Pepper the bull terrier patrols Kruger

Posted by Christi Nortier on 12 April 2019

The general manager of Greenfire Game Lodge in the Kruger National Park, Adrian Wilkins, has owned seven bull terriers in the past, but had never thought that this small, brave and comical dog could be his patrol partner in Kruger.

The lodge needed a canine who could be strong and intimidating enough to handle poachers in Big Five country, but small enough to sit on the seat of a Land Cruiser or helicopter. Along with this, this patrol pup needed to be gentle enough to respect other pets and camp guests, but savvy enough to sense danger.

Wilkins researched working dogs for more than a year before deciding that a bull terrier had what it takes to be on patrol in the veld.

He trained the now two-year-old Pepper to accompany him on stakeouts, which can last days.

They do the rounds in the Balule Nature Reserve, which has an open border to the Kruger National Park. She patrols among buffalo and lion and even watches over rhino for days at a time.

Pepper arrived at the Kruger lodge as a puppy. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

Pepper arrived at the Kruger lodge as a puppy. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

Pepper is now 2 years old and has her own Facebook page that documents her adventures. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

Pepper is now two years old and has her own Facebook page that documents her adventures. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

Pepper on patrol in a private nature reserve bordering Kruger. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

Pepper on patrol in a private nature reserve bordering the Kruger. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

She is small enough to sit comfortably on the front seat of a Land Cruiser. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

She is small enough to sit comfortably on the front seat of a Land Cruiser. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

She camps out with Wilkins for days at a time. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

She camps out with Wilkins for days at a time. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook

When not out on patrol, she gets to rest with her friends at home- a Jack Russell Terrier and a Sphynx cat. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook.

When not out on patrol, she gets to rest with her friends at home – a Jack Russell Terrier and a Sphynx cat. Image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook

A bull terrier is easily recognisable by its long, egg-shaped head with upright and pointed ears. They can stand as tall as 55cm and weigh up to 30kg. This muscular dog breed is described as ‘Among the most comical and mischievous citizens of dogdom, the bull terrier is playful and endearing, sometimes stubborn, but always devoted’ by the American Kennel Club.

Feature image: Pepper on Patrol/ Facebook

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