Jump to content
BC Boards

Goose dog training


Recommended Posts

I know this is an old thread, but I have a few questions. I am thinking about getting into goose control mostly because I have a dog that really needs a job and I think he would be great at it. We live on the lake, so he does already keep the geese out of my yard. He loves the water, also. My questions are 1) Can you do this with just one dog? 2) Do you go to each place daily? 3) How do you go about getting started? I was thinking about maybe asking a local golf course if I could use their place to see how my dog does for a month or two. Hopefully, they will see how well it works and want to keep me on. We have a lot of golf courses around here and I don't know of anyone that does goose control.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
Hi Wendy

I have two dogs that are employed doing this. I have found certain things to be more helpful than others. Since I don't have my own geese, all training is done on the job.

 

Hi Kelpiegirl.

 

I'm new to the site and am going to be moving over from Scotland to Ontario in the summer. I would like to get involved in geese work and noticed from this link that you do it. Could you give me some tips on how to get started or let me know how you found getting started. Is it easy or was trying to get business hard to do.

 

Look forward to hearing about it.

 

Gordon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gordon

 

Welcome to this part of the pond :rolleyes: What I did, and I am sure everyone does their own thing, was have a dog who needed a job, and went on an interview. My dog just nailed the interview and we were hired.

 

If you are serious about this, you will need a good dog. Good dog meaning, obedient, good prey drive, and a dog who's cool with people, and other animals- all of which you will encounter. There are some companies that will hire you, but there is no reason that you can't strike off on your own.

 

A good quality in a dog is the ability and willingness to swim. Also, my dogs rode around in a golf cart, loose, and they stayed there until I needed them. I would spy the geese from afar, scan for possible issues (golfers, people, etc), and then send. One of my dogs had no outrun, and the other did, so they effectively sandwiched them, which lead to the geese taking off. We then stayed around a bit, because in many cases the geese would circle around, and come back.

 

I kept my goose and sheepdog commands separate. Some people have their dogs "work" the geese, but I have my dogs remove them however I ask- sometimes that involves an outrun, sometimes that involves straight up, whatever it is, you need to be more persistent than the geese.

 

Remember too, that mid summer is hatching time for the goslings, and also molting time. Neither of which times should you be goosing. Best time to get rid of them is before they start nesting, like now, or sooner..

 

You should talk with your local fish/wildlife offices, to learn of specific laws wrt to Canada geese as well.

 

Ontario has big problems witih Canada geese, so you have a good start. I am sure there are other things I am missing, but so far, that's good to get you started.

 

Hi Kelpiegirl.

 

I'm new to the site and am going to be moving over from Scotland to Ontario in the summer. I would like to get involved in geese work and noticed from this link that you do it. Could you give me some tips on how to get started or let me know how you found getting started. Is it easy or was trying to get business hard to do.

 

Look forward to hearing about it.

 

Gordon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use some of my dogs for goose work too. I don't have sheep, but I took them to a friends to start working with her sheep before beginning to do anything with geese. The were also already exposed to poultry at home, (chickens and turkeys) and were used to accompanying me into the coop during chores. Next I got permission to take the dogs to some private properties and at first I found that if they put the geese into water even if the dogs swam they didn't really know how to get the geese to leave, and really only one dog wanted to swim. The thing that seemed to really make it click was taking them to geese up in a hayfield were the geese would always fly away. They had no water to head into so they would leave. The dogs got the idea that they were to drive the geese away and now when they swim they don't give up no matter how much swimming they have to do. Also now both dogs are swimming eagerly where before one was more reluctant to enter the water.

 

Last year I was hired by our township to keep the geese away from the public walkways and park, plus I had some other clients as well. In town I did work during the summer months, after clearing it with a conservation officer. A river flows right through our town and that gives the geese access to swim up or downstream from where ever they had nested (don't know where that was, couldn't find any nesting activity on lands I had access to), but it also gave me a route to send them back away. True that they can't be made to fly away in the summer, but because we were not causing them any harm and not putting them in danger on roadways or anything, the CO said it would be fine to drive them back down the river and away from the public areas. My dogs have learned the difference between when I want them to push the geese downstream and when I want them to be getting them right out of the water.

 

I work mainly with those first two dogs but I have also started doing a bit with a couple of my other dogs, usually in quieter private locations. When the geese visit my neighbour's hayfield in the fall it provides a great opportunity to take the younger dogs and get them learning to drive the geese away. Oh, I will also use either one of the first two goose dogs to gather up my chickens and ducks in the evening to put them into the coop for the night.

