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Discussion Starter #1
So I think I need to start calling Stella "the mongoose". She's killed two garden snakes this week, one in the backyard and one in the dog park. I only saw her kill the one in the park today. She grabbed it, shook it, and literally ripped it in half. It definitely didn't have a chance to bite her and we don't have venomous snakes in this part of the country but...this isn't dangerous right? If not I don't care that much because I typically don't fret about my dogs killing wildlife. One of them killing snakes is a first though!
 

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Garter snakes are technically a rear fanged venomous snake, but it is so mild it won't hurt anything other than a frog or small fish. So, no it won't hurt her. Even if it did bite it probably wouldn't get through the fur. But in NJ you have copperheads and timber rattlesnakes, both are venomous but uncommon. Garter snakes are good to have around, they eat lots of slugs and other garden pest.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Christ I guess I wasn't aware we did get them. :-/ Thanks for telling me. But no these were little things, and the one today definitely didn't get a chance to bite. I guess I'll be more careful now.
 

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The little garter snakes are fine, they can bite but not a big concern.

Rattle snake however, that's a different matter. To a dog, a snake is a snake until they learn different.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
*sigh* Yeah. I do have to say I think the only time I thought shock collar training sounded ok was training dogs to be afraid of snakes so they don't go after venomous ones. Not that I'm planning to do this but I can understand the safety issue outweighing the frowned on aversive techniques.
 

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These are the two venomous snakes in NJ, Northern Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake also called a Canebreak, though they are normally called that farther south. I grew up in south jersey and all my time in the woods I have come across many snakes but never a venomous one. But they are more common in some areas. You may come across water snakes, some of them look similar to the copperhead but they are not venomous.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah those snakes look enormous compared to the little guys she caught. I do live in North Jersey. And would I find water snakes not near well..a water source? I feel like that's a stupid question but we don't live near any lakes or anything.
 

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Normally you'd find them near water, they don't depend on water so they can live a way from it. But they aren't venomous anyway.
 

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*sigh* Yeah. I do have to say I think the only time I thought shock collar training sounded ok was training dogs to be afraid of snakes so they don't go after venomous ones. Not that I'm planning to do this but I can understand the safety issue outweighing the frowned on aversive techniques.

I'd be wary of this, fear around snakes isn't great. Any jerky or fast movements can lead to a bite. It's actually pretty rare for dogs to get bitten in aus and there are tons of venomous snakes around that farm dogs regularly kill. First aid is the same as a human, compressive bandages, imobilisation (a rock solid play dead might help) and immediate medical help. Given she's practicing on non venomous snakes at least she'll have good technique if she ever hunts a nasty one?

My old 8 kg (20 lb?) cat used to leave baby eastern brown snakes at our door, we couldn't figure out how he killed them for ages because he was the worst hunter and there were no teeth marks. He was sitting on them!
 

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Given she's practicing on non venomous snakes at least she'll have good technique if she ever hunts a nasty one?
Snakes move very fast, much faster than a dog can move. They strike about one third the length of their body. And venomous snakes are much more likely to strike than a non venomous. Part of that reason is that for a non venomous snake it's all a bluff, if they bite nothing happens. They need to bluff to make the threat think they are dangerous. A venomous snake doesn't have that problem, a bite can be deadly. But they do not always envenomate, they can have a dry bite. Where they do not inject venom.

I would try to discourage killing of snakes, or any wildlife really. But I have a soft spot for snakes.
 

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Absolutely! But I wouldn't do it with a shock collar is all, sorry if that wasn't clear. I was just trying to say something comforting if a little stupid. For the record I tried to keep the cat inside at night after the snakes, but it was my families place so I had limited say in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would try to discourage killing of snakes, or any wildlife really. But I have a soft spot for snakes.
I did actually take her inside last week when I saw a garter snake in the yard because I thought she would grab him. But she got him the next day when I was at work, when my mom took her out. Yesterday at the park I had no idea she was going after a snake. She was just hunting around a large rock. I assumed it was a mouse or chipmunk or something, and I honestly didn't think she'd be able to get under it. But there was a wide enough gap on one side and...she pulled him out. Typically when she does try to go after other animals I stop her, I don't want to encourage the hunting--especially since one of the animals she seems to think are prey are cats. But I guess it's just I don't get "upset" like some people do if my dogs kill a wild animal. I used to see our dog Perdy kill lots of animals, my dad liked to keep her in the backyard a lot during the day to protect his vegetable garden.
 

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I don't get really upset, but it does make me sad to see an animal killed for no reason. I have no issues with predator and prey. It may not be pretty but it is natural. I feed my animals raw meat and have snakes, I get it. But I've also worked at wildlife rehab. I get that sometimes you can't do anything about your dog getting an animal. It happens. I'm not trying to blame you or attack you at all, if that is how you are feeling. It's just that our pets do not need to hunt for food, it's a waste of a life. But I'm not attacking you, just my thoughts. I love those little slithery guys.
 
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