FAQs

What dates do you offer the clinic?

Idaho’s Premier Rattlesnake Avoidance Training for Dogs is offered only one day each year at Veterans Memorial Park in Boise, usually the second Sunday in June.

Where are you located within Veterans Memorial Park?

We are located at the Patriot’s Walk to the left of the restrooms from the main parking lot. The park is accessed from Veterans Memorial Parkway between Chinden Blvd. and State St.

Will the SRVGDC travel to my city to conduct a clinic?

Due to the logistics and planning involved, we are only able to offer this service in Boise, Idaho.

What should I bring to the clinic?

Outdoor footwear for rugged terrain (no flip flops, high heels, or bare feet), 6′-10′ leash, the standard collar on your dog (no pinch, slip, pronged, or e-collars), check or cash for payment.

If possible, please print and sign the Release Form.

What does the training involve?

The training is One-on-One. A Trainer will introduce himself to you and your dog and place an E-collar on your dog. You may ask the Trainer questions throughout the course of the training. The Trainer will give you instructions as you encounter each snake scenario. As the three of you go through the course, the Trainer will give your dog an E-collar correction, as needed, and you and your dog will run a short distance away from the snake scenario. Ultimately, if a correction is given we want your dog to think the snake just bit him and to avoid such a situation in the future. You will give your dog praise if he or she naturally avoids the snake scenario, otherwise, there is no need to give commands or instructions to your dog.

Will the E-collar stimulation hurt my dog?

No. When your dog receives an E-collar correction, for a split second there will be discomfort. There is no residual physical effect to your dog.

Can I use my own E-collar at the clinic?

No. Our Trainers have their own equipment that is set up to not interfere with other Trainers at the clinic.

Why does my dog need to be 6 months or older?

Puppies generally trust everyone and everything and have not had enough negative experiences to fully grasp the aversion training. Once they are older and have learned how to avoid negative consequences in everyday life, the training will be more effective. Aversion training involves a great deal of pressure in a very a short period of time. Regular obedience training is relatively pleasant and subtle over a long period of time. Teaching your dog to avoid situations that could put him/her in harm’s way is best accomplished with aversion training at the proper age.

Can my family/friends walk with me through the course?

There are plenty of viewing opportunities along the course for your friends/family to watch from a distance. We require that you and your dog, along with the Trainer, go through the course alone. Your dog will be in an intensive training session requiring the Handler (you) to focus on instructions from the Trainer, pay attention to the location of the snake scenario and respond quickly to your dog’s reactions as the three of you go through the snake obstacle course. In addition, it puts too many people in the field causing interference, distractions, and delays for the dogs, handlers, and trainers.

How do I pay?

There are 3 options available. *

  1. Use the Registration form on this site and pay with a credit card or Paypal.
  2. Mail a check or money order for the total number of your Registered Dogs at $50 each to:
    Snake River Versatile Gun Dog Club or SRVGDC 8504 Scism Rd, Nampa, Id 83686
  3. Bring cash or check to the event for $60 per dog, if you are a Walkup.

* Payments are nonrefundable

Can my dog have a refresher course for free?

No. You are welcome to run the course again for the standard cost.

I want to see what my dog will do upon seeing a snake at the 1st obstacle. I would like this opportunity to be free, is this possible?

No. You are welcome to run the course for the standard cost.

How often should my dog attend the clinic?

Your dog will be going through intensive aversion training NOT obedience training. Most dogs only need to attend the clinic once in their lifetime. However, we recommend continuing education. Dogs are like people, they all learn and retain information at a different rate. You know your dog best. This event is an excellent opportunity to set your dog up for success in the form of a negative experience with snakes in a controlled environment.

Do you offer a guarantee?

We make every effort to train each dog to avoid snakes. We are working with live animals that are unpredictable. In the wild, any one of the dog’s senses may be blocked while encountering a snake. However, we have been hosting this event for almost 2 decades and have trained a large number of dogs. Rarely do we hear of a dog that has been bitten. Thankfully, there are countless stories of dogs who have avoided snakes after attending our clinic. Each year, 40% of the Handlers are repeat clients who have decided to take advantage of the opportunity to train their dog again with a refresher course but mostly they are taking their next generation canine companion through the clinic.

Do you use live rattlesnakes?

No. We use Gopher snakes, fake snakes and rattlesnake sounds.

Then how will my dog have an aversion to rattlesnakes?

Gopher snakes look and act very similar to rattlesnakes. They even mimic the sound of a rattlesnake. The training is designed to teach dogs to avoid snakes in general. Many dogs that go through the course are hunting dogs that travel all over the country where there are various kinds of poisonous snakes. In addition, some dogs do not have good hearing or sense of smell. That is why we teach them to avoid a snake by sight.

I have a cat that brings snakes to me or my dog. Will you teach my cat to avoid snakes?

Yes. Dogs will usually run away from danger, while cats will usually freeze up and not move. This makes the training more complicated, but it can be done.

What is the Snake River Versatile Gun Dog Club?

SRVGDC is a local gun dog group geared towards the training and testing of versatile hunting dogs (dogs bred for work before and after the shot on land and in the water). We believe in breeding better hunting dogs and long-lived family companions by utilizing the science of progeny testing to increase selection pressure for desired traits. SRVGDC is an affiliate of the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation www.vhdf.org. Our members host two Versatile Hunting Dog Federation tests and Idaho’s Premier Rattlesnake Avoidance Training for Dogs each year. SRVGDC also hosts several training sessions each year for dog owners that have dogs entered in the local progeny, performance, and conformation/structure evaluations.

How much are the club dues and how do I become a member?

SRVGDC does not have dues or a membership roster. We simply ask our membership to help fund the club events, donations, and sponsorships, by volunteering at the snake avoidance clinic one day per year. Communication for training events and VHDF hunt tests is handled through social media and email.