by Leighton Oosthuisen


March 2012

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▶History of our Program

✔ At Partners Dog Training School in Northeast Phoenix (Scottsdale/Cave Creek area), we offer a program
where we train dogs to avoid contact with rattlesnakes.
✔ Partners is a professional school that trains behavioral problems, offers agility and other sports, and is
thus the best suited in the Valley for this.
✔ The program was started five years ago in response to a need from Search & Rescue to train their dogs
to avoid snakes while tracking in the desert. S&R needed a technique that was based on real world conditions,
but would not need the handlers’ involvement.
✔ We started with three snakes and a dozen dogs. We evaluated the training being done, and evolved into
a system which is now the standard in the industry.
✔ Partners Dog Training is now the largest snake proofing program in the world.

✔ Our training has been featured on every major TV network, and is recognized as the safest and most effective in the country


▶Why is Partners considered the best?

✔ Partners focuses on obtaining the highest possible level of conditioning.
✔ We use our own equipment as this prevents contamination.
✔ Our experienced trainers personally handle dogs to minimize unintentional cueing by owners.
✔ Our custom built cages prevent injury to dogs, yet allow odor and sound to be present.
✔ Our three dedicated snake habitats offer “real-life” scenarios; something no other school provides.


▶How does training work?

✔ During training, we first introduce the dog to the odor. As soon as they recognizes the odor they receive a
stimulus from an electronic collar. This causes a negative association that “odor” equals “discomfort”.
✔ Then we introduce the dog to the snake sound. Again as soon as they recognize this sound, they receive
a brief nick. This association teaches the dog to think “discomfort” when they hear this sound.
✔ Finally we walk the dog “in the desert”, where we have hidden snakes. This tests whether the dog can
detect a hidden snake. Depending on the results of this test, the instructor may retrain the dog.
✔ And we always give you a report on how your dog did on the “recognition”, “associating” and “response”.


▶So How Bad is the “Shock”?

✔ The good news is that the stimulus doesn’t hurt at all. Some say it feels like static electricity.
✔ We use sophisticated professional collars that allow us to remotely control how much stimulus is needed
based on the personality and behavior of the dog.
✔ In over 12,000 dogs, NOT ONE dog has been injured by a snake or by our collars.
✔ “Is it unpleasant for the dog?” A little, but it would not work if it was not.


▶“A few seconds of discomfort is better than weeks of pain”

These were the words of one of our clients, whose dog was bitten, and who ended up with a $3,000 bill,
and whose dog endured days of pain, and weeks of recovery.



Copyright Leighton Oosthuisen ALL RIGHTS RESERVED