PHOENIX (KSAZ) - If curiosity kills the cat, then it can leave a dog with a nasty snake bite.
"We've seen [a] snake or two," Jono Smith said. "It's scared her from taking us on hikes. Now we can be together."
Instead of avoiding hikes, Smith decided to teach his 2-year-old golden doodle, Lala, to avoid snakes.
"I use muzzled snakes, so it's more dangerous for me, but it is more realistic for the dogs," Cody Will said.
Cody Will, with Rattlesnake Ready, is an experienced venomous snake handler. He says his hands or nose on technique differs from other who keep the rattler in a box. His training allows the dogs to gain a better sense of what a snake smells like, looks like and sounds like in four steps.
One of which includes using a shock collar.
"Essentially, what the shock collar is doing is taking the place of the snake bite and teaching the dog that this is a harmful creature," he said.
The end goal is for the dog to avoid the snake. Kato was trained a few weeks ago and this was his first encounter since he did exactly what he was taught to do.
"I'm glad that he is aware of the site and smell and sound of it," one dog owner said.
Participation in the training also means the pup's owner will pick up on body language and signals that a snake is in the area.
"I let the owner be very much involved in the training," Will said.
For more information on Rattlesnake Ready, click here.