snakes, dogs and temperature - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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snakes, dogs and temperature

I live in an area that has a lot of rattlesnakes and copperheads. I like to run my dogs every day but usually avoid July and August because that is when the snakes seem to be more active. But last year my dog was bit in May so I need a new strategy.

Is there a temperature point where a snake is lethargic enough that it won't strike. We are having a temperature range now where it nears 90 in the afternoon but is forties in the morning. It may be I should not look at the season but at the temperature during the run.

I have noticed snakes in the 40's are not likely to move when harassed but if they are pressed too much they wake up real quick and act like they do in high temperature. What is the lower limit, if any, where I can count on them not striking my dog even if he aggravates the snake?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2018, 10:45 PM
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To be honest if it is getting into the 90's during the day, they are retaining enough warmth and getting it from additional sources such as rocks and roads. I have seen snakes in early November and April as well, when there is long streaks of warm weather. I guess my point is there is a good portion of the year that if your dog is going to harass them that they could be very capable of striking. But to be safe the portion of the year when they are travelling a lot and can be found anywhere is going to be May thru October with a focus on the summer months in between. That of course could be later or earlier depending on what type of weather we get. Just my honest opinion
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 04:15 PM
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You could try teaching the dog to avoid snakes. You need an electric collar and a snake to do this.

You bring the dog up to a snake. When the dogs shows interest and goes close, you give it a jolt. You repeat the process at different places so the dog knows it's not where but what is causing the problem. This may not be foolproof since a dog could come up on a snake too fast to react. It would help some though if it knew the danger.

I am going to try to trap a porcupine this fall and teach my dog to avoid them. Two years in row my dog tried to eat one of those nasty rats.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I did snake proof the dog that was struck. After I did it I watched him come within about 10 yards of a black snake. He sat down and looked at it for a while then walked away. I doubt that he attacked the rattlesnake. Maybe he stepped on it accidentally. The strike was on top of the paw.

This same dog attacked two porcupines and lost his eye in the first attack and still went after the second about a year later.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 10:38 PM
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I was hiking with my wife in the Sprout State Forest near Hyner a couple of weeks ago. We heard the snake begin to rattle but couldn't locate it. Our GSP jumped at it and tried to grab it, it had been hidden in ferns along the path. The snake struck at Greta but didn't hit her. It crossed the trail into the ferns on the opposite side than began to rattle again. Our dog tried to go after it again but I yanked her away and we headed in the opposite direction. My wife was already in the next township. We spent the balance of that morning hiking forest roads instead of trails. The Mrs. suggested getting snake boots (good idea) but that won't do much for the dog.

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