Border collie dogs successfully employed to get rid of Canada geese

The border collie is an intelligent, active breed of working dog. And if they don’t have any work to do, they will drive you nuts which is why businesses in America such as Geese Chasers and Geese Relief are such good ideas.

They use the border collie’s natural desire to herd to scare away Canada geese from all kinds of properties such as golf courses, backyards and public places.

Border collies employed to chase off Canada geese
Border collies employed to chase off Canada geese. Image: MikeB

A problem is that golf courses, for example, are perfect places for Canada geese because they have grass and ponds. Public parks can often be very suitable because they build ponds in order to collect water run-off.

It is interesting to note, as reported in The Times, that Geese Chasers started off when Bob Young acquired a puppy who he named Boomer. He was throwing a ball for Boomer one day trying to tire him out. A passerby who was the proprietor of a local golf course noticed what was happening and asked about his dog. He said that you don’t see many border colours around here (Connecticut).

Bob Young explained that he didn’t have anything for his border collie to do to which the passerby responded: “Well, my course is overrun with Canada geese!”

And so, Mr Young’s business commenced when he took Boomer down to the golf course to let him chase the geese from it. He began doing this kind of work after his usual day’s work as a physician’s assistant in orthopaedic surgery.

And while he was sitting at the eighteenth hole of this golf course watching Boomer do his work, he bumped into a former American footballer who noticed how effective Boomer was and asked if he could bring Boomer down to his property to clear geese from his backyard which was set around a lake.

He said that the geese were costing about $20,000 a year in damage. And so, Mr Young had his next job and the American footballer remains a client.

Geese chasing is a growth industry according to The Times. This is because Canada geese are an incredibly efficient survivor. In America there was a time when they were threatened but because of an act protecting migratory birds which ensured its safety from 1970 to 2010 numbers have risen dramatically to an estimated 3.5 million (I presume on America).

And America isn’t the only country where Canada geese can be a nuisance. In the UK for example they can also be a problem in parks. “Each goose averages two pounds of droppings the day” according to John Green an author who devoted a chapter to Canada geese on his book The Anthropocene Reviewed.

He writes that “you, as an individual, can’t do much about the Canada goose”. Apparently, he was wrong because now there are flourishing businesses using border collies to do something about them.

The only issue that my concern animal advocates is that these businesses are based upon predators i.e. dogs chasing prey i.e. the geese. And that is not something which one wants to base a business upon in a strict sense.

It might seem cruel to have dogs terrifying geese to the point where they fly off and never return. That is a point that is not mentioned in The Times article but I think it’s worth pointing out.

Although I fully understand the desire to get rid of Canada geese because their droppings are a problem as they carry bacteria including E. coli. There may be a health issue for example for children playing in parkland.

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