Watching him move sheep with his dogs, it’s hard to believe John Borg is a city slicker.
He helps suburban working dogs do the job they were actually bred for – herding.
“These dogs are working dogs, and they want to work,” says Borg.
Sheep Herding for City Dogs is one of few facilities open to all herding dog breeds for training, rather than competition.
Helping high-energy animals, bored by suburbia.
“These dogs become problems, they start racing up and down fences, barking, digging holes, chasing cars and all this sort of stuff,” says Borg.
For Loki, moving away from the bush was a matter of life or death.
“He was a five-month-old in a central Queensland pound, and he was about to be put to sleep if he wasn’t rescued,” explains Loki’s owner, Amanda Vassallo.
“Loki is just a dog that needs something more, he’s constantly running up and down the fence chasing motorbikes or trucks, anything that’s going past,” she adds.
Vassallo says Loki needs more stimulation than her small plot of land can provide.
“I think he’s a lot more relaxed, once he gets here, has his run around, he goes home, and he’s a lot more settled,” she says.
Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge Society President Penny Brischke sends dogs to Borg for enrichment.
Getting them out of the kennels and ready for adoption.
“We’ve had about 70 come through in the last year that are working breed or working breed crosses and the main thing we notice is that they are incredibly hyped up in this environment,” explains Brischke.
Borg’s personal pack of dogs has grown to 14.
More than just a job, he sees it as his calling – to help dogs and their owners.