Posts Tagged ‘airport runway herding’

Piper is a hardworking 7-year-old Border Collie who has a very interesting job. He’s assigned at the runway in Cherry Capital Airport in Michigan and he makes sure that the airplanes can take off safely by keeping birds and other creatures at bay.

The airport’s perimeters is known to have geese, ducks, owls and foxes lurking in its runways and the situation can potentially cause damage to the planes. Worse, their presence can lead to accidents that should’ve been prevented, and that’s where Piper’s duties come in.

Piper is tasked to shoo-away the creatures, regularly patrol the runway and keep the lurking wildlife off the perimeters. It was his owner, Brian Edwards, who assigned him to the job. Edwards works as a supervisor at the airport, but he’s been Piper’s master since 2012.

Edwards discovered that Piper loves playing outdoors, particularly when it involves obstacle races. So, recognizing the dog’s skills, he started training the Border Collie. However, the process had some challenges in the beginning, especially since Piper had to get used to the sound of the airplanes.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

“Most of the training revolved around off leash control, making sure he would listen to me no matter what,” Edwards told KTVU. “Chasing birds comes pretty natural to this guy, so we didn’t have to work on that as much as the obedience.”

“We train for the worst possible scenario, knowing we’re going to perform our best,” said Edwards.

Now, one year into the job, and Piper, who turns eight in April, still trains with Edwards when they’re not at work. His master and handler notes that Piper is great at his jobs because, Border Collies are natural herders.

Watch a video of Piper in action below:

A video posted by K-9 Piper (@airportk9) on Feb 15, 2016 at 5:53pm PST