As temperature warms, some are training their dogs to avoid rattlesnakes

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- The weather is warming up, which means rattlesnakes are coming out. People try to avoid them, but pets don't always know to stay away. There are, however, ways to train your dog to recognize the danger before it's too late.

This training is based on conditioning the dog to want to avoid the snakes smell and sound. This type of training could save its life, and possibly yours.

"For the little bit of money to keep your dog alive and safe is definitely worth it to me," said Joey Dee. He and Mikey Dee were at Partners Dog Training with their dog, J.J., who is being trained in snake avoidance.

"I don't like them either and I know he definitely won't like them and he's very curious," said Mikey.

Partners Dog Training Director Leighton Oosthuisen teaches the dogs to curb their curiosity, something that could save their life. What they do is make a negative association with the scent of the rattlesnake. During the first part of training, they bring the dog to an area where a snake is in the ground.

"We use an electronic collar, we give a light knick on the collar, that startles the dog, gives the dog a reaction," said Oosthuisen. "The dog learns how to associate that odor that they just smelled with something negative, and teaches them to stay away from the snake."

Then, the dog is brought over to another area where the snake can be heard.

"Once the snake rattles and the dog picks up on the sound of the rattle, we give them a little knick," said Oosthuisen. "The dog learns how to associate the sound with the knick, and obviously then runs away."

Jane has brought her dog, Bentley, to the training several times. She says it's already proven to be worth it.

"He will find it first and then avoid it," said Jane. "We were on our little walk in the morning and he went to his area to go potty and then he was like no, I think I'm going to back up and there was a big snake. So, he saved us too."