Welcome Governors Island’s newest working dog, Leader!


Introducing the newest member of Governors Island’s team of working dogs, Leader!

Did you know that a pack of dedicated dogs works to keep Governors Island free of Canada geese year-round? Besides damaging the Island’s landscapes, the geese can be aggressive towards humans and their waste can lead to the spread of invasive species.

After trying many different methods of goose control, working dogs proved to be the most sustainable, humane, and adorable solution. Herding dogs like border collies make great guardians against flocks of geese. Their natural herding instincts urge them to control, but never to harm, large groups of geese, effectively chasing the birds away. While herding dogs make for a powerful goose deterrent, geese are persistent and so our pooches must remain ever vigilant.The dogs take turns staying overnight on the Island, typically making the rounds (with a human caretaker in tow) at about dawn and dusk daily.

Leader in the snow at Liggett Terrace

Governors Island has ‘employed’ these canine coworkers since 2014, beginning our first working dog, Max. The pack has grown over the years with Quinn, Chip and Aspen joining the ranks before we most recently welcomed Leader.Born last July, the seven-month-old Leader brings the pack to a formidable five furry friends. Like all of our working dogs, Leader joined us from the Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue, which works to rescue collies and place them in homes best suited to their individual needs.

So far, Leader is fitting right in with the rest of the crew and is now learning to use his herding abilities to chase away geese. He loves exploring Governors Island and playing in the snow. See how Leader and all of our working dogs spend their days by following them on Instagram at @giworkingdogs!

From left: Quinn, Chip, Max and Leader