Keeping dogs safe and exercised on land
October 14, 2007 7:35 PM   Subscribe

How do I keep two active young dogs with good jumping ability a) from being bitten by snakes b) active and happy while I am away during the day on a property of about 20 acres? What's it roughly going to cost me?
posted by vizsla to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
Rattlesnake aversion classes generally cost somewhere around $75-$200 dollars. You may want to also get them their rattlesnake vaccines but they will still need immediate medical care if they are bitten. If snakes are a problem on your property I'm not sure that I would be comfortable letting them run free even with those two safeguards.
posted by hindmost at 8:00 PM on October 14, 2007

Young dogs really shouldn't be left to roam 20 acres unsupervised. Better to restrict them to a very much smaller area, imo. They'll be happier and safer long term that way.
posted by anadem at 9:58 PM on October 14, 2007

What anadem said. Keep them inside or build a suitable fenced and roofed area for them outside. Even aversion classes do not guarantee safety from snakes (or anything else, for that matter).
posted by biscotti at 3:37 AM on October 15, 2007

You can use an electronic barrier method, just make sure you put down a visual barrier as well to cue them. They don't need 20 acres, sure, but I'd let 'em run it too if I could afford it.
posted by letahl at 5:45 AM on October 15, 2007

Response by poster: Do those electronic barriers really work? Won't the dog just plough on through the barrier, take the shock until he is out of range or run around in confusion trying to free himself of it?
posted by vizsla at 6:46 PM on October 15, 2007

I used to live on a farm and I always had dogs there, and they always amazed me with their incapacity to see snakes. We had a lot of copperheads, and I tried to teach my dogs about snakes with blacksnakes which we had even more of.... but it didn’t do any good.

Daisy eventually got bit on the foreleg by a copperhead... at night at my backdoor, and yelped like I guess I would. I got her to the vet in about 45 minutes and her leg was swollen about twice its size. He injected antibiotics and some kind of anti-inflammatory and the next day she was good as new.

But, from then on, she was a snake dog. Your average dog will alert you when Jehovah’s Witnesses are coming up the driveway. Daisy got to be like that with snakes of any kind anywhere near the house.
posted by Huplescat at 7:44 PM on October 15, 2007

Electronic barriers "work" to some extent, but they give a dangerous sense of security (EVERY dog has something it will brave the zap for), they do not keep anything out of the dog's area (coyotes, snakes, mountain lions, people, etc.), and they can cause behavioural problems in some cases. They are not, IMHO, in any way suited to leaving dogs unattended outside all day with no physical barrier.
posted by biscotti at 3:37 AM on October 16, 2007

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