Our Service

We patrol each location a number of times per day, depending on your elected program.  The typical patrol goes as follows.  When we arrive, one of our fully trained staff of experienced handlers gives commands to their Border Collies as they run after, and actually herd, Canada Geese off your property. You will know we are present by our uniformed employees, as well as our decaled vehicles.  If the geese retreat into a water source, as they sometimes do, our dogs are trained to swim after them, until they ultimately leave.  Each dog listens to commands from their handler as to which direction to herd, whether to pursue, stop, wait, or come back.  The main idea is that, over time, the geese become conditioned to the fact that a seeming predator is nearby, and will seek a more secure feeding location.  The amount of time that this takes varies depending on many different factors.  In most cases, this takes weeks, although benefits of our service will be noticed almost immediately.  The less time geese spend on your property, the less they defecate on your property, the nicer the property looks.  It’s really that simple.

The Border Collie is used exclusively in this line of work for a number of reasons.  Most importantly, they are super smart.  This ensures that the dogs are cognizant of their duty, and will not be tempted to run off and chase birds without a command to do so.  Other breeds aren’t as easy to get to listen.  Throughout the year, each of our dogs are reinforced by their handlers on basic obedience and herding skills, while each year our handlers must complete a “refresher course” in their goose control ability.

Secondly, but no less important, the Border Collie’s fox-like stare is what really makes the geese fearful of a seeming natural predator.  Although the geese have really nothing to worry about, they think that they are in danger of being, well…dinner.  Using other breeds of dog, as well as other methods of geese control, merely pose as an annoyance to the geese, rather than conjuring a primal fear.  To get a better idea of how other methods don’t work, see the picture below.

dog silhouette

Click here to see one of our Border Collies, Jade, in action chasing geese.

In early spring the geese look to nest.  Due to imprinting, Canada Geese will return each year to the general area where they nested in prior years.  This makes life difficult for our customers, as well as us.  Although a year-round strategy is optimal, some customers choose to use our service seasonally.  If we are to service a property in the spring, it is essential that we begin before the geese have had an opportunity to get comfortable and build a nest, or worse, lay eggs.  Geese usually begin to pair-up with their lifelong mates in February and March. 

Our expert staff are trained to know exactly where to look for nests.  This job can be extremely difficult, as geese do not need to sit on the nest until incubation.  Next, we will addle (see FAQs) eggs that we encounter, and carefully place them back in the nest.  The idea is that the mother goose will continue to sit on these eggs, unknowing of the fact that these eggs will not develop.  After a few weeks, we can remove the nest altogether.   If the nesting geese have not abandoned the property yet, the dogs will now give them a reason to, until they eventually do.  This addling service is included in any plan we offer.  We never charge extra for it.

nest

During nesting season, it is not uncommon for families of geese to walk onto a property that we service, despite our efforts to make sure that nesting was not done on our watch.  These baby geese are too young to fly, and thus these families will almost always seek a water source for safety.  Without our service, these families would undoubtedly stay in and around this water source until they are able to fully fly, a few months later.  In this case, we must send the Border Collies into the water and harass them for a short while.  It is important to remember that our dogs are trained to herd them, and pose no real threat.  The families soon walk out when we are gone, seeking a safer place to stay.

It is also essential to note that, although our service is more effective when the dogs pursue the geese off-leash, we are sympathetic to concerns that most schools and parents have regarding any dog off-leash while their children utilize the school fields.  Most of our staff are parents as well.  While all of our Border Collies are completely friendly and have never posed a problem with people, in this event, we simply rid the fields of geese with the dogs on a leash, or wait until the students no longer occupy the fields.