Snake Avoidance Training for Dogs (ABN: 52 149 310 976) Booking Terms & Conditions
Seasonal Restrictions Our snake avoidance training, refresher sessions, and testing sessions are only available during the following months: April, May, August, September, October.
Due to the regularity of extreme weather (severe heat and rain) which both poses a welfare risk to the animals and compromises the training, we do not run training during the following months: January, February, March, June, July, November, December.
Age Requirements Dogs must be ten (10) weeks or older to be eligible for this training.
Temperament Requirements Your dog must be very forward going, inquisitive of new environments and new people.
To successfully complete our snake avoidance training program, a dog must be motivated to explore and investigate the training environment. Food treats are used to motivate hungry dogs to explore during the sessions. If we notice prior to the training commencing that your dog is inhibited, timid, shy, codependent with another dog or reluctant to explore, we will discuss the situation with you and offer an 80% refund (travel fees are non-refundable, if applied). If you choose to waive this refund we will continue your dog in the program and deliver the training to the predetermined schedule; however, if your dog remains inhibited and refuses to seek food or approach the reptiles provided, no refund can be given as both time and opportunity have been given to the dog. If we require you to stand with our dog trainer to give your dog emotional support in the event it is nervous, please be patient. Our program revolves around your dog’s discovery and self-learning.
Please bear in mind that we have a schedule to keep to. Each dog has a set time limit for each portion of the training. It is important that we keep to these time limits for the welfare of the snakes being used. It is also likely that we will have other bookings running after yours, so it is important we do not run over time.
Dogs that are codependent with another dog are not suitable for our training. While we schedule up to three dogs at a time for training, they are taken for snake encounters and trained individually. We purposefully keep dogs out of eyesight from each other during snake encounters. Dogs that are codependent become too focused on looking for the other dog to focus on the training.
Dogs that are aggressive towards humans are not suitable for our training.
Remote Training Collar (E-collar) Use E-collars are an integral part of the training and will need to be used on your dog throughout the program. It is important that you do not remove or adjust the remote training collar we place on your dog at any point during the training. This can negatively impact your dog’s ability to comprehend what it is being trained to do (avoid snakes). If you believe your dog’s collar requires adjustments please notify the dog trainer.
If your dog has had previous experience with an electronic collar (e-collar, bark collar, boundary collar, etc.) you will need to add the information to the form below.
Food Drive Your dog must have adequate food drive to be able to complete the 'snake-odour avoidance' component of the training. Low food drive (low motivation for food) dogs are not capable of completing this component.
The food drive of your dog will be assessed at the start of the first training session. If we determine your dog to have low food drive, we will discuss the situation with you. If you decide not to continue with the training, an 80% refund (travel fees are non-refundable, if applied) will be provided. If you choose to continue with the training, excluding the odour component, the option of this refund is waived and we will continue with your dog in the program and deliver the training to the predetermined schedule.
If you know your dog to have low food drive, please contact us prior to booking to discuss the situation.
Food Treats Beef sausage and cheese are used as treats throughout the training. If your dog has an allergy to either of these food items, you will need to provide alternative treats for your dog. These treats should be able to be easily broken into small pieces and eaten rapidly by your dog. Pieces of cooked chicken are a recommended alternative. The quantity of treats needed will vary depending on the size of your dog and its food drive.
Booking Multiple Dogs A booking form will need to be submitted for each dog you are wanting to book in for training.
Typically we train up to three (3) dogs per session. Each dog is trained individually on a rotation.
If you are wanting to have multiple dogs trained, you will need bring a person to look after each dog. We cannot take more than one (1) dog for a snake encounter at a time. The dog owner will need to walk with the dog trainer when the dog is taken for a snake encounter, therefore someone else will need to be present to look after your other dog(s) while the dog trainer, dog owner and snake handler are engaged.
Codependent dogs are not suitable for our training. Refer to the 'temperament requirements' section above for more details.
Confirmed Snake Killers You will need to notify us on the form below if your dog has a history of engaging reptiles.
When introducing dogs to snakes for the first time, it is possible to teach the dogs to respect snakes and give them space as there are consequences for engaging them. Dogs with a history of snake predation can still learn consequences for engaging snakes, however these dogs will often learn how to behave during training then revert back to their previous snake killing behaviour once returned to the home environment. Effectively breaking such habits can rarely be achieved in a single course and often requires ongoing training.
The Second Training Session Your dog will need to complete two (2) training sessions before it is considered to have completed our snake avoidance training program.
Our snake avoidance training requires a minimum of two (2) sessions. It is possible that a dog may learn to associate a snake with a consequence in under two (2) sessions, however it is unlikely and bad practice to rely upon. The second session is essential to avoid overwhelming your dog, test the retention of the prior lesson and most importantly, change location. The location of the second session must differ from the location of the first session. The second session will be booked in for two (2) weeks after the first session, or as close to that date as possible. The location and date will be discussed when booking is confirmed.
