Kiwi Avoidance Training

Thanks to everyone who brought their dogs along to the free Kiwi Avoidance training sessions run over January.

It was really encouraging to meet people from all walks of life, keen to protect kiwi in their backyard through responsible dog ownership. Sessions were held in Tairua, Coromandel, Colville, Waikawau Bay and Te Mata.

Kiwi Avoidance training is a simple tool to help reduce the threat dogs pose to kiwi. The training is free and only takes 5-10 minutes.  Dogs are walked past a few different props – usually a stuffed kiwi and kiwi nesting material. If the dog shows an interest in these objects, it gets a short sharp shock from the trainer, via a special collar. That makes it yelp, and the dog learns that these objects are something to stay away from. Refreshers are held, usually after 12 months, to make sure the dog remembers what it has learnt. Avoidance training is not a silver bullet. Even after it has been trained, an uncontrolled or roaming dog may still attack kiwi, so the best thing is simply to keep them away from places wild kiwi live whenever possible.

If you live near a place where wild kiwi live, or are visiting the Coromandel, you can help us protect our kiwi by making sure your dogs are tied up at night, and in sight or tied up during the day. If you’re in the bush, keep your dog on a lead at all times. And if you missed out on getting your dog trained, don’t despair. Get in touch with me to see when the next session is scheduled for your area.