Idaho Chukar Foundation teaches dogs and owners how to avoid snakes

Posted at 3:09 PM, May 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-18 17:09:07-04

BOISE — The Idaho Chukar Foundation held a training session at Julia Davis Park to help dogs and their owners avoid dangerous animals.

The class taught dogs to not go up to snakes and smell them, the course featured five stations and live bull snakes that even struck at some of the dogs who were in the class.

During the training the dogs were taught to run after discovering a snake, they used a shock collar to reinforce that snakes are bad, it was the owners job to run with the dog and then comfort their animal after they made it a safe distance away.

"So it is fifty-fifty dogs pick up on our emotions very quickly so we want the dog owner to praise the dog because we want the dog to feel like it just saved the owner," said Drew Whalin the president of the Idaho Chukar Foundation.

While dogs are man's best friend, they are also key components to a successful hunt and hunters would find it almost impossible to shoot a chukar without the help of their loyal companion who sniffs these birds out so that it's possible to get a shot, but these hunts often happen in rugged wilderness.

"It is really stressful to have your animal bitten," said Whalin who started this training after his own dog got bit by a rattlesnake. "Especially when you are chukar hunting you are out in the middle of nowhere so usually you have a long hike to get back to your rig to get help for the dog."

The course also taught dogs how to avoid porcupines and skunks, plus the Idaho Association of Trappers were there to educate people on how traps have changed, they no longer have the long teeth they used to have in the 1800's and they showed people how to get their dog out of a trap.

Whalin also told us that 80 percent of the people who take the class aren't hunters, they are concerned dog owners who don't want their dogs getting bit by a snake when they go hiking.

"I brought Indiana down here today because we go hiking in the foothills and I don't want her to get bit or hurt by anything that might be out there," said Valerie Christensen. "I think she did get the message, she's definitely scared of snakes.

There will be another class in Boise on June 1, for more information click here.