Big Lil pup
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Dogs Name: Foxfire's The Real McCoy (McCoy)
Titles: Pet of the Year
Dogs Age: DOB 9/12/14
Gallery Pics: 9 Visit 4x4bike ped's Gallery
Thanked 14,434 Times in 4,891 Posts
I make them carry their own dose of Antivenin!
Serious, though... We hike on trails on the North side of the Columbia Gorge in Washington. In the late spring and summer, there are rattlesnakes. Generally if the dogs stay on the trail, it is not an issue. The snakes tend to sun or cool in the rocks of the talus slopes. The dogs don't like walking on that surface because it hurts their paws. So they stay on the path.
The exception is when baby snakes are around. They will lie under ferns right on the trail and their venom is equally dangerous.
So the bottom line: When unsure.... Leash up.
This is also true with respect to large cats, bucks in rut, porcupines, skunks, bears, moose, etc. (My boys walk on/off leash in the Yellowstone area at our cabin)
In general, my rule of thumb is that unless I am quite sure the trail or field is clear of danger,
they walk on a lead.
Hey! Better safe than sorry.
Oh, BTW, this is also true of geological hazards. Many a dog has been lost by falling/jumping off a cliff or trail.