How effective is your program?
99% of graduates from this program avoided snakes when tested 6 months after training.
Is my dog at risk from the snakes?
No, your dog is never put at risk at any time during the program.
What if my dog has already encountered snakes?
Some dogs unfortunately have already engaged snakes and found them to be enjoyable play objects. These dogs are not being introduced to snakes for the first time and may require a training plan to break them of such habits.
Why must I attend 2 separate sessions?
To avoid overwhelming your dog, test the retention of the prior lesson and change location; a second session is essential. The rule with such learning is multiple lessons in multiple places equals better learning and retention.
How do I prepare my dog?
Fasting – We ask that you fast your dog for 24 hours prior to your lesson.
No prior exercise – Please do NOT exercise your dog any time within the 24 hour fasting period. While you may normally find your dog easier to manage after exercise we require your dog to be full of energy and motivation.
Please bring – Dogs water bowl, dog lead and a secure well fitted collar with a METAL BUCKLE is required for both sessions. Plastic clip on collars, choker chains, martingales, halti/gentle leaders are all NOT appropriate for this training.
Why does my dog need to be fasted for 24hrs before each sessions?
Even if your dog is a very good eater it must be fasted for 24 hours. No amount of food drive actually makes up for authentic hunger. Authentic hunger is very important as it is required to help your dog during the “odour recognition” & “contrast” phases of training. The contrast phase is critical as it gives your dog clarity and prevents your dog from making inappropriate associations and thus sabotaging the reliability of the training.
How long does the training take?
This depends on the number of dogs being trained. We allocate 30-60 minutes for each dog being trained and give as much time as possible between snake encounters to augment learning. It is possible to train multiple dogs during the same time period, rotating through dogs and training one while the others have a break, but we are limited by the number of training collars we have available.
My dogs don’t like being separated, can they be trained together?
We cannot allow more than one dog to approach the snake at a time. While the dogs may be more inclined to investigate when together, it compromises the training.
My friend has a pet snake, can I test my dog once it has completed the training?
We do not advise trying to test the training yourself. The more times the dog encounters a snake without receiving a correction, the more likely the curiosity of the dog will overcome the training. This training should be regarded as a last resort safeguard for your dog in the event a snake enters your yard while the dog is outside and you are not there to remove the dog from the situation.
Slithers & Slides can provide refresher training as frequently as you like which will test your dog under safe conditions that support and strengthen the training. To test retention properly, the dog should be tested no sooner than 3 months after initial training; however we advise refreshers to be provided annually.
It is very important that you do not test the dog yourself. Most people think to test the dog by placing the snake down and trying to encourage the dog to investigate. Apart from putting the snake at risk, this sends mixed signals to the dog as it trusts the owner and wants to investigate the interesting snake, but does not want to experience the odd sensation it felt last time it investigated a snake. Snake avoidance training is not a trick or command taught to your dog, it is an understanding that your dog reaches, with the conclusion being ‘snakes are unpleasant and should be avoided’. By encouraging the dog over, you are telling the dog that snakes are ok to investigate. The dog does not know that you actually want it to stay away. This incorrect testing undermines what the dog has learned.
I’m not in your area, can my local dog trainer provide this program?
To properly provide this type of program and achieve true results, not all dog trainers have the requisite skills, knowledge and experience. Unfortunately this will not stop some well-wishing amateur practitioners from trying which is ultimately detrimental to the dogs they attempt to train. To properly provide snake avoidance training, the trainer must be experienced in scent detection, understand concepts of leash pressure, location sensitivity, generalisation, inadvertent associations and most importantly know how to and be experienced with appropriately incorporating a remote training collar.