DONATE NOW
Become a FRIEND OF THE FARM

"Navigation Toolbar for Beyond Basic Rescue.."  (for quick access to info)             HOME

Life at GHF

Sweet BC Rescue

Dogs Available

Courtesy Listings

Success Stories

Relinquish a dog

Adoption Process

You Can Help


WHAT’S GONE WRONG?

Border Collies originally came to America to be an important tool for farmers and ranchers to herd sheep and livestock, just as they had in Scotland and England for hundreds of years. The breed is critical to successfully managing herds over large acreage, successfully doing in minutes what would take a man a day to do. They have always been invaluable to a farmer. Border Collies were bred as a working dog only, unrecognized by the AKC.

There was no need for rescue until the mid-nineties when the breed was recognized by the AKC and shortly thereafter catapulted into the spotlight with the movie, “Babe”, and their overwhelming success in sports competitions on shows like Animal Planet. As their popularity soared, these dogs landed in tiny urban lots, suburban neighborhoods, and apartments, all poor choices for a dog that is bred to work 1000 acre farms. And, increased popularity led to over-breeding by backyard breeders and puppy mills, saturating the marketplace with a challenging breed, thus the birth of rescue.  
Their working heritage produces a highly intelligent, highly driven, high energy, intensely focused dog: characteristics that do not fit well in most homes. The dogs are misunderstood and penalized for their behavior, leaving thousands of dogs abandoned at shelters or relinquished to rescue. The lack of education about the breed as well as general misinformation has resulted in greater and greater numbers of dogs in rescue year after year. The growing problem is inherent to the
breed itself, misfit from a historically appropriate working situation into more often than not, a totally inappropriate situation. The breed is now one of the most frequently euthanized dogs today due to behavior issues arising from this misfit. Often described as ‘hyperactive; neurotic; quirky; obsessed; frenzied and tireless’, the breed is in serious trouble. Glen Highland Farm is meeting a need that is growing exponentially rather than declining.

MEETING UNIQUE NEEDS….
GLEN HIGHLAND FARM (GHF) is the only facility capable of handling large numbers of Border Collies and the only facility able to respond instantly to SPCA/ASPCA needs where groups of dogs are confiscated or in need of immediate help. Our onsite care is 24/7 with a caretaking team as well as volunteer base of 300 people willing to evaluate, transport and house dogs in extraordinary circumstances. For example, GHF provided care for 10 dogs cast off by a NJ breeder under SPCA investigation, as well as 18 dogs neglected and abandoned in PA, headed for a local shelter. Puppies and adult dogs from the Katrina
disaster were also sent to GHF, as well as eight dogs surrendered to the Farm from a NY Indian reservation where they lived outside in the winter without water, food or electricity for heat. GHF brought all the dogs to safe haven within 24 hours.

There is no other facility capable of managing large numbers of Border Collies who would otherwise swamp a shelter and/or would be euthanized due to the complexity of the breed. Glen Highland Farm has rescued more than 650 Border Collies since 1999 and in 2005, rescued 193 dogs from 15 different states.

The Farm is a full rescue facility with onsite adoptions, educational programs running throughout the summer and a broad-based volunteer program active throughout the northeast, the eastern seaboard and the south. More than five hundred people visit the Farm yearly to tour and participate in these programs. The educational programs are for all breeds, providing learning situations covering all aspects of dog care, health and nutrition, training, relationship building and sports. We also offer ongoing educational assistance to all adopters as well as anyone who contacts us..

THE PEOPLE

ONSITE CARE

Our onsite canine caretakers closely monitor each dog very carefully. Each Border Collie has a program designed for optimal development which is adjusted according to their progress. New rescues come in disoriented and often troubled, and then move along the spectrum to full balance. The facilities are an important tool utilized to benefit each dog as well as the people involved with them. The one-on-one involvement of staff with each dog is critical to their growth and readiness for adoption due to the high energy nature of this breed

and their mental and emotional needs. Special training programs help with the balancing process and offer challenging stimulation and focus to meet the demanding nature of the breed.

The people drawn to work at the Farm full-time are as intense as the breed themselves. They have experienced the complexity of the dogs and intuitively understand their needs. Since the facility is a highly social dog environment where very high-energy dogs are off-leash, rooming together and playing together, a special skill set is required to handle such a dynamic environment. The goal of letting the Border Collies return to their natural state necessitates that the caretakers are keenly aware of personalities and behaviors consistent with this breed, in essence the caretakers are specialists.

The primary Canine Caretaker attended one of the summer educational programs, then adopted two dogs from the Farm and felt compelled to become involved in the work. She left her ‘normal’ life as a software engineer, with a significant salary decrease, to move to The Connor House, as the resident caretaker overseeing the dogs. Her commitment to helping this breed motivated a dramatic life change.
One of the Founders oversees the entire rescue effort as well as all the developmental programs related to the dogs and manages the overall adoption process and program. With seven years dedicated to Border Collies and Border Collie mixes, she has rehomed 650 dogs with a return rate of less than 1%.

