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Re: Border Collies for Deer Control

On the other hand, if you want a dog to protect your hostas, I recommend
that you do not get a Westhighland White Terrier.  Mine finds hostas
delicious.  We grow stock plants of our largest varieties, things the size
of Sum and Substance, in 25 gallon tree pots, which are bigger than half
whisky barrels and take two people to lift.  Our dog will actually jump up
in the pots, break off the leaves at the bottom of the petiole and sit there
and eat them like a stalk of celery.  She also has a game she made up that's
called "Lets grab a pot with an expensive hosta in it and run and jump with
it til the soil is everywhere and the plant is a mess and then we might as
well eat it."

Jim, does your dog stay out all night?  I guess border collies are smart
enough that they wouldn't chase the deer until they couldn't find their way
back home.  I'm not so sure any of our dogs are bright enough.


Jim Hawes wrote:

> Robins All,
> Several months ago  I read of the experiences of a few hosta gardeners
> regarding the use of Border Collies to control damage by deer.  I missed
> my chance to participate at that time, so I want to add my 2 cents worth
> now.
> John Lanier's post was my favorite to read and enjoy...partly because I
> was familiar with John's experiences with Clea, his beautiful female
> Border Collie. I had been familiar also with Pete Ruh's experiences as
> he described them to me personally via telephone. Descriptions of
> excellent control were so  convincing to me that I have joined the ranks
> of hosta gardeners with a Border Collie to guard my garden.
> In October 1999 I acquired as a gift from my cousin in West Virginia, a
> six week old purebred, smooth, tricolored merle male puppy whose sire
> was obtained from Scotland at a cost of 700 dollars. This ensures, most
> likely, that he came from excellent stock...at least for a working breed
> such as a Border Collie. I named my puppy Cleo out of respect for John's
> Clea. I took the puppy to Florida where he grew up , bonded with me,
> played in the back yard and chased about 500,000 motocycles on the other
> side of the fence during "bike week" in Volusia County in March 2000.
> He was returned to my tree farm in Oakland MD in June 2000. He took up
> his gaurd duty with gusto and has been on duty all summer, doing an
> excellent job of preventing the dozens of deer in my wooded neighborhood
> from grazing and browsing in my hosta garden. I have practically NO
> damage in my acre of hostas which are surrounded by 100's of acres of
> dense hardwood forest. So Cleo has done his job and will continue it
> through the coming winter. Do deer eat hostas in the winter??? You bet!
> If  not prevented, they will chew off fat, dormant buds which exist on
> top of huge clumps  of hostas so that they will not sprout in the
> spring.
> Meanwhile, Alex Summers had been looking for a Border Collie to control
> damage in his garden in Bridgeville Delaware  but could not find one.
> Border Collies, as you may  know, are in high demand to use in weekend
> working dog trials...a new, highly polular weekend sport for
> suburbanites and rural dog fanciers. So I searched for one in my area
> for Alex. I found a beautiful six week old, white collared, black  puppy
> in Princetown, WV in southern West Virginia and took it to Alex who was
> delighted with it.  Its name is Rascal, after another dog with the same
> name.
> So by now, there are perhaps many other hosta gardeners with Border
> Collies protecting their owner's investment and hard work. Could we see
> a show of hands ( or a brief description of your experiences...good or
> bad?)
> I am getting a new little puppy from someone who has just had a litter
> of six this week. It must be LUV for the breed????????????????????
> Jim Hawes
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