Exposure to Snakes Outside of Training Between sessions and after your dog has completed the training program, do NOT actively expose your dog to snakes in order to test its training.
Actively exposing your dog to snakes outside of our training only erodes our work and can counter train your dog to approach snakes. Snake avoidance training is provided as a preventative measure, designed to safely educate the dog to the consequences of engaging snakes. It can be said that learning takes place when the expectation differs from the outcome. Most dogs clearly expect interacting with a snake to be somewhat interesting and enjoyable as they are generally very curious and quickly engage the snake. After learning that engaging a snake brings an unpleasant consequence, our dogs demonstrate that learning has taken place by their future decisions to avoid the snake. While no one can guarantee all the decisions your dog will ever make in the future, we draw a similarity between learning the road rules and road safety. Learning the road rules is not a guarantee that accidents will never happen, but they certainly have a dramatic effect on reducing the risks of road accidents. This training should be regarded as a last resort safeguard in the event a snake enters your property while the dog is nearby and you are not there to remove the dog from the situation. We recommend all dogs completing our Snake Avoidance program undergo an annual refresher to test the dogs’ retention of the training and improve the probability of avoiding snakes in the future.
Refreshers We advise refreshers to be provided annually. Refreshers cost $75 per dog. We can provide refresher training as frequently as you like which will test the retention of your dog and its level of instinctive drift under safe conditions that support and strengthen the training. We do not advise trying to undertake refresher training yourself. If your dog requires a correction, learning complications and inadvertent associations can result if the correction is applied inappropriately.
Testing Testing is available to all, but is recommended for dogs who have undertaken 'snake avoidance training' with other dog trainers. To test retention properly, the dog should be tested no sooner than three (3) months after initial training. Testing should be undertaken at the property where the dog is housed. Testing cost $75 per dog. Additional travel fees apply and are determined based on distance to the testing location from our business property in Stirling.
Testing is provided under safe conditions that allow for accurate assessment of its level of training and retention. We do not advise trying to test the training yourself.
Medical Conditions and Vet Treatments If your dog has physical impairments, we do not recommend booking the dog in for this training. If the dog becomes unwell or must undergo a vet procedure prior to the training, you must notify us as soon as possible. Failure to notify us may result in the training being cancelled and an 80% refund provided (Travel fees are non-refundable).
Preparing Your Dog Fasting We ask that you fast your dog for 24 hours prior to each of your sessions.
Food rewards are an important part of the training. Even if your dog is a very good eater it should 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. If you choose not to fast your dog and its food drive is affected, we may determine your dog to be 'low food drive'. Please ensure you have read the section above titled 'Food Drive' to understand what this would mean for your dog.
No prior exercise or obedience Please do NOT exercise your dog any time within the 24 hour prior to each of your sessions. While you may normally find your dog easier to manage after exercise, we require your dog to be full of energy and motivation.
We also ask that you please refrain from doing any obedience with your dog immediately prior to and during the training. Obedience can inhibit your dog and we need the dog to stay open and happy to explore; we don’t want the dogs looking to the owners for permission to explore/investigate the snakes.
Please bring Dogs water bowl, dog lead and either a secure well fitted harness or collar with a metal buckle is required for both sessions. Only fixed dog leashes can be used during trainig, bungee and extendable dog leashes cannot be used. Plastic clip on collars, choker chains, martingales, halti/gentle leaders are all inappropriate for this training.
Photos & Videos Taking photos or videos is NOT permitted at any point during the training. Breaching this agreement will result in immediate cessation of the training and forfeiture of training program costs.
Weather Requirements Fine weather is required for the training to take place. If the weather is unfavourable, the training will need to be rescheduled. Temperatures that are too high pose a risk to the animals. Rain or excessively windy weather has the potential to affect the dogs associations made during the training. Determining if the weather is bad or unfavourable is at the sole discretion of Snake Avoidance Training for Dogs staff.
Due to the regularity of unfavourable weather during some months, our training is only available during the following months: April, May, August, September, October.
Payment Options Full payment of the training/refresher/testing including travel fees (if applicable) must be received before your session can commence. Payment can be made via cash (exact amount required), Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or debit/credit card. Card payments incur an additional 1.94% (2.25% for 'over the phone') processing fee.
Cancellations To avoid penalty fees, cancellations must be made more than 72 hours prior to the first session of your snake avoidance training program commencing, or your refresher session, or your testing session. Cancellations made between 72-24 hours prior to the booked session will be charged 20% of the session cost. Cancellations within 24 hours of the booked session will be charged 100% of the session cost. An invoice will be issued if no payment has yet been received.
Full costs of training apply for cancellation of the second session of the initial snake avoidance training if the first session has commenced; payments already received for training are non-refundable.
Rescheduling is regarded as a cancellation of the initial booking and will be treated under the same terms of this clause.
'No-shows' and absentees to training, refreshers or testing are regarded as cancellations and will be charged the 100% cost of the booking.
Penalty fees will not apply for cancellations due to bad weather (determined solely at the discretion of Snake Avoidance Training for Dogs staff).