What is a Border Collie? The Border Collie is such a unique breed of dog it would be impossible to cover all of the important traits and characteristics they possess. For a comprehensive understanding of this wonderful dog please visit the United States Border Collie Club homepage.
Do the dogs ever catch or harm the geese? No. The dogs are trained specifically not to touch or harm the geese in anyway.
Why use Border Collies? The natural herding instinct of most Border Collies affords them a great deal of satisfaction from simply causing the livestock to move. This makes them the perfect choice for Canada goose management.
How do the dogs know what to do? The dogs receive training on livestock, usually sheep, during which they are taught specific working commands. These commands are then applied to working Canada geese and can be utilized even when the dogs are swimming.
Why can’t I use my pet dog to chase the geese? A family pet allowed to chase geese at random is unlikely to successfully clear a site of unwelcome geese. An untrained dog may harm the geese (a violation of federal law) or run into traffic or other dangers. An untrained dog without the natural inborn characteristics and training necessary for herding work will eventually lose interest in chasing geese. This in turn can condition geese to disregard dogs as predators, making all efforts by dogs, trained or untrained to move the geese off a site less effective. (HSUS, Goose Tracks, August 2002, Issue2)
Are the dogs friendly? All the dogs are socialized and trained to work within the public arena. They are very friendly and always eager to visit with the general public when they are not working.
Why don’t all of the dogs look like Border Collies? Border Collies as a breed appear in many different varieties. Smooth coat, rough coat, large, small, black and white, tri-colored, red, and so on. Border Collies are bred for their working abilities rather than for their appearance.
What is the difference between a working dog and a pet dog? Primarily, the working dog is highly trained to perform certain tasks based on that dog’s natural instincts and abilities. In appearance the working dog is usually leaner than the pet dog, much as an athlete is usually leaner than the average person. They require more exercise and mental stimulation than pet dogs as well.