Dislikes having to leave his warm kennel early in the morning to go to work.

Joe

8 year old male, black Labrador-Staffy cross.

Home

Lives on the Gold Coast with his handler Martin, where he has his own luxury kennel as well as the run of the house and yard to play in and socialise.

Attributes

Young, physically robust, sound temperament, highly social with above average social exposure, compliant attitude toward handler and a strong play-retrieve drive.

Likes

Loves his ball, any ball and people who want to throw him a ball. Food, people who want to feed him, all people who show him attention and especially kids. Swimming, swimming in mud and laying in the dirt.

Dislikes

Having to leave his warm kennel early in the morning to go to work. He’s not that interested in birds unless there is a ball involved.

Trainer

Craig A Murray, internationally certified specialist dog trainer with more than 20 years experience.

Job

Canine Dispersal Unit.  Disperse all targeted birds from the airport without effecting aircraft operations and without causing injury to birds. Present a predator-prey threat to deter birds from returning to airport environment.

Handler

Martin Ziviani, wildlife biologist with over 8 years experience in aerodrome wildlife management. Previous history

Originally acquired as a family pet, Joe was surrendered to a Labrador dog welfare organisation as a one year old due to behavioural problems. Subsequent assessment rendered him unsuitable for re-homing with euthanasia being the likely outcome.

Professional dog trainer Craig Murray was contacted to conduct a final assessment of Joe as a candidate working dog prior to making a decision to euthanase. Craig’s assessment showed that Joe possessed a strong play-retrieve drive giving him a possible future as a working dog.

In the 18 months that followed, Joe underwent extensive obedience and behavioural training bringing him up to the level of a companion dog with potential for specialization in any number of roles.

Canine Dispersal Project

  • 2009, Gold coast Airport accepts a proposal for Avisure to supply Australia’s first purpose trained airport canine dispersal unit to assist in the management of birds on aerodromes.
  • July 2010 Craig Murray engaged to source and train suitable candidates for bird dispersal work on airports.
  • Initial training in obedience and prey drive were undertaken off airport to establish suitability and reliability of the dog prior to introduction to the airport environment.
  • 2 candidates were found to be unsuitable after initial training and assessment.
  • Joe completed initial training and assessment, displaying suitable attributes needed for ongoing training.
  • January 2011, Martin Ziviani takes on the role of dog handler for Joe.
  • January to March 2011 Joe is introduced to the Gold Coast Airport airside environment for further assessment  to determine temperament stability and  handling compliance and dispersal performance.
  • March 2011 to present, Joe has continued to work successfully in his role as a canine dispersal dog.
  • Joe is now the first fully employed dispersal dog in Australia with more than 18 months spent working on Gold Coast Airport. 
  • When last assessed Joe had successfully dispersed approximately 1000 birds from Gold Coast Airport with a success rate of over 90%.

The Future

Joe will continue to work at Gold Coast Airport managing their birdlife in the foreseeable future. Hopefully Joe will lead the way as the first of many such Canine Dispersal Units employed on aerodromes around the world as airport operators look for more effective ways of controlling the birds that are attracted to them.