Forget social distancing, everything’s going online andGriffith University’sLeave Itproject has embraced the opportunity, hosting two free live onlinedogtraining eventsthis weekend.

Leave Itdelivers a variety of free resources and a network of companies that are available to helpman’s best friend.

Dr Patricia David, a Social Marketing @ Griffith project leader, said surveys conducted by theLeave Itteam 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 theSocial Marketing @ Griffithteam 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.

TheLeave Itprogram 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 theLeave Itteam demonstrated that expert trainers, such as Ryan Tate, couldshowdog trainers serving the South East communityhow they can teach wildlife aversion(to avoid wildlife)and in turn local dog trainers could teach aversionjust 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 wildlifetoo.

Steve Austin and Ryan Tatehave conducted dogtraining workshopswithlocal dog trainers in the Redlands area and as a result, local dog trainers that participated in the Leave It workshopsare 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 iseven moreimportantnowtoteachdog ownersthathaving a well-trained dogcan have a great impact on our wildlife,astheyare less likely tointeractorharm wildlifewhen they can be recalled and taught aversion,Dr Davidexplained.

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 livethis Saturday, 2 Mayand provide dog owners with direct access viafacebookto 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 coverbasic commands andthe 6pm event will focus onadvancedcommands, witheach followed by a live Q&A session with expert trainer Ryan Tate.

The live events will be hosted on the Facebook pageRedland Animal Shelter. To register and send some questions about your dog needs, go to the Leave It project website —

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 programand accredited trainers, go to theLeaveItwebsite