Snakes - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Snakes

Been hiking for many many years and have come across very few snakes. This year is different, they're everywhere for some reason. Most are harmless bull or garter snakes, however on some recent hikes we've had rattle snakes lying in the middle of the trail. They were not defensive and didn't rattle as far as I could tell, they just moved out of the way slowly. We've been fortunate to spot them, otherwise we could have easily stepped on them.

None of my dogs seem to think too much of them, if the snake moves then they may watch with a little curiosity. Today a garter snake slithered under my girl as we walked, she only watched it dissapear into the brush. Same dog jumped up like a cat when a bull snake hiding in the brush hissed and thrashed around a bit, but other than that all the other encounters have been like "meh" .

Perhaps the Osprey will thin their numbers down and things will return to normal. Im ok with the snakes by the way, just weird to see so many.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 02:53 AM
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Yikes! With that many snakes, it would probably be good to know where the closest vet is that stocks antivenin -- most clinics don't have it, but sometimes emergency places do.

I called around in the town where I hike over the summer, just in case, so that I won't have to frantically search on my phone and worry if there's cell signal on a trailhead if we have bad luck.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
Yikes! With that many snakes, it would probably be good to know where the closest vet is that stocks antivenin -- most clinics don't have it, but sometimes emergency places do.

I called around in the town where I hike over the summer, just in case, so that I won't have to frantically search on my phone and worry if there's cell signal on a trailhead if we have bad luck.
Great idea, I hadn't thought of this.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 09:58 AM
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Just the opposite here this summer.Usually we see plenty of snakes but this year it's a rare occurrence.Have only seen two rattlers in the past 16 years we've lived here.The dogs are curious when they see the slithering at first but not really interested.

Terri

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 11:10 AM
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We went down to north Georgia. Blue ridge region a few weeks ago. They said that because of the mild winter snakes were especially active and numerous this year. Copperhead bites were high as a result. Now we hiked miles of trails and never saw any copperheads. We did see a timber rattler. And our first bear. This is our 4th time vacationing there. I was kind of apprehensive about the dogs possibly being bitten by a copperhead. But, all the locals I talked to seemed to think I was much ado about nothing.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 11:23 AM
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Timber rattlers are pretty docile snakes, you almost have to step on them to get bit. Copperheads are far more aggressive. We have a extremely large Canebrake or Timber rattle snake population here and they are protected. I wouldn't pick one up and I would be really careful with your dogs.

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. George Bernard Shaw

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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We had a very cold and snowy winter here in Washington. Most of the US had a mild winter, however we were one of the exceptions so I'm not sure why so many snakes this year.

We only have the northern pacific rattle snake, no other venomous snakes. What I've read says they're docile and from those we've seen this seems to be true. I'd almost prefer they rattle to let us know they're there.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 10:10 PM
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We've got a terrible amount of dangerous snakes - we are enjoying the winter at the moment where we can go play in the sand dunes and the bush without the risk of the snakes... come summer we will most like avoid the sand dunes and the bush.... but we'll be able to go to the beach then
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 10:36 PM
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Very good topic. Just as an FYI, the largest rattle snake I have ever seen in my life was actually in September 2015 in my back yard at night. My GSD, Scout saw him when I let him out to pee and took off after him. I was hollaring for Scout to come back but the rattler had already struck and had grazed/cut his snout but didnt get any venom pumped in. Scout jumped back and the rattler kept going to the bluffs behind my house.

My thoughts are this was a huge venemous snake in my back yard and I had calculated the mileage me and that dog had walked the year before and its unbelievable and we only saw 2 copperheads and 1 cotton mouth
and him eating grapes off my vines killed him. Sometimes what you fear aint the problem and sometimes what you dont fear is the problem. Kinda sucks dont it?
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Last edited by Shooter; 07-17-2017 at 10:45 PM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 10:43 PM
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That's crazy @shooter. That is my biggest concern with vacationing down south. I can see my dogs wanting to investigate and get bit. I thought about conditioning them to avoid snakes. Would be easy enough to train. I just keep putting it off to train other stuff. Here in northern Indiana they say we have swamp rattlers, and water moccasin. but I have never seen one in 41 years. So I don't worry about snakes around here.
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Last edited by cdwoodcox; 07-17-2017 at 10:46 PM. Reason: Change to swamp
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