You may remember seeing a video a few years back of a black labrador called Lila, who grabbed our attention with her love for diving for lobsters. Well, these days it seems that Lila’s up to something even more incredible, having been trained to collect plastic bottles and waste from the sea:
That’s right, just when you thought a pooch couldn’t get any more badass, she gets all environmental on us and blows us all out of the water. Pun very much intended.
Lila’s been diving for a while now, having been trained by owner Alex Schulze to go and fetch lobsters from the seabed.
But now the pair have teamed up to use Lila’s incredible skillsfor a far better cause – helping clean up the sea with 4Ocean, a company that helps clean up the world’s waters by creating bracelets made from recycled materials.
Schulze, who was raised on a small island on the west coast of Florida and is the co-founder of 4Ocean, was inspired to train his very clever doggo to catch lobsters when he was out in the open water himself.
Writing in his original video‘s description, he said: “I am devoted to the ocean and I trained my black lab Lila how to dive underwater and pick up toys.
“One day while out free diving, I had the idea of trying to get Lila to catch a live lobster. Sureenough she caught a lobster on her first try, and the rest was history.”
So how do you get your four-legged pal to be as amazing as Lila? Well, as you know, fetching plastic bottles starts with fetching lobsters – and that apparently just stems from fetching toys, which is something most dogs can do.
In Schulze’s original video, he shows us just how he managed to train Lila. First he starts off by getting her to fetch a toy from his pool at home. He then places it underwater – in a shallow area at first, just on the steps – before moving the toy deeper and deeper for her to find.
Eventually, he lobs the into the deep end for Lila to successfully retrieves it – before she graduates onto the ocean, jumping off his boat to get those lobsters.
Schulze reckons the key is not to push your dog too far, and that it can be a long, gradual process.
“The best advice that I could have for anyone teaching their dogs to catch a lobster, is to never push the dogs’ limits,” Schulze told the Huffington Post.
“Training might not go as quickly as expected, so you must take your time training the dogs and make sure that they are always comfortable.”
Featured Image Credit: 4Ocean