Her experience in rehoming this breed also includes extensive understanding of other breeds who live with her in her home, as well as the broad variety of breeds that attend the educational camps. In addition, she teaches innovative educational seminars onsite and offsite that are considered groundbreaking and now in demand throughout the northeast and Canada.

OFFSITE CARE

Numerous volunteers commit significant time to assisting the effort at the Farm. A network of hundreds of people remain ‘on-call’ to transport dogs from shelters or unsafe situations to the Farm. Many will drive a full day or even more, rearranging personal time to accommodate the request for help. They are thrilled to help, eager to be included and willing to attend educational events to better their skills for evaluation or transport or foster needs. Most of the foster homes have been involved with the Farm since its inception and share a common love for the work that is accomplished.

Not all are adopters, many were campers with other breeds who visited the Farm or contacted the Farm to offer help because they were inspired by the work. While they are in a support role, they take tremendous pride in the successes overall at the Farm and join in many of the events, whether it is an adoption or a fundraiser. They are truly Friends of the Farm.
The Farm succeeds in reaching thousands of people each month thanks to the generosity of one adopter who offered her company to service and host the website, pro-bono. She visited the Farm five years ago, adopting the very first dog in rescue and found the vision to be captivating. Her offer to help the dogs in this way has been a tremendous financial savings and the website has become the doorway to people finding the Farm, thus allowing for all the goals of the Farm to be achieved. The site is such a draw that people go back to it over and over and over again just for inspiration even though many are not even looking to adopt a dog.
The Farm receives 300 emails each week and 50 - 60 phone calls regarding dogs in jeopardy and/or adoptions and/or people asking for assistance with their dogs.

In five short years, GHF has become a resource for more than 200 shelters, hundreds of individuals with dog problems, more than 650 adopters and 1000’s of dog lovers who want to strengthen and improve their relationship and understanding of their dog by attending the seminars and workshops conducted at the Farm every year. The GHF website records 15,000 hits each month and continually grows in recognition.


GOING BEYOND BASIC RESCUE

THE FACILITIES -
THE MAIN BUILDING

The facilities at Glen Highland Farm were designed specifically with this herding breed in mind: huge open acreage, interactive individual dog to dog pack relationships and time to rebalance without human pressure. The breed is capable of

 independent problem solving and complex thinking so they needed a unique approach with a tremendous amount of activity. This combination allows for natural healing and transformation bringing a dog back into adoptability. Unlike other approaches that advocate heavy training, we use the land, the housing and innate healing to allow the dogs to return to their natural temperament. Then, once they are in balance, we add various approaches to strengthen their abilities and solve any distortions in behavior. Due to the high intelligence (noted by dog authorities from Cornell to Tufts) and the herding orientation, this breed cannot be housed in typical shelters or they will deteriorate rapidly, becoming despondent, frenzied or even becoming aggressive. Their inherent temperament is not aggressive; it is work driven, so without focused activities, this breed is lost.
The canine lodging is designed with the breed’s needs in mind. Up to 25 dogs reside in the main building of the Farm at any given time. A state-of-the-art horse barn has been renovated into dog apartments of varying sizes, allowing us to rehabilitate the dogs using large living space. The dogs with the greatest imbalances room in the larger rooms, providing them the freedom to stabilize without pressure. The chaotic traits they developed from being in the wrong situation eventually subside over time. In addition to factoring the size of the room based on a
dog’s needs, each dog selects a friend as a roommate. The social nature of these dogs creates safety for each rescue dog, independent of human intervention. Two Border Collies create a mental and emotional synergy with each other that amplifies their individual healing and quickly returns them to a very adoptable state. The dogs are happier with a like-minded friend and sustain well at the Farm, in fact, they thrive. Their normal mental and emotional state returns and then they are intensely active with social groups for Border Collie games, keeping them in balance until adoption.
SPECIAL LODGING QUARTERS

In addition to the main building, there are three special lodging quarters for housing dogs with special needs better suited to smaller social groups. Cozy settings with donated couches and chairs replicate a home setting

providing a calmer experience for older dogs or those needing quiet time to rebalance. One outbuilding provides relationship 24/7 since staff are always working there. Another building allows for volunteers and caretakers to overnight with the dogs in order to build stronger relationships. Extended overnight stays help the more skittish or shy dogs adjust and trust again. These buildings also allow for private training to be held without distractions. Six to eight dogs can be lodged in these buildings, as needed.
THE RECOVERY CENTER

The Connor House is a special building designed specifically for dogs who will be in the rescue program for longer periods of time. Whether through illness, surgery or emotional behavior problems, certain Border Collies require close companionship while they go through the healing

process. The Connor House is home to the Farm’s Canine Caretaker as well as the recovery dogs so they experience living within a home setting full-time, much like foster care in any other home. In its first year, The Connor House provided safe haven for 7 heartworm treated dogs, 3 hip dysplasia recoveries, 4 seniors, 12 backyard breeder/feral dogs, numerous puppies and 3 long-term rescue residents who needed the year in the program in order to succeed.
THE FOUNDER’S HOMECARE FACILITY

An additional home setting is available for dogs to live life among a stable family pack of fifteen dogs, learning the social structure between dogs. This dog to dog education is critical for many rescues. Those Border Collies that reside in the founder’s home experience a traditional home setting as they join in pack games and intense activities.

