! Alert

Temporary Construction Alert: Please be advised that several areas on Governors Island will be impacted throughout September due to the installation of Charles Gaines’s “Moving Chains” and the Longines Global Champions Tour. Click here for details.

Temporary Construction Alert: Please be advised that several areas on Governors Island will be impacted throughout September due to the installation of Charles Gaines’s “Moving Chains” and the Longines Global Champions Tour. Click here for details.

Wel­come Max, the Gov­er­nors Island Work­ing Dog!

Here on Gov­er­nors Island we work real­ly hard to make sure we achieve 100% vis­i­tor sat­is­fac­tion. Over the past few sea­sons, a num­ber of vis­i­tors have noticed goose drop­pings on our lawns, espe­cial­ly in the beau­ti­ful new park. As we get ready for the new sea­son, as we always do, we vac­u­um our lawns. In addi­tion, this year, we also brought on Max! Max’s job is to make the Island a more enjoy­able place for our human vis­i­tors by mak­ing it less attrac­tive to Cana­da geese.

Max is the newest mem­ber of the Gov­er­nors Island team and was adopt­ed by our Direc­tor of Park and Pub­lic Space, Jim Reed! Max is a five year old res­cued Bor­der Col­lie. While dogs and oth­er pets aren’t allowed on Gov­er­nors Island unless they are ser­vice ani­mals, Max is a work­ing dog.

While Cana­da geese can be love­ly to look at, they leave a mess (they eat up to four pounds of grass a day and leave over a pound of waste per goose!), and can be aggres­sive toward peo­ple when they are nest­ing. To ensure the enjoy­ment and safe­ty of vis­i­tors, as well as the safe­ty of the geese, Jim brought Max on board. Reduc­ing the goose pop­u­la­tion also helps our over­all efforts to cre­ate wildlife habi­tats and increase eco­log­i­cal diver­si­ty on the Island in the form of terns, owls, kestrels, pere­grine fal­cons, song birds etc., as well as a vari­ety of flour­ish­ing plant life.

Bor­der Col­lies are trained to herd and dis­cour­age the geese from hang­ing out, but they will nev­er harm the ani­mals. In fact, Bor­der Col­lies are rec­om­mend­ed by the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion and the Humane Soci­ety due to their high­ly evolved herd­ing instincts. Jim spent six months search­ing and con­sult­ing with about a dozen pro­fes­sion­al dog han­dlers, breed­ers and train­ers before he adopt­ed Max in Jan­u­ary 2015 from the Mid Atlantic Bor­der Col­lie Res­cue Pro­gram in Mary­land (http://​www​.mabcr​.org).

Bor­der Col­lies, includ­ing Max, tend to be type A” per­son­al­i­ties that require chal­leng­ing jobs in order to be hap­py dogs. They love train­ing, rules and order, and they are well tem­pered, won­der­ful com­pan­ions to boot!

Here on Gov­er­nors Island Max gets to work all day. He loves his job so much that he does vic­to­ry rolls when­ev­er he clears a flock from a field! He’ll con­tin­ue to work herd­ing through­out the sea­son. He’ll focus his atten­tion on grassy sur­faces to allow you to pic­nic and play sports with­out hav­ing to wor­ry about goose waste.

In addi­tion to his love of herd­ing, Max loves peo­ple. Jim trained him to be an offi­cial Gov­er­nors Island greeter and help wel­come peo­ple to this Island. So, while you’re vis­it­ing Gov­er­nors Island this sum­mer you’re sure to see Max at work wear­ing his bright orange work vest. Feel free to take a pic­ture, and if he’s not active­ly herd­ing, say hi! Max and the rest of the Gov­er­nors Island team can’t wait to see on May 23!