Avian awareness and avoidance training
IntroductionKiwi and bird avoidance training helps reduce native ground-dwelling birds being killed or disturbed by dogs.
Where dogs can be trained
- Contact a local trainer – Kiwi Avoidance Training NZ website has trainer details and a list of upcoming courses
- Contact your local DOC office. Note: not all local offices coordinate training.
Why avian avoidance training is needed
Help protect native bird species. Avian awareness and avoidance training helps to avoid native birds getting killed and disturbed. It's also a requirement in some areas that have kiwi and other ground-dwelling birds.
Avian avoidance training does not override any dog access restrictions for an area.
How dogs are trained
Dogs are fitted with e-collars and and exposed to decoys to simulate ground-dwelling native birds and their scent in a controlled situation. Whilst sniffing these, the dog is given a positive punishment through a small but surprising corrective shock.
Most dogs quickly learn to avoid the birds following this experience. You should reinforce this message when the dog shows interest in other birds anywhere.
Certificates are issued to reflect that the dog has received training or been re-tested. Database descriptions of the dogs are recorded, along with contact details for their owners.
Your dog needs to be tested again within a year of the initial training. The dog is tested for its learned avoidance and may be retrained.
This testing or training is required annually until the dog consistently demonstrates strong avoidance. When a dog achieves this standard, the dog is certified for periods longer than one year.