And we always give you a report on how your dog did on the “recognition”, “associating” and “response”.

So How Bad is the “Shock”?

The good news is that the stimulus doesn’t hurt at all. Some say it feels like static electricity.

  • We use sophisticated professional collars that allow us to remotely control how much stimulus is needed based on the personality and behavior of the dog.
  • In over 12,000 dogs, NOT ONE dog has been injured by a snake or by our collars.
  • “Is it unpleasant for the dog?” A little, but it would not work if it was not.

How do I ENROLL?

Email us

Call us at 480 595 6700

For more information, check us out online





Luella Rogers(non-registered)
Great article! I had no idea that Partners had the largest snake training program in the world! That is pretty impressive!
No comments posted.

January February March April May (4) June (3) July (4) August September October November December
January February March April May June July August (1) September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December