Avian awareness and avoidance training
IntroductionKiwi and bird aversion training helps reduce native ground-dwelling birds being killed or disturbed by dogs.
Where dogs can be trained
There are two ways you can organise or find out when the next training session is:
- 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 aversion training is needed
Help protect native bird species. Avian awareness and aversion 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 aversion training does not override any dog access restrictions for an area.
How dogs are trained
Dogs are fitted with electric collars and exposed to dead ground-dwelling native birds and faeces in a controlled situation. Whilst sniffing these, the dog is given a negative reinforcement through a small but surprising electric 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 of attendance are issued after the training. 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.