The super high energy dogs will often reside in this facility as well as puppies who need 24 hour supervision and dog socialization.
OUTREACH FOSTER CARE

The Farm’s responsiveness stretches beyond the main NY site into three major regions - New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania - with foster homes committed to temporary or long-term foster needs. The Outreach program increases our capacity to assist an additional 12 - 14 dogs at any given time. These foster homes volunteer to help with dogs who need sustained time in home settings in order to provide positive

experiences that counter those that were previously negative. Most of the dogs begin at the Farm, progressing back into balance and then experience the foster home to become ready for home life.

NEW WORK FOR BORDER COLLIES

The reality of finding homes on working farms is dismal at best due to the downtrend in farming in the US today. Consequently, many dogs are refocused for sport competition and find suitable homes this way, creating a redefinition of work for the breed. Their speed, agility and acuity are well utilized and they are known to be the most successful athletes in the dog world today.

At the Farm, there is even more unique work for the rescue dogs. Every summer, up to thirty different Border Collies participate in Camp Border Collie for Kids, a unique learning program for at risk inner-city children from Harlem, the Bronx and Newark, NJ. Each child is paired with a rescue dog to discover a gentle, positive approach to handling and training. Coming from horrific cultural violence, these children transform their understanding of how to care for and love a dog that clearly will love them back if treated properly. While the benefits to the children are amazing, the dogs also gain new experiences in relationship.
The program builds confidence in shy or abused Border Collies, mentally stimulates those dogs that are highly focused and need work, and gives the dogs a purposeful experience of bonding with the children. The dogs accompany the children during the day in training classes and agility course work and at night, sleep with them in the bunkhouses. The bond between a child who has also been misunderstood, abused or abandoned with a dog in the same situation, is an unparalleled way to promote healing. A high percentage of the dogs in this program are adopted into homes shortly after their summer experience in the kid’s camp program.

IMPROVING THE HEALTH AND WELL BEING OF OUR CANINE FAMILY MEMBERS

Glen Highland Farm has earned a reputation of being proactive in understanding and implementing leading edge research concerning canine health and well being.  Throughout the years, we've shared many of our philosophies to provide 
canine care givers information to help them make better decisions.  

HEALTH ALERT

HEALTH CONCERNS TO CONSIDER: VACCINOSIS

After attending an all day seminar by Dr. Martin Goldstein, a noted alternative vet practicing in the field of cancer, I have changed the entire protocol of vaccinations at the Farm. The reason why is this one statistic: 52% of dogs in this country will get cancer. This fact has emerged along with quantifiable data showing dogs of all ages, young and old, contracting cancer of all kinds, made me stop and seriously think about what would cause this problem. Plus, after knowing many adopted Border Collies who have died of cancer - nasal cancer, stomach cancer, etc - and many of them young - age 2, 6, 7 - I found myself even more convinced that something was going on in the canine world.

In general, the current information is pointing toward vaccinations being the cause of cancer and other related disease. Certainly genetics play a role as well as food and other toxic substances used on your dog like Frontline and Heartworm preventative but by far, vaccinations are the leading culprit, according to alternative vets researching this problem. We urge you to educate yourself on this. 

Become more proactive with your vet and the front desk which automatically tells you all shots are required. In most states, rabies is still legally required every three years but that is the ONLY vaccine legally required. Please read and be aware of this disturbing trend:

http://www.pets4homeopathy.com/articlesvaccs.html 

http://www.poochnet.com/articles/vaccin.htm 

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/titer_test.htm 

At the Farm, we no longer give distemper vaccines to adult dogs, ever. This includes my own family dogs. As I explain to all adopters, the likelihood of your dog contracting parvo, lepto, corono or distemper is so low and far outweighs the need for pounding the immune system with these diseases. It is possible to query your vet on the risk of EACH of these viruses specific to your area rather than accept a 4 in 1 shot including viruses your dog does not need to be protected against.

We do comply with state regulations for rabies of course but with health compromised dogs, we obtain medical exemptions from rabies. All vets will give you a written medical exemption from a rabies shot if your dog is ill or at risk from the vaccine. But, YOU must ask for this or they will not think about it automatically.  We do use frontline for fleas and tick preventative and heartworm preventative but we do NOT use it in the winter, letting their bodies detox from the poisons of these products.  If more natural alternatives were effective, we would automatically use those instead. 

Information about your dog's health is changing with many many studies underway. It is best for you to be more educated and challenging your vet's traditional ways rather than accepting them. Alternative vets are leading the way in looking for the causes of the cancer problem as well as all the related health problems now common in dogs.