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Old 11-27-2013, 07:06 AM   #1
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Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Hello,

My wife and I are planning an excursion into the Mojave Preserve in late Dec/early Jan; our two dogs will be coming along. I am not concerned about the Rattlesnakes for ourselves -- they are easy enough to avoid if you use your head; however the dogs are a big concern as they are super curious (both are 2 yrs old).

So my question: are the Mojave Rattlers hibernating at this time of the year? Any suggestion on bring a dog to Mojave as it pertains to snake avoidance?

Thanks,
DJM
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:51 AM   #2
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Most likely they will be hibernating unless there is a unseasonal warm day. Remember that snakes are cold blooded so they don't hunt unless it's warm enough. You might want to consider taking your dogs to a rattlesnake avoidance class if you plan to take your dogs on trips.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:54 AM   #3
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

I think the snakes are underground by this time of year, but still a good idea to keep them in mind just in case.

In snake country, the only reliable safety measure that works with my dog is a leash. There are snake training classes for dogs, but For 1-2 trips a year I prefer the leash.

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Old 11-27-2013, 07:54 AM   #4
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Aside from rattlesnakes, there are plenty of other ways for dogs to get hurt. Lots of thorns out there.

Didn't know there was such a thing as rattlesnake avoidance class. Interesting.


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Old 11-27-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

I mighty take my dog to the desert to camp with me, but not on hikes. Too risky.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:06 AM   #6
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

I'm don't know what breeds they are but I would not worry about it too much unless they really are a bit low on natural instincts. Rattlesnakes typically use their rattles and dogs tend to be cautious with the unfamiliar. Train them to stand on command or to return to you at an instant and you should be okay. I take mine everywhere and would not think of leaving them at home.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by witoke
I'm don't know what breeds they are but I would not worry about it too much unless they really are a bit low on natural instincts.
Funny story, we were taking a walk and I found a snake skin on the trail. One dog wouldn't go near it, deathly afraid, the other dog pissed on it. Both dogs are small enough to be killed by a rattlesnake so I keep them on a short leash.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by witoke
I'm don't know what breeds they are but I would not worry about it too much unless they really are a bit low on natural instincts. Rattlesnakes typically use their rattles and dogs tend to be cautious with the unfamiliar. Train them to stand on command or to return to you at an instant and you should be okay. I take mine everywhere and would not think of leaving them at home.
That's actualy where cold weather can make things more difficult. With the cold weather, some rattlers won't rattle at all because they're conserving their energy, but they'll use all their energy to strike if they feel threatened.


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Old 11-27-2013, 12:22 PM   #9
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Thanks for the many replies. Leaving them at home is not and option, and we take our dogs on all of our hikes, leashed in needed.

The dogs are German Shepard and a Mini-Schnauzer; both are bred from working lines and are super intelligent and have had the benefit of formal training. The Schnauzer worries me most since they are rodent dogs and he really like to 'root' around and it very curious.

Further research suggests winter is least active time for them, with dawn and dusk being the worst times, at least in warmer weather. It would seem, during winter, they'd be most active when it is warmer, such as mid day. Thoughts?

Thanks,
DJM
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

The 4' rattler didn't rattle when I was a few feet away one night in Joshua tree last month
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