02/18/2010 | Canada Goose Control Solutions for your Geese Problems

Effective Goose Control

Humane Goose Control with trained Border Collies

Evan with two border collies


Border Collie hunting geese in water

Geese Control & Border Collie

In Dogged Pursuit of Geese III – Training Dogs

 

 

 

 

The GEESE OFF! strategy for goose control is to use the power of the GEESE OFF! dogs to clear the geese off the land. We then follow the geese to the water into which they invariably escape. In a small body of water, we might send in swimming dogs; in rivers, lakes and bays, the handler goes into the water in a kayak to get rid of the geese.

Canada geese don’t respect weekends and holidays, so we provide a 7 day per week service. In addition, geese adapt their feeding schedules to avoid a daytime goose control program. Therefore, we work from before dawn into the night to prevent them from damaging our customers’ properties overnight.

Four or five visits per week are not usually enough to keep geese away. We visit nearly all our customers’ properties every day. New customers with major goose problems and existing customers with seasonal influxes will see our staff and Border Collies three to four times per day, sometimes more. The timing of these visits varies to maintain an unpredictable relationship between our dogs and the geese. This unpredictability is what maintains the threat.

Once they have seen the success of our service with their own eyes, most of our customers sign up for long-term solutions.

Why Border Collies?

  • Expert dog handlers and highly trained Border Collies are the only truly effective force in Canada goose control.

  • U.S. Humane Society, The Coalition Against The Destruction of Canada Geese (www.canadageese.org) and GeesePeace all endorse the use of trained Border Collies in solving problems with Canada goose.

  • The Border Collie (or sheepdog) has been bred for 300+ years to herd sheep in hilly areas of Britain. Shepherds harness the dogs' hunting instincts with a sequence of voice commands and whistles to gather and drive sheep over vast distances. For good examples of how these dogs work see www.kinlochsheepdogs.com. GEESE OFF! and its ten Border Collies have brought this unique set of skills to the task of environmentally sound, humane goose control. Department of Agriculture National Wildlife Research Center. 2002.

Training Border Collies and Dog Handlers for humane goose control

Most dogs are unsuitable for humane goose control.

Either they are not interested (due to a lack of prey drive), or they are totally out of control (due to too much prey drive and inexperience on the handler’s behalf).

The Border Collie is the only breed with the right combination of prey drive and control for Canada goose deterrence. However, many Border Collies can and do fail in the task through bad upbringing and/or a lack of training. Sometimes they just have the misfortune of having the wrong personalities. As with people, not all Border Collies have the same characters and capabilities.

When trained well, good dogs can be sent hard and straight at the birds; they can be flanked right or left round them; they can be stopped on a dime. Non-professional goose controllers or dog owners with other responsibilities in their lives can hardly ever achieve these goals. And they’re vital goals for the safety of the geese and of the dog as well as for the success of the program.

These traits nearly always begin with a sound basic training on sheep – the work for which they were bred.

GEESE OFF! has a farm as its head quarters and training facility. It comes equipped with sheep, fields and a training pen. These are used to train new dogs and their handlers and for refreshing our more experienced teams. Occasionally, we even go for refresher courses ourselves with our long-time trainer, Carol Campion (www.bittersweetbordercollies.com). As it takes at least nine months to get a handler and dog working together well as a team, this is an important part of the business.

GEESE OFF! Supplementary Tools

  • Lights and lasers for night work
  • Siren Screamers in icy conditions
  • Watercraft for removal of geese from bodies of water ranging from tidal bays and inlets to inland lakes, ponds and rivers
  • Advice on landscaping / habitat modification
  • Resident Canada goose population control through egg addling

© GEESE OFF! 2010

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