Dogs and Geese: Stop Attacks + Keep the Distance!

Anytime your dogs and geese cross paths it’s a problem. It’s obviously worrying, so what can you do so that your dog will stay calm and at a distance? In this article, we’re going to give you all the information you need to ensure that you and your pup can enjoy the park, the lake, or wherever without stressing about encountering an unfriendly goose.

We’ll cover the tough but important subjects like do geese attack dogs and what to do if your dog killed a goose. Next, we’ll teach you about preventing your pup from provoking them, such as when your dog barks at geese. Finally, we’re going to go over the breeds of dogs that chase geese most frequently, so you’ll know just how tight you need to hold that leash. Keep reading!

Geese and Dogs: Keep Peace and Distance

dogs and geese

Geese and dogs can have a contentious relationship. Geese are territorial creatures, especially during nesting season, and can react defensively if they perceive a dog as a threat. However, with appropriate supervision, training, and distance, it’s possible to maintain peace between geese and dogs.

Understanding Geese Behaviour

Geese are known for their territorial behavior, especially during the breeding and nesting seasons. They tend to react aggressively to potential threats to protect their eggs or goslings. Dogs, being naturally curious, may approach geese, leading to possible confrontations. These encounters can result in injury for both parties involved.

Training Your Dog Around Geese

Training your dog with commands like ‘leave it’ or ‘stay’ can be effective in maintaining peace. For instance, training the ‘leave it’ command involves holding a treat in a closed fist and presenting it to the dog.

When the dog tries to get the treat and fails, say ‘leave it.’ Once the dog backs off, reward them with the treat and praise. Consistent practice will teach your dog to understand that ‘leave it’ means they need to ignore what they are interested in.

Maintaining a Safe Distance

The best way to avoid any potential conflicts between your dog and geese is by maintaining a safe distance. Keep your dog on a leash, especially in areas known for geese activity.

Geese, especially when protecting their nests, can become aggressive. Even a well-behaved, friendly dog may trigger defensive behaviors in geese. Therefore, keeping a good distance between them is the most effective way to prevent any physical altercation.

Reacting to a Goose Attack

If a goose feels threatened and starts showing aggressive behavior such as hissing, spreading its wings, or charging, it’s crucial to calmly and quickly remove your dog from the situation. Don’t run, as this can encourage the goose to chase. Instead, back away slowly while maintaining a barrier between your dog and the goose.

But while these steps will get your dog to keep away from geese, it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (prey drive, anxiety, overexcitement, etc.) that were causing all of this disobedience will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do this before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog doesn’t keep away from geese and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog not keeping away from geese ever again!

Do Geese Attack Dogs?

dogs and geese

Geese do attack dogs. While not typically aggressive animals, geese can potentially become so when feeling threatened or during their nesting season. Although it is quite rare for a goose to kill a dog, injuries can occur.

Geese usually display fear towards dogs, showing defensive behaviors. Proper training, supervision, and maintaining a respectful distance are key strategies for preventing goose-dog conflicts.

Will Geese Attack Dogs?

Geese, especially the Canada goose (often called “Canadian geese”), are protective of their territory and their young. They may hiss and run at intruders, including dogs, to scare them away. While this can be intimidating, especially for smaller dogs, it’s mostly a show of bravado. Geese prefer to avoid physical confrontation when possible.

Can a Goose Kill a Dog?

While geese attacks can be intimidating, the chances of a goose killing a dog are extremely low. A goose’s primary weapons are its wings and beak, which, while capable of inflicting painful pecks or bruises, are unlikely to cause life-threatening injuries to a dog. However, small dogs or puppies may be more at risk and should be kept away from aggravated geese.

Are Geese Afraid of Dogs?

Geese are afraid of dogs usually. This is why dogs are often used in goose management to scare off geese from public areas. However, when cornered or protecting their young, a goose may choose to stand its ground and act defensively. It’s always best to keep your dog on a leash and maintain a respectful distance from geese, especially during the breeding season.

Learn the command you’ll need to do this in the first section. You’ll want to get it taken care of now because it will help your dog to stay calm around all wildlife, not just geese. Once that’s taken care of, there will be no worries about interactions between your dog with ducks, your dog with rabbits, your dog with horses, your dog with coyotes, your dog with pigs, or your dog with cows.

