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Man’s Best Friend could help improve Great Lakes water quality

Craig Paterson|

A recent study from Central Michigan University found that border collies could help improve water quality in the Great Lakes.

The study said gulls visiting Michigan beaches often bring e coli, salmonella, and other bacteria that harms environmental quality and can lead to health concerns.


The study used border collies to chase birds off the beaches to keep the area clean.


Researchers said dogs are the best method for keeping gulls away and protecting the beaches natural beauty.


Thomas Gehring is an author of the newly published study. He said border collies are herding dogs that were breed for this type of work.


“They would stalk and then chase at the birds and flush the birds from the beaches before they could stick around long and prevent them from landing.”


Gehring said there are other tools available but dogs are one of the best options.


“Other non lethal tools would be over head wires you could put on beaches but that wouldn’t be very attractive. You can’t really fly a kite through overhead wires, cables on the beach. So it is a effective and more human friendly tool.”


Gehring said border collies would be a great investment to help protect the environment and prevent beach closures that could hurt tourism.