Fish losses due to bird depredation are an ongoing problem on most fish farms.  State and federal laws prohibit the taking of most species of birds; therefore, the aquaculturist is left with few choices other than pyrotechnics or bird netting to address this dilemma.  Pyrotechnics are inherently dangerous; bird netting, while effective, can only be used to cover small ponds.  Furthermore, birds and other animals frequently become entangled in the netting material.


    Cabo, our border collie, was trained by Dr. Nick Carter at Border Collie Rescue to chase birds.  The inherent herding instinct of this breed, coupled with their intelligence and agility, make them perfect candidates for such tasks.

    The advantages of using border collies in bird harassment are manifold:

  1. They provide a non-lethal means of control.  Unlike other breeds, border collies seek to herd, rather than to catch, the animals they chase.
  2. Border collies truly are working dogs.  They will run to exhaustion.  It is up to the handler to make the dog take a rest.
  3. Although birds habituate to the various pyrotechnic and other scaring devices, they never get used to a wolf-like predator chasing them.
  4. Border collies can be good companions, provided that their needs are met.  They are very active and somewhat obsessive-compulsive.  If you donít give the dog something to do, you can rest assured that he will find something to occupy his time.  They need open space, positive control and a task to perform.


Please visit the Border Collie Rescue site at  for further information.  Dr. Carter and his staff do an excellent job of training and placing border collies and they need our support. 

  Remember:  If itís not a border collie, itís just a dog.




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Copyright © 2002 Florida Fish Farms, Inc.
Last modified: March 15, 2004