Australian Aviation Bird Strike Dispersal Dog
Approximately 2002, an environmental and aviation safety company approached us to enquire if we could train a dog to be highly obedient and controlled to work off lead on the airside of an international airport. They also required the same dog to be totally controlled and driven to chase birds and act in a strong, predatory manner to scare birds off the airport landing and take off paths with very limited risk to the wildlife. The dog must be able to call off mid-chase or even do multiple chases and to stop or drop on hand signal, voice command or even via a whistle command and not be scared or worried by the extreme sights and sounds of airport operations and aircraft movements.
This dog was to be used to move on birds away from the airport so they did not get injured and would not collide with aircraft and cause damage or even cause the aircraft to crash. I had not ever heard of this bird strike situation before this dog but was very excited to possibly get the chance to be challenged and produce a dog that could do this job and possibly save both human and birds lives and make air travel even safer.
Nothing more happened until mid 2010 and then the company Avisure contracted us to produce the first Australian bird strike dog that would have official approval to work off lead at an international airport. The previous year, the Labrador Rescue club brought us a dog they had just saved from euthanasia and we took him in a heartbeat as he was perfect as a sniffer dog candidate but we had no job for him at that time so he just stayed at our home as one of our dogs. Joe is his name and he was also perfect for a bird strike dog and has excelled at this and is a prized employee of Avisure and the birds in the locations he works both revere him and fear him but he is truly an environmentalist and a humanitarian all in one happy fun-loving Labrador dog.
His human partner Biologist Martin Ziviani would not swap his canine work partner and he takes Joe home as his life long friend. Thank you Avisure for giving us this wonderful opportunity and giving Joe the best job he could have dreamt of.