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Hey,

Happy Labor day weekend. This is Jezbel, we recently moved to the Conroe area in Houston, Texas.

We are new to this part of the world, as I grew up in Germany as my family has served the USA (we are Americans) for three generations.

I served as a medical professional and my husband as well. We are not that fit due to some health issues in our youths.

We have moved to Houston TX to raise our children and work in the hospital system in Conroe/Houston.

Our home has about 5 acres of land, it is overgrown, and looks like a jungle!

Today, I saw a snake, I think it was a garter/gardener snake and got worried. I think it was chasing a frog that jumped on to the patio.

We have been considering adopting or rehoming dogs (puppies) for a while, and now may be the time.

We are ok with shedding, grooming. The Dog will be home alone at times, as the kids will be in school and us at work.

Do you friendly folks know if there are any breeds which are good at spotting/sniffing out snakes? and can stay safe, and hopefully alert whomever is around?

We know this will require training, but there must surely be breeds which are better suited than others.

We want our kids to be safe, and us too of course.

Any other tips are welcome.

Thank you dear ones,
Jezbel
 

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Most species of snakes are not dangerous- Kingsnakes, Ratsnakes, Cornsnakes, and garter snakes are all non venomous and essentially harmless.

The ones to be weary of are the Cottonmouths, Copperheads, Coral Snakes, and the handful of Rattlers that might be endemic to the area.

Dogs are not a good defense against snakes. To my knowledge, there is no one actively teaching dogs to sniff out and alert to snakes.

There are no breeds of dog that are naturally interested in snakes, good at killing them, or likely to alert reliably to their presence. Individual dogs might be interested in it, I suppose, but I would definitely not get a dog with the hope that it would help you with snakes in some way.

Venomous snakes are scary, and there are a few that live in Texas. I also just moved from a place with only harmless snakes (NY) to a place where there are venomous ones (northern CA). My defense against venomous snakes- and IMO the best defense there is against them- is to know what kinds of snakes are endemic to my area, what their behavior is like (how naturally aggressive they are, how inclined to bite without warning, what their primary method of defense is- eg, hiding, freezing and camouflage, or bite first- and also how likely they are to be delivering envenomed bites). I wear boots when I hike, I stay on trails, and during snake season I stay away from the areas they are common in. I keep my dog on leash when I hike, I don't let her poke around in bushes, and I am careful about where I put my feet. I know what the snakes look like so I can be aware if the ones I see are dangerous or safe (usually I see a lot of garter snakes on hikes, which would scare me if I didn't know they were harmless).

Most venemous snakes deliver a warning bite before they will hit with a fully envenomed bite, some some species are going to be more likely to hit with a live bit the first time. It is good to know which is which.

Most snake's first line of defense is freezing, though rattle snakes will rattle their tails as a warning, which is highly preferable to a silent venomous snake. Again, preferable to know if the snakes in my area are going to alert me to their presence before they bite me.
 

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It's true there are no "born for killing snake" dogs. Some terriers are very efficient at it - rat terriers, JRT, some of the larger breeds too.
 

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I think almost all dogs are good at protecting their house from whatever it is. I'm not sure whether German Shepard's are good at it or not, but my uncle's dog does a lot of snake hunting. I used to have a mixed breed of German Shepard and Pomeranian, and I must say, she was a good hunter of snakes and mice. A perfect farm dog. :)
 

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Get a cat.

I had a cat named Ashley...she loved snakes. I don't know how many times over the years that I had Ashley, that I saved some poor snake from her.

As mentioned, most snakes are harmless...not only that, most snakes are beneficial, especially if you have a garden. They kill mice and bugs that would otherwise be eating your veggies.

I live in an area that where rattlesnakes are common, but it's very rare that a dog or even a human get bit by one.

I would say, that unless it is a known poisonous snake, to just not even worry about them.

Stormy
 

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My JRT mix lives to hunt snakes. Although I would much rather she didn't, as she attacks before she thinks, and it got her bitten on the face by a copperhead. She was totally fine after a few days and that's about as venomous as snakes get around here, but it still makes me nervous.
 
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