If you have a goose problem you know: they leave a mess. A goose eats some 4 pounds of grass per day. And defecates 2-3 pounds of that right back on your field. They love open, grassy areas. Football fields, baseball fields, golf courses, parks; if it's an open area with grass, the geese see a buffet dinner. Water nearby is a bonus.
Herding dogs have it in their blood. They manage animals. Farm collie type dogs are especially good at this. The best known breeds of this type are Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. Their natural drive is to move the animals without harming them. In our case, we use English Shepherds, a traditional American farm collie. Amy and Andy are our dogs, and they love moving geese! We are in the Harvard/Littleton/Boxborough MA area, and we serve those and surrounding communities.
Dogs are the most successful method of moving geese off a property. The end result is a goose-free field. We guarantee it. But the same things that they found attractive in the first place will convince them to try again. So, it is a periodic effort - but the geese will stay away, often for months. The first move-off usually takes 10-15 visits from the dogs. After that, you can expect months of goose-free time.
A schoolyard playground and sport fields:
I have been by the school nearly every day this summer, except when we were away for a week, and the geese have not been around. Yay!!! What an incredible improvement since you and yours started your work. I can't thank you enough.
A golf course:
I saw the dogs running out there today and was so happy to see the geese leave and they didn't come back. Golfers are extremely happy with the lack of geese this year and we are getting extra players as a result. . . . We love Amy and Andy
From an animal control officer:
I wanted to say congratulations in regards to deterring the geese at (the) lake - I never see any over there.
Dogs are the most successful method of keeping geese away from your property. You can use fireworks or fake coyotes, you can addle the eggs, and some people get those methods to work well enough for them. But nothing works better than dogs. The only method that comes close is killing the geese. Even then, the geese will and do come back. We have successfully moved geese off at 100% of the sites where we have worked. Using the dogs teaches the geese caution - they learn that they are not welcome at this location. The dogs at work are fun to watch, and people enjoy seeing them.
People typically ask us how long this will take, and how much it will cost. We bring the dogs out, and they chase the geese away. The first time, it takes a little time to train the geese to know that they are not welcome. Typically, this will take about 10 days to two weeks, although I have had it take as few as a mere 3 visits, and as many as 40. Both extremes were due to special conditions. You can plan on a couple of weeks. The geese will then begin staying away. They may pop back in after a couple of weeks, or a couple of months. Typically we then come out for a couple of visits, to remind the geese to mind their manners.
The geese have two big times per year when you get lots of moving about. In early spring (March and April) they will be seeking a nesting ground. Then again, in the fall (Sept-Nov) they will be looking for wintering grounds. There are times mid-year where you also see some moving around, just not as much. After the goslings hatch (May-June) they may be looking for feeding grounds. After the goslings begin to fly (July-Aug) a flock may do that again. Late summer and early fall will see a third period of some moderate activity. Often you will see flocks who have not visited your property before, as they check out new potential feeding grounds.
What you can expect is one big first push, as the geese learn they are not welcome. Then, occasional visits to keep the geese "on their toes", and a 2nd period, late in the year when you will see an increase in goose presence. However, that late year activity will usually take fewer visits than the first big push.
For most locations, one visit by the dogs, per day, is enough to keep the geese away for that day. Some locations need two. The presence of people in the area is not a problem. We have often cleared geese from a site when there are children present on the playgrounds. We have moved geese off a ballfield in the middle of a game (they did stop the game and wait until the dogs were done!). We have moved geese off a field even when they have goslings. Of course, moving geese with goslings requires much more care, as they can't be chased - they must be herded at a walking pace for the geese.
Your cost will depend on your site. We will have to see your site to give you a quote. But do know that we take pride in knowing that we keep our customer's cost down. We have clients who have thanked us specifically for our concern about their budgets. What factors affect cost? Ponds take more effort than just grassy fields. Small ponds are easier than large ponds. We have a small radio-controlled boat to discourage the geese on the water, and we use a canoe to further harass the geese on the water if necessary. Often, the RC boat alone is enough, and that helps to keep your cost down. You might be interested in knowing that we have even been successful at discouraging geese from coming to a particular beach on a lake - a location where we had no hope of removing the geese from the lake completely, due to the size of the lake.
Get in touch. We can discuss your situation!