Kiwi avoidance training for dogs
Dogs and kiwi should never meet. But just in case they do, kiwi avoidance training could help protect the kiwi.
Kiwi and dogs don’t mix. All dogs, regardless of their size, breed, or temperament, have the potential to kill a kiwi.
The best option is to keep dogs on a lead and away from kiwi areas. But for dogs that need to go into areas where kiwi live, avoidance training is a tool that could help reduce the threat dogs pose to kiwi.
Why is a dog so harmful to kiwi?
A kiwi’s skeleton is very fragile. Just a gentle nudge from an inquisitive dog has the potential to crush its very delicate ribcage and internal organs.
Kiwi avoidance training explained
Before a dog can be trained to avoid kiwi, it must have been taught basic obedience so that it does what its owner asks.
As part of the training, dogs are walked, usually not on a lead, past a few different props like a stuffed kiwi or 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. The dog quickly learns that these objects are something to stay away from.
The dog is then walked past similar props and, if it avoids them, is certified as having shown consistent kiwi avoidance behaviour. Refreshers are held, usually after around 12 months, to make sure the dog remembers what it has learnt.
However, kiwi avoidance training does not make a dog ‘kiwi-proof’. It should only be used for ‘dogs with jobs’ such as hunting dogs or farm dogs that have to be in kiwi areas. Other dogs should not be taken into kiwi areas.
Does kiwi avoidance training work?
Kiwi avoidance training is not a silver bullet. Even after a dog has been trained, an uncontrolled or roaming dog may still attack a kiwi, especially if it is not regularly retrained.
The best option is simply to keep dogs away from places wild kiwi live. If it is unavoidable to take a dog into a kiwi area, it should always be under control. In many cases this means on a lead, regardless of whether it has been avoidance trained.
Photo credit: Colin Salt
Find a kiwi avoidance trainer
Keen to get your dog kiwi avoidance trained? Certified kiwi avoidance trainers are located all over New Zealand; contact your nearest one for more details about future training days.
Northland and Far North
027 483 7050
(email preferred way of contact)
(Certifier no. 2)
09 408 7800 or 09 408 6014 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Hanham and Wallis Cocks
(Certifier no. 3)
021 872 476
Thames and Coromandel
(Certifier no. 9)
07 867 9080
(Certifier no. 10)
027 235 8424 or 07 868 9912
(Certifier no. 11)
(Certifier no. 40)
021 716 514
There is currently no trainer in the Auckland Region. Please contact Guus Knopers or Malcom Macfarlane.
Waikato & Bay of Plenty
(Certifier no. 12)
07 856 4611 or 022 600 5783
(Certifier no. 13)
027 5927 737 email@example.com
Te Puke/Western Bay of Plenty
(Certifier no. 14)
07 325 2142 or 027 809 8185
(Certifier no. 15)
07 315 1001
(Certifier no. 19)
07 312 9659
(Certifier no. 41)
027 359 0146
Hawkes Bay, Taranaki & Central North Island
(Certifier no. 21)
06 376 5155, 027 3858191 or 06 834 3111 (DOC Napier)
06 349 2100
(Certifier no. 34)
027 287 6772
(Certifier no. 35)
06 759 0350 or 027 2159 199
(Certifier no. 37)
027 577 3869
(Certifier no. 38)
022 3422 191
Ohakune & Rotorua
(Certifier no. 27)
021 259 8299 or 07 8922691
Central & Southern North Island
(Certifier no. 28)
027 360 4129
Central North Island
South Island & Stewart Island
(Certifier no. 20)
(Certifier no. 39)
027 591 2259
Stephen (Billy) Barton
(Certifier no. 42)
021 022 77173
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