Aversion training for dogs – many are sceptical about the effectiveness of this training. Having been training here in Australia for over 3 years now we know very well that for most dogs, most of time it works very well indeed. We have had enough positive feedback where people have seen the aversion taking effect when their pet or working dog has taken evasive action when a snake has appeared! Most dog owners of course never get to see first hand their dog encounter a snake and we certainly do not think it’s a good idea to go looking for snakes to test it out. What interests me more now is how to improve the effectiveness – why does it work better for some dogs and not others (even litter siblings); are some just too curious to resist the temptation of chasing a dugite or has it got more to do with the amount of snake odour and the wind direction when we train them? So many variables – I think start them young, refresh annually, have a generally well trained dog and choose less prey driven breeds, certainly all these things help.
One of the American trainers I met said ‘just keep doing it and you never stop learning about both the dogs and the snakes’. Good advice I think.
If you are a sceptical vet or dog trainer you can always come along to watch.