 

I have pictures of my dogs working geese from last year posted on facebook (3 pages worth of photos!) Goose Dogs at Work

 

Also 2 pages of pictures of them with our ducks. I think this was the first time either one of them was exposed to the ducks out in the open, outside of the coop and they were very intrigued that they flocked up, unlike the chickens :rolleyes:Ducks

 

ETA: as for how I went about getting hired by the town, I just submitted a proposal and presented it at one of the council meetings. The town has spend a ton of money on building this nice walkway, plus there has been fundraising done, donations etc. and then people were complaining about it being too messy to even walk on because of the geese. Also the beach at the park would sometimes get posted as unsafe for swimming because of high bacteria counts and the beaches were so full of goose poop that kids couldn't play there in the sand. The town had gotten some group to do a study about possible solutions the previous year but they hadn't made any decisions about it. So I offered them a solution and they took me up on it. Worked out great, the park was clear of geese all summer, beaches were clean and although there were geese in town in the spring and for part of the summer we kept driving them away before they had the chance to make much mess. By July they weren't coming into town as frequently and they stayed away for the whole month of August somewhere downstream and only came back for a few days in September.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your insite into getting started. I have a great dog with high drive. He has seen geese, but I have taught him here not to chase. He is getting some training round sheep with Julie Simpson. I will be at her place next week and will talk to her and what I may need to practice on until I get over to Ontario.

 

I wont be going straight into that work at first. Will keep at my trade to get settled, then I can train and get ready for the new "season" for the geese problem. It also gives me time to see where I live and what local problems they may have to start.

 

This is the best site I have been on for talk and help. So many others come over as "know it alls", with their way of training is best.

 

Many thanks

 

Gordon and Clyde

Link to post
Share on other sites

Where are you moving to in Ontario? One of my friends does goose control for the city of Toronto; There are a bunch of us to the East of Toronto. Just wondering

 

cynthia

 

Thanks for your insite into getting started. I have a great dog with high drive. He has seen geese, but I have taught him here not to chase. He is getting some training round sheep with Julie Simpson. I will be at her place next week and will talk to her and what I may need to practice on until I get over to Ontario.

 

I wont be going straight into that work at first. Will keep at my trade to get settled, then I can train and get ready for the new "season" for the geese problem. It also gives me time to see where I live and what local problems they may have to start.

 

This is the best site I have been on for talk and help. So many others come over as "know it alls", with their way of training is best.

 

Many thanks

 

Gordon and Clyde

Link to post
Share on other sites

My impression from the people I know doing goose work is that the current economic situation has made it harder to get and keep contracts. If property owners and managers are forced to cut their budgets, often the goose control contract will be seen as expendable. But I'm in the US -- it may be different in Ontario, and in any case those actively doing goose control would know better than I do whether this is a problem or not.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Where are you moving to in Ontario? One of my friends does goose control for the city of Toronto; There are a bunch of us to the East of Toronto. Just wondering

 

cynthia

 

I am coming over in May for a week for interviews. Port Hope, St.George and Hamilton. The one I would prefer is Port Hope. The area looks nice and more chance to work with my dog. I'm not really interested in working with sheep. I only doing the training round sheep for commands and getting him to focus and control him more. He's a great dog but he is full on. But once he is focused he's wonderful.

 

The goose work would be something for part-time and giving him a job. You never know where these things can take you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My impression from the people I know doing goose work is that the current economic situation has made it harder to get and keep contracts. If property owners and managers are forced to cut their budgets, often the goose control contract will be seen as expendable. But I'm in the US -- it may be different in Ontario, and in any case those actively doing goose control would know better than I do whether this is a problem or not.

 

Eileen, I believe some time of permitting is required, at least in my state.

 

I've actually thought about this type of work for Robin as he is so focused on anything feathered and I've never met a dog that loves the water more than he does. Sending him out wouldn't be the problem...He would need a great deal of training on the recall. The suggestion of starting by training the dog on sheep seems to make a great deal of sense. At the very least, I wouldn't need a wet suit and flippers to get him back to shore.

 

Liz

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought about doing goose control here but the cities won't allow it and the golf courses don't care.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 10 months later...

This site has been so very helpful! I'm looking to start a goose dog service in my area in the Southeast US, and really have no idea as to a price point for proposals. How much and how do you all charge? By the visit, by the week, month? And how many visits per day are USUALLY effective to see a change in the goose population; more than 2?

Link to post
Share on other sites

This site has been so very helpful! I'm looking to start a goose dog service in my area in the Southeast US, and really have no idea as to a price point for proposals. How much and how do you all charge? By the visit, by the week, month? And how many visits per day are USUALLY effective to see a change in the goose population; more than 2?

