NZ Conservation Dogs: Millie the Rat Dog
By Kate Graeme, KCO Tauranga
At Aongatete, we met Scott and his conservation dog, Millie. Millie is trained to hunt out rats and is used on pest eradication projects. We were amazed at how high she could climb. Scott explained that being a small dog she was nimble and light, and had even been dangled down cliffs on a harness to sniff out rats!
Millie has been trained to hunt rats and avoid birds, but she always wears a muzzle in the forest just in case, as even the best dogs will instinctively chase things that run. This is why dogs are a threat to ground dwelling birds like kiwi and weka, and should not go in forests where they live.