Fred, the blue heeler cross, is a doggone eco hero.
He can't tell you to do what he does so you'll just have to follow his lead.
The six-year-old dog has been trained by owners Paul Culpan and Sasha Brownlie, of Te Atatu Peninsula, to pick up rubbish and put it in a bin and has already picked up almost 1000 pieces of rubbish.
Akarana Dog Training Club member Bridget Carr taught Fred in dog obedience classes.
"These are probably the best results I've seen with a dog like that," he said.
Fred came to live with the couple after they found him at Te Arai Beach near Mangawhai. They were scattering the ashes of Brownlie's dog Holly when they saw Fred with matted fur, scavenging on the sand.
"We were concerned for his welfare. Being the only ones at this remote spot, we decided to take him home and try to find his owner from there," Cuplan said.
They didn't have any luck so adopted him.
"While he was OK around humans, he was very aggressive towards other dogs," Culpan said.
But after dog obedience classes and hard work he now has tricks including opening doors and turning on light switches.
About a year ago Culpan decided to teach the dog to pick up rubbish on command and now the couple regularly gets him to help clean up.
Fred's house mate Mopar the English bull terrier cross also helps out, though his arthritis prevents him from disposing of the litter; instead he gives it to his owners.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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