 

As to contracts it all depends on how committed you want to be, contracts go both ways. At this point I do everything per visit, which can be expensive when you consider your cost (time & fuel) more because I don't want to be tied up and really can't be. The company that I train dogs for does annual contacts. The reasoning is that when you first start a job there are way more hours and up to 7 days of week until the geese get trained, then the amount of time you spend at the site may be substantially less, you may just need to drive in once a day or place the site on "will call" where they call you if they see geese populations go up. If you go by the day, week or the month there is a chance that you will not be contracted for the easier work, so either you have to charge real high to meet your actual expenses and adjust based on the later lighter work load or charge it as a long term deal spreading the cost to the client out over the course of a year.

 

Also check with your local laws to make sure that you don't need any wildlife control instruction or licensing, some places will also want you to carry your own seperate liability insurance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 11 months later...

I don't use the same commands on sheep as geese. Basically, geese are driven away, sheep are herded - I know, bad word, but it does describe the difference. Both dogs learned on the job. What I find most critical are a) will go after the geese to the ends of the earth, :rolleyes: will recall without question. Canada geese get lazy. Chase them into the water, they stay, unless you have a dog who will swim. Before I had a swimming dog, geese thought they were smart, and gave me fits. Then, the younger dog taught herself to swim, and that's that. You also need dogs who ignore people, for the most part- I work on golf courses, and people don't want dogs bothering them. You also want dogs not prone to wandering. For my purposes, I don't need much on these dogs in the way of training- basically, I need good temperament and keen-ness. I worried about my young dog since she was also learning sheep work, but so far, that hasn't been a concern. But, I don't use the same commands, so she can't get lazy or cheat.

 

 

I have A BC partner Huck, who works with me everyday in an urban cemetery for Canada Geese control, he uses the basic commands "walk-up" "Get-in" "here" "That'll Do" "Come-by" "Away form Me" "Load-up". He is a young BC about 1.5 years old, he loves the "bird work", although I am having trouble with his behavior when it comes to bicycles and joggers that happen upon us when we are working, he will break-off and run toward the "Moving Objects" without regard for the recall command and this worries me and as a new handler I an not sure how to correct this behavior. I do not want to see anyone get hurt including my dog.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Huck is good at his goose chase, he is very good at chasing after an errant bicyclist or jogger as well :angry: I need to be able to control his diverted attention to another fast moving object that is in his "work Area". I know this can be trained out of him, and I do use the check cord and commands, but I am new to handling and he is new to me and the site Aug '11. I need to find a good trainer/behaviorist in the Massachusetts area.

 

We are also getting Swans to help with the geese problem, and he will need to distinguish between them. To assist in his chase, I have employed a RC Boat, so he doesn't have to swim in vain, the boat pushes the birds on to him as he swims, then he can "get them up". If on land he chases the bird, which tend to land back in the water, the boat helps break the cycle. Once the Swans have established territory they will protect it against the Geese (in theory). Being a large in-use cemetery, in Boston, there is plenty of habitat, visitors (distractions)and being able to control Huck for his effectiveness and the safety of all is paramount. He is a good goose dog and I need to be trained as well in handleing. Please recommend a good trainer in the Massachusetts area.

 

Thanks, Richard Carey

Link to post
Share on other sites

... He is a good goose dog and I need to be trained as well in handling. Please recommend a good trainer in the Massachusetts area.

 

Thanks, Richard Carey

 

Below are links to websites to locate qualified instructors in Massachusetts, and nearby States. They obtained certification via instructional experience, written exam, demonstrations, and continuing education. It's a good starting point. Of course, ask about experience for training-out unwanted behaviors of the kind you are experiencing.

 

1) http://www.nadoi.org/instructors.htm

2) http://www.ccpdt.org/index.php?option=com_certificants&task=directory&state=MA

 

Best wishes with Huck. You are headed in the right direction. -- Kind Regards, TEC

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

OK!!!

So I know I'm about 4 years too late on this post but hey, I just got my first BC in Jan as a pup and he just turned 1.

He's an OBSSESSIVE disc dog, and chuckit fetcher. When I say obssessive I mean when either of those tools are in my hand I am the pied piper. He'll follow me and my movements wherever I go.

 

One night in August at the ball diamond, I was finally able to trap a hare between us and the fence! And the only way I could pry his attention from me was to say "Jilly! Get Jilly!" (my cat). So he looks around, spots the rabbit and goes from skulking trot to slow as mollases crouching prowl. All the ABCA DNA kicked in and when the bunny spotted us and took off, he ran AHEAD of it, stopped on a dime and herded it towards the tracks where it found it's hole in the fence and that was that. But it was huge because I knew he was the real deal.

 

Fast Forward now. I've discovered a giant park near me that's kind of border line ghetto so nobody goes there lol.

