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Dogs can fight off most small animals and predators that infiltrate your backyard space. However, if your dog comes across a snake or other poisonous reptile, they could end up in major danger. The problem is that snakes can be found everywhere, from your property to hiking trails across the country.

A lot of dogs don’t realize just how dangerous snakes are though, and they will go right up to snakes to sate their curiosity.  What this means is that you want to train your dog to avoid and stay away from these dangerous animals. 

Most people don’t think they need to do this, as a lot of places are not snake-infested or they already know DIY snake traps solve their own problem. But it’s good to be on the safe side, as you never know when your dog will encounter a snake or other dangerous animal, especially when you are going on walks or traveling with your pet.

Ways to Train Your Dog to Avoid Snakes:

1. Teach Your Dog “Leave It”

The “Leave It” method is the most effective way to train your dog to stay away from rattlesnakes. What you want to do with this method is start by teaching them the command with the help of treats.

You will show your dog the treat, then close your hand. Your dog will try and get to the treat but keep the treat out of reach and say “leave it”. Eventually, they will stop sniffing and trying to get it. When they leave the treat alone, pet them and say good job. Then you can give them the treat. 

You want to teach your dog this command over the course of many days and stay consistent. Once the dog starts to leave the treat in your hand alone more quickly, you can drop the treat on the ground and start saying “leave it” in this context. 

If they don’t eat the treat on the ground you can give them that treat and another better treat. This will teach them to leave things alone when you say the words leave it. If you want, you can even use a toy snake and incorporate this toy into your training. 

Just do the same thing you did with the treats. If your dog leaves the toy alone when you say leave it, reward them with a treat. 

Of course, you can teach your pet to stay away from snakes, but you can’t always prevent snakes from staying away from your dog. So, If you are dealing with a major snake problem specifically on your property, contact Gray Brothers Wildlife LLC. They will inspect and get rid of your snake infestation. 

2. Snake Sound Training 

Snake sound training can also be used to train your dog. You can download snake sounds on your phone, and have someone else help you with this training. The other person will hold the phone and turn on the snake sounds, and you will call your dog to you every time the sounds are played. When your dog goes to you, give them a treat.

This will create an association where your dog knows to come to you when they hear snake sounds. Not all snakes make loud sounds like a rattlesnake, so this method does have its limits. But most snakes do make a hissing sound or some other sound. So, your dog will learn something useful.

3. Negative Reinforcement 

Negative reinforcement is the final option you could try out. This involves associating snakes with something negative, like an electric shock. But we don’t recommend this method. 

Shock collars are often used for this type of training, and while this can be an effective method, it can make your dog uncomfortable and can create behavioral issues. This includes anxiety and increased aggression.

Finally, you can go to to learn about snake repellents, which will help you to protect your dog proactively, and give you more information about snakes that could harm you and your dog.

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