Taupō District Council has adopted an energetic pup to become the district's first dedicated education dog.

Poppy, a Hungarian vizsla/heading dog cross, was brought to the pound by a hunting dog breeder who did not need her but wanted her in safe hands.

Instead of adopting her out, the council's compliance team decided to keep Poppy with a view to turning her into an education dog, Taupō District Council said in a statement.

Poppy is now 1 but has plenty more training to undergo before she is taken to preschools, schools and community groups for her future work.


Poundkeeper Craig O'Leary said Poppy was a happy, energetic and curious young dog who was a delightful addition to the team.

"Her natural herding ability means she is always trying to get the cat to do what she wants," O'Leary said.

"She is attending dog obedience classes through the local kennel club alongside our own staff, which reinforces her daily training. She's also spending time socialising around groups of people."

He said the decision to keep Poppy was down to the need for an education dog and the fact she was a hit with the staff as soon as she arrived.

"Previously staff were using their own pets for education, which is a big ask and requires a lot of arranging," he said.

"We also wanted to put into practice what we promote, and adopt a dog ourselves."

It was expected Poppy would become the pound's education dog later this year when she was a little older and had been fully trained.

This would involve assisting the compliance team in conducting dog education and bite prevention training in schools and community groups.


"Poppy also goes out with our compliance officers and is a great tool to encourage interaction from the community, as people love to stop and pat her and ask questions," O'Leary said.

"She always brings a smile to those she meets and greets."