Rabbit the terrier-cross thoroughly enjoyed himself at Byron Shire’s first ‘Bow Wow! Look at me now!’ dog training and treats event. The koala avoidance technique “Ah, Ah. Look at me!” got his attention and a treat. Rabbit practiced what he learnt during an ‘On-leash Riverside Nature Walk’ with Ecologist Dr. Jo Green, along the rehabilitated Brunswick riverbank near koala habitat in Mullumbimby.
Rabbit jumped at the chance to attend Byron Shire Council’s first ‘Bow Wow! Look at me now!’ event along with 100 dog owners and their furry friends. He scored a complementary health check and nail clip from Bec the Mullumbimby vet, as well as a complementary dog wash from a lovely lady Gayle, which made him a happy hound indeed.
Living on a property which is just a short run to koala habitat, Rabbit hasn’t actually encountered a koala yet and he’s unsure of how he might react if he does. While sitting quietly under a beautiful old fig tree with his mates, dog trainer Brooke put pooches through their paces in an interactive dog training session which included a koala/wildlife avoidance technique.
Rabbit’s Mum Jane volunteered him to take centre-stage where he learnt the finger-point “Ah, ah. Look at me!” command (good onya Mum!). Brooke used the positive reinforcement training technique to distract Rabbit from the other dogs. When he stopped, paid attention and came to her, he received a yummy morsel for being a good boy. Brooke said, “As a dog, Rabbit is likely to be the first to spot a koala or other wildlife while out walking, and his attention can be redirected to a safer route.”
Another lovely lady, Liz from Byron Shire Council asked Rabbit, “What did you like most about the day?”. Woofing his words Rabbit said, “I really loved learning how to avoid koalas and getting treats for it. Now I know that koalas, especially sick ones, can feel threatened even if they don’t show it, and they have very sharp claws!”
When Rabbit was leaving, Liz said, “Thanks for coming Rabbit. Enjoy your free doggie gift bag and don’t forget, it’s spring which means koalas are on move. A koala could surprise you, so do as you’re told and stay safe.” Rabbit thoroughly enjoyed Bow Wow! Look at me now! and got see it on the TV news that night.