Forget social distancing, everything’s going online and Griffith University’s Leave It project has embraced the opportunity, hosting two free live online dog training events this weekend.
Leave It delivers a variety of free resources and a network of companies that are available to help man’s best friend.
Dr Patricia David, a Social Marketing @ Griffith project leader, said surveys conducted by the Leave It team with over 600 dog owners showed that 57 per cent of dogs dig holes, 32 per cent chew furniture, 10 per cent have caught wildlife and nine per cent killed wildlife, like koalas.
“The Leave it program has a serious side and over the past four years the Social Marketing @ Griffith team have received funding from Redland City Council to understand how dog and koala interactions could be reduced,” Dr David said.
“Domestic pets, people and wildlife need to co-exist if we are to retain iconic Australian animals such as the koala.
“The Leave It program has partnered with two of the most renowned dog trainers in Australia, Steve Austin and Ryan Tate, to help to solve problem behaviours in our beloved pets, which will in turn help our koala population.
“Dogs, cars and where we build houses are all leading causes of mortality for koalas living in semi-urban and urban areas.”
In the first pilot program the Leave It team demonstrated that expert trainers, such as Ryan Tate, could show dog trainers serving the South East community how they can teach wildlife aversion (to avoid wildlife) and in turn local dog trainers could teach aversion just like sit, stay and come.
The pilot program was created with the help of local dog owners using a process called co-design. Insights from the research identified that dog owners wanted programs to fun, teach them what to do and importantly they wanted programs to be dog focused.
A further key insight was to make sure that any program did not focus only on koalas given that dogs can chase and kill other forms of wildlife too.
Steve Austin and Ryan Tate have conducted dog training workshops with local dog trainers in the Redlands area and as a result, local dog trainers that participated in the Leave It workshops are now “Leave It accredited dog trainers”.
The workshops consist of more advanced training techniques as well as a focus on the “leave It” command specific to wildlife (wildlife aversion).
“Following the impact of last year’s bushfires on our koalas and other wildlife, it is even more important now to teach dog owners that having a well-trained dog can have a great impact on our wildlife, as they are less likely to interact or harm wildlife when they can be recalled and taught aversion,” Dr David explained.
With over 1.25 billion animal lives lost due to the bushfires across Australia, all initiatives to protect wildlife are crucial.
Leave It Live Events:
The free online events will be delivered live this Saturday, 2 May and provide dog owners with direct access via facebook to Ryan Tate.
Dog owners can join sessions on Saturday to get help with any challenge they are facing with their pet, whether it is barking at the post man, eating the couch or chasing wildlife.
The 4pm event will cover basic commands and the 6pm event will focus on advanced commands, with each followed by a live Q&A session with expert trainer Ryan Tate.
Basic Dog Commands Training and Q&A webinar
Saturday 2 May, 4pm
Facebook page: @RedlandAnimalShelter
FREE Advanced Dog Commands Training and Q&A webinar
Saturday 2 May, 6pm
Facebook page: @RedlandAnimalShelter
For more tips on how to train your dogs, or more information about the program and accredited trainers, go to the Leave It website