Meet the dogs protecting fairy penguins in Australia

Last updated at 06:59
To enjoy the CBBC Newsround website at its best you will need to have JavaScript turned on.
Martin has been finding out more about the penguin protections dogs

The world's smallest penguins are being protected from foxes by a group of specially trained dogs.

The little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, grow to be about 30-40 centimetres tall and live by the coast of South Australia and New Zealand.

On Middle Island in Australia the colony of little penguins who live there were suffering badly from fox attacks.

At one point it got so bad that there were only around 10 penguins left.

Penguin guardian in trainingWarrnambool Council

A local farmer who used specially trained dogs called Maremma, to protect his chickens from the foxes decided to step in to help the penguins.

He started walking along the beaches with the dogs. Because the foxes didn't like the smell of the dogs, they stayed away, allowing the penguins to move about freely.

As a result, the little penguin population has increased, and the story has even been turned into a film.

Footage courtesy of ABC Behind the News (Australia)