Copperhead snakes visit our garden over the summer months. And we
have the added joy, living where we do, of getting the occassional
visit from other snake species.
It’s more than nerve wrecking to say the least to see Ezra our Boxer dog on a copper head snake hunt in the garden. We can’t stop her from getting too close, she probably finds them when we aren’t even there.
We have now learned when we see her hanging around a particular part of
the garden for no apparent reason for too long then it could well be
that she is off hunting for another copperhead snake. I had to
actually go out today and check on what she was spending so much time on
under a particular bush - no snake - this time.
If you see your dog acting this way I would advise you to take the dog away and very carefully check out what they are so interested in, you really don't want to be dealing with a dog snake bite just because you didn't check out your dog's odd behaviour.
We know of two occasions where Ezra found copperhead snakes in the garden. One was when she came inside with a serum type liquid on the side of her nose. I took little notice of this as I thought she had been rubbing up against a plant or something like that and gotten some sap on her nose. (Yes, I agree – call me stupid).
Then about 20 minutes later we saw two puncture marks with small blood spots in the exact same place. You can imagine what happened then – off to the Vet but thankfully she was fine. He suspects the snake did strike at her but she is lightening fast and must have pulled back just as the snake venom was about to go in. It was the sort of dog snake bite you have when you're not having a proper dog snake bite!
Ezra our Boxer Rescue Dog.
We adopted her three years ago after finding out about her plight on a website for boxer rescue. She was almost 5 years old at the time and about to be put to sleep as the original owners had tired of her!!!!!
Now she has a new life, put on an extra 3 kilos (no more bones showing). We had her chronic ear infection cured, although there does seem to be a degree of deafness as a result of years of neglect. Her thyroid problem (not previously treated) is now under control although she will be on daily medication for that for the rest of her life.
She runs like the wind around our 6 acres. Has her own new beanbag to snuggle into at night, has her lounge room pet futon for resting on in front of the fire, has her dog toy box in the lounge, has over one acre of house garden strewn with dog toys, has her giant schnauzer Mickey as a best friend and no longer feels quite as intimidated by our 19 year old cat.
All in all, she is a VERY happy and MUCH loved dog - to be sure:)
The other time we were working on the veranda and my husband saw her
make several really fast jumps away from the side of the house, but kept
looking back to where she had been. By now we knew it was probably
another copper head snake and sure enough, there it was, yet another copperhead snake. We monitored her condition for the next few hours and yet again she was fine.
We previously had a female boxer dog so know a ‘little’ about boxer dog training. I am sure if you are a boxer dog owner you will know what I mean when I say a ‘little’, they sure can take a while to learn some things.
When we first got her home I checked on the net for boxer dog information regarding training and see it’s generally agreed that the rescue boxer dogs are keen to please. Ezra is actually easy to train and I think it’s because she is so eager to be involved with us and spend time with us. She seems to still have that independent boxer mind though but is quicker to train that I had thought she would be (Lucky us). It certainly puts our minds at rest knowing we have enough control to be able to call her away from a copperhead snake.
At her age she is fast enough it seems to get away from a copperhead snake strike but we worry that as she ages she will slow down and that may cause the end of her. There seems to be no interest in attacking the snake, just a fatalistic curiosity at finding out what’s moving in her garden.