They have a 9-hole course, lagoons, woods and a monster Goose problem. You can play a round without 100 geese between you and the green! About 8 times I've called off the tees, got him out there and he does huge circlular sweeps at full jet until every bird is airborne. The golfers tell me the next day they never returned on their game.

 

We went to a herding lesson one time, and while it wasn't a disaster, the HIT writeup was pretty much that Brodie has a very very strong eye, no interest in cooperating with me, and wants to go right at the sheep and only after 5 minutes of leash down did he begin circular sweeps and it was beautiful to watch, but maybe the hour ride to the farm pent up his gusto, hence the 'enthusiasm'.

 

So we have almost no training, BUT, when the Chuckit's in my hand, he'll always come back. When I say GOOSE! he knows and clicks into crouching stare mode. He only charges when he's close enough that they start to take flight, and the instant they're all up, he's like the little kid that just made gas and cleared a room, big huge smile and runs back right to me, recall or not.

 

Where on earth do we go from here? The lagoons have froze over the past week (dangerously no less), the GM and staff is gone for the season, and I'd like to practice on this course and park. I have a contact number as it's a city park district course but not really sure what to say?

 

I shoot weddings for a living, and have many contacts at courses that had the receptions. I also know the president of the Cemetery Assn. of America or whatever it's called.

Brodie's amazing with people, and when he's clocked-in for work, (ie Chuckit/Hero Disc) not a thing in the world can distract him except for GOOSE! lol!!

 

Do I REALLY need to get more lessons in since he does this so naturally and we've been successful right out of the gate?

Thanks so much for your time, if this post is still alive!

-matt (and Brodie)

post-14525-0-14608800-1385690362_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to check into state and local regulations. You don't want to get in trouble for harassing wildlife.

 

If your dog did not listen to you on sheep, he won't always listen to you on birds. He needs more training. Training on sheep would be fine so you can get control and put working commands on him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As Liz said, you first need to check with your state's and localities regulations. Canada geese are considered migratory wildfowl and so subject to regulations regarding what people can do with them. One of the big things is that they are not to be harmed. You need to be sure that Brodie won't accidentally hurt one while chasing them. Also, there are times of the year when harassing them is inappropriate (i.e., when they are at a stage where they can't fly).

 

He definitely must have a good recall. He should be reliable around traffic and people.

 

Above all, you need to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row (no pun intended) because there will be people who don't like you bothering the geese, and if you're not an actual business, licensed, etc., then you may not have a leg to stand on if someone sends the authorities after you. How you conduct yourself in the business of goose remediation will reflect on everyone who does that work, so please keep that in mind as well. I remember a conversation with a good friend in Pawley's Island, SC, where geese were a major problem on golf courses. He told me that someone had contracted to do the goose control and did is so poorly that the folks that had been contracted with would probably shy away from border collies for goose control for a long time to come.

 

Also, most of the folks I know who do this work do it with trained dogs. They may not be dogs who could be successful open trial dogs, but they do have their flanks, do outruns, etc. I don't know of any successful goose control businesses that are doing the work with untrained dogs handled by novice handlers. So if you want to do this work, I would suggest doing your research and doing it right, rather than just seeing it as another fun outlet for your dog's energy.

 

P.S. I have to wonder what you would have done had he caught the rabbit.

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a search for 'goose control' and also 'migratory bird laws'. Another thing that's illegal is harassing wild fowl during their nesting seasons. You can do a search on these boards, I recall that there was someone who was doing goose control with their dog and did a few posts about it. As any other job working with wildlife, it can be very difficult. Hopefully the thread is still in the archives.

 

You might be able to find someone in your rough geographic area that is doing goose control w/dogs. And if you're even luckier, they might actually talk to you about the business. Give them a call, see what they require in their working dogs. Ask how long they've been in business. I see you're in business for yourself as a photographer, so you'll know how to phrase your questions so that you're not coming across as rude.

 

As Julie and Liz both pointed out, your dog needs further training. And pardon my bluntness, so do you. You need to learn ALL the rules that apply to wildfowl, and please call it goose control, not goose herding.

 

I appreciate your enthusiasm - a border collie working from its instinct is a beautiful sight.

 

Good luck, and let us know how you do.

 

Ruth and Agent Gibbs

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

While training a dog to do goose work is there anything you shouldn't do with your dog? I am getting a 9 week old pup next weekend and plan to train him to do goose work. I want to have a working dog and do have older children who will love playing with our new pup. Could this dog do goose work and also be trained to do fun sports with my kids? Like algility or anything else. Maybe catching a frisbee? I didn't know if catching a flying object would be confusing to the dog?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...