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Rattlesnake Ready, LLC
"Arizona's #1 realistic and thorough snake avoidance training"
+ toad avoidance!

About the training...

See the  welcome page for an intro to the training. Our current training methods are the product of years of experience working with many different breeds of dogs, each with unique personalities and different backgrounds. We honestly believe that this is the absolute best, in-depth and most realistic method possible for the vast majority of dogs. During the process, we spend ample time explaining each step to you and how we'll go about it for your specific dog, and also teach you how to "read" your dog's body language so that YOU can avoid the snakes they find too. We also provide Sonoran toad avoidance training and e-collar desensitization training.

Rattlesnake Aversion Training

our #1 service

Step 1) Juvenile Rattlesnake

We begin by exposing the dog to a safely-muzzled, live, juvenile* rattlesnake. It is placed in an open, highly visible area for maximum exposure. Without our influence, the dog is left to find the snake. When they do, most dogs are more than happy to investigate the snake. As soon as they are too close, they are given a static correction using the e-collar until they understand to keep their distance. Because we allow the dogs to get right up to the snake on an open surface with good contrast, they make the correct associations almost immediately. Having found your dog's sweet spot setting on the collar (just enough to teach, not traumatize!) and once they are maintaining a safe distance from the snake, we move on. Most of the learning occurs in this step.

*when available
dog sniffing muzzled rattlesnake
Step 2) Isolated Scent Recognition

This supplementary step exposes the dog to the smells of rattlesnakes*. The dog is left to approach a scented object on their own terms. Should they choose to stick their nose on the items, after getting a good “whiff” they are given a moderate static correction which implants within their mind that even just the smell is bad. This is in case the dog is ever poking around inside holes, under logs, etc. and comes across this smell again without seeing or hearing the snake; they’ll know it is a threat as they associate the discomfort from training with the smell. *If your dog has a good nose and got close to the juvenile snake initially, it is likely that he/she will know to avoid the scented items too having learned the smell from the real thing in step 1. Therefore it is fairly common for dogs to not need any correcting at this step. (*See Q 18 in " FAQ")

shed snake skin and scent tools
​​This step focuses on the scent of the toad from safe but close contact. Three scent-containers are spread out within natural cover. The first contains the smell of dog treats, the second is completely empty, and the third contains a hidden toad. The inside of each container is not visible to the dog but is ventilated to allow scent to exit. The dog inevitably sniffs the first container in search of food (container desensitizing) and after receiving a treat moves along to the second container which is empty (control group). Lastly, the dog sniffs the 3rd container which has a live toad in it with some water. When the dog zeroes in on the new toad scent once sniffing this last container, a correction is given to avert them from this odor. (After this the dog is taken back to the treat container once more and given a reward).
Step 3) Basic Sound Aversion

In this next step, the dog is exposed to the sounds of a rattlesnake (without any visual or olfactory cues). This step is especially important for dogs that charge through or sniff bushes. Here we use naturally concealed audio equipment with a rattlesnake sound recording. As the dog unknowingly approaches it, the recording is played. At that moment an automatic correction is given and teaches the dog a fast, instinctive reaction to avoiding this unique sound. We also have the owner move away from the sound to supplement the message. We may also incorporate recall with positive reinforcement so that after a future rattling bush encounter your dog will come running to your side (and not to the snake!)

bluetooth speaker under bush dog in background
Step 4) Adult Rattlesnake

The final step exposes them once again to a real rattlesnake-this time a large adult. This is so that they are aware that the rattlesnakes come in different sizes. Most dogs will already show complete avoidance by this point, and therefore require minimal to zero correcting. Here they are given the chance to put it all together with multiple scenarios and approaches, by placing the snake in several places of varying difficulty to spot. When no mistakes are made and the dog clearly and consistently wants nothing to do with the snake – congratulations! Training complete, and your dog is now prepared for a future rattlesnake encounter.
rattlesnake by bush with dog in background

For pricing, click ​ HERE .

Toad Avoidance Training

NEW for 2019!


Step 1) Sonoran Toad Intro

For toad training, we begin right off the bat with the real deal. An adult Sonoran toad is placed in the open and is allowed to move or hop with the dog nearby on a leash*. When the dog reacts to the movement and advances toward the moving toad, they are quickly given a correction using the e-collar. This is repeated (usually not more than 1-2x) until the dog no longer shows any interest in  the  exposed toad, especially if they would rather get away from it. The toad is approached from multiple angles and the dog is given plenty of time to study the toad from a distance.

*In most circumstances, the dogs must be kept on leash as we cannot allow mouth contact with the toad's poison glands.

toad with dog in background on leash
Step 2) Toad Scent Aversion​​
*To prevent others from copying our training style as we launch this new service, step 2 of the training is temporarily hidden. Once we feel that this service has become established for us, we will then reveal the full details of the training for all to see. Thank you for your understanding!
Step 3) Sonoran Toad Outro

This step is a repeat of step #1 but this time is in 1-2 more not-so-obvious locations. The purpose is to re-expose the dog once more to a live toad and to test if they are willingly avoiding them on their own now. We approach the toad like before and carefully observe the dog's body language to guage if they are now completely uninterested or if more training is necessary. We may test them by calling them off leash to us with a toad in their way to see if they take wide routes around it. If so, and after the dog promptly and consistently backs off from the various toad encounters, congrats - they are now what we call "toad-ally trained!"
toad with dog in background

E-Collar Desensitization Training

NEW for 2019!

​About a week prior to your snake or toad avoidance training appointment, a dummy collar (shock collar replica) can be rented so that your dog can get accustomed to wearing one beforehand, or be desensitized between different aversion trainings. This is accomplished as the collar is randomly but routinely taken on/off the dog and left on for short periods of time before training. This "desensitizes" them to the feel of an e-collar so that when we arrive for actual avoidance training; putting the real e-collar on your dog is nothing unusual to them. This helps problem dogs likely to make collar associations to instead focus on the target critter as the source of the shock. This training is completely optional since most dogs never think to blame the collar itself. Much more info about this traning is discussed in question #25 of our  FAQ section. More info in our pricing section too, including the instructions document for dummy collar training that you are welcome to download.