Local dog owners are invited to join a free possum avoidance dog training session by Geo Bay Dog Training in Busselton and Dunsborough.
Reports of injury to possums and other native wildlife by dogs is on the increase in this region. Dogs can be taught to coexist with possums in backyards with training and perseverance. Responsible dog owners want their dogs to live in harmony with possums and wildlife.
Asher Lindberg from Geo Bay Dog Training will run training sessions in Busselton and Dunsborough as part of GeoCatch’s Pets Away Possums Play responsible pet ownership campaign. Dog owners will learn distraction and ‘leave it’ techniques to help avoid interactions with possums. The techniques can also be applied to other native wildlife found in our urban backyards.
“Reducing harmful interactions between dogs and possums is possible if the owner is committed to put the effort and time into training their dog to avoid possums,” said Asher.
Dog owners also learn about physical barriers to prevent dog and possum interactions in the backyard. Attaching a run of timber or branches along the top of a fence, especially along slippery Colorbond, allows possums to move safely through the urban landscape.
Western ringtail possums are critically endangered and at risk of becoming extinct in the wild. There is a misconception in the community that their numbers are stable because they are frequently seen in our backyards. However, their geographical range has reduced significantly, and they continue to be under threat from habitat clearing, road accidents and predation from domestic pets and foxes.
“The good news is that everyone can be part of the solution by keeping pets contained at night at a minimum, training our dogs to avoid possums, planting trees, driving slowly at night and retaining mature trees,” said GeoCatch Project Officer Nicole Lincoln.
The training sessions will be run on Thursday 12 May in Busselton and Sunday 22 May in Dunsborough. To register or find out more about responsible pet ownership go to the GeoCatch website geocatch.asn.au
This project is delivered by GeoCatch through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, in partnership with South West Catchments Council.