Dog Barks at Geese: How to Stop

To stop your dog barking at geese, you need to train them to obey commands, manage their environment, and positively reinforce their quiet behavior. Training methods such as the “quiet” command, distraction techniques, and environmental management can be highly effective.

  1. The “Quiet” Command: Teaching your dog the “quiet” command is an effective way to control barking. Start by allowing your dog to bark, then say “quiet” in a calm, clear voice. Once your dog stops barking, immediately reward them with a treat or praise. Repeat this process regularly until your dog understands the command.
  2. Distraction Techniques: When your dog barks at geese, distract them with a toy or another command like ‘sit’ or ‘stay’. Distracting your dog helps to break the barking cycle and refocus their attention on something more positive.
  3. Environmental Management: If possible, manage the environment to limit your dog’s exposure to geese. This could be by changing your walking route or time to avoid when geese are typically present or setting up barriers to block your dog’s view of geese at home.
  4. Desensitization: Gradually expose your dog to geese from a distance and reward them for staying calm. Over time, decrease the distance, always reinforcing their good behavior. This method requires patience and consistency but can be highly effective in the long run.
  5. Address Underlying Issues: If your dog’s barking becomes uncontrollable or if they show signs of aggression towards geese, then you likely have an underlying behavioral issue that is driving things. Go back to the first section and we’ll teach you how to take care of this.

In conclusion, stopping your dog from barking at geese requires patience, consistency, and a multi-faceted approach. Remember to always use positive reinforcement and address underlying problems (explained in the first section) if the problem persists.

Dogs That Chase Geese

Certain dog breeds have natural instincts that make them more prone to chasing geese. These typically include hunting or retrieving breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Border Collies. However, it’s important to note that individual dogs’ behaviors can vary even within breeds.

  1. Labrador Retriever: Originally bred for retrieving game, including waterfowl, Labrador Retrievers have a strong instinct to chase and retrieve, which often extends to geese.
  2. Golden Retriever: Like Labradors, Golden Retrievers were also bred to retrieve waterfowl during hunting. This makes them naturally prone to chasing and retrieving geese.
  3. Border Collie: Known for their exceptional herding abilities, Border Collies may chase geese as a part of their instinct to herd and control movement.
  4. English Springer Spaniel: As a gun dog, English Springer Spaniels have been trained historically to flush out and retrieve game, which can translate to chasing geese.
  5. German Shorthaired Pointer: This breed has strong hunting instincts and is known for its ability to chase and point at game, which can include geese.
  6. Brittany: Brittanys are energetic and driven hunting dogs that can be likely to chase after geese due to their natural instincts.
  7. Weimaraner: Weimaraners were bred to hunt large game and are known for their endurance and drive to chase, which can extend to geese.
  8. Beagle: Though smaller than most breeds on this list, Beagles have a strong sense of smell and tracking instinct, leading them to chase after geese.
  9. Vizsla: Vizslas are enthusiastic and energetic hunters. They are known for their impressive speed and agility, which often leads them to chase geese.
  10. Chesapeake Bay Retriever: As a water retriever, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever has been used in hunting waterfowl, including geese, making them prone to chase after them.

In conclusion, while certain breeds may be more prone to chasing geese due to their hunting or herding instincts, individual dogs within these breeds can exhibit differing behaviors. Training and socialization from a young age can help manage these instincts. Learn how to do these things in the first section.

Dog Killed Goose: What to Do Now

If your dog has killed a goose, the first step is to remove your dog from the situation and secure the area. Next, contact local wildlife authorities to report the incident if the goose is a protected species. You may face legal consequences if the goose is protected.

You then need to review your dog’s obedience training and reinforce the ‘leave it’ command to prevent future incidents. Make sure your dog is always on a leash in areas populated by geese.

Dog Kills Goose: Understanding the Situation

It’s crucial to understand that dogs are natural predators, and their instincts may take over around smaller animals like geese. If your dog killed a goose, it’s important not to panic. Secure your dog and remove them from the situation to prevent further stress or damage.

Contacting Local Authorities After Dog Kills Goose

If the goose is part of a protected species, you may need to report the incident to local wildlife or conservation authorities. In many regions, it’s illegal to harm or kill certain species of geese, and your dog killing a goose may fall under these regulations. Penalties can include fines or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the situation and whether it’s a recurring issue.

Training Your Dog Post-Incident

An important aspect of preventing future incidents is reinforcing your dog’s training. If your dog doesn’t already know the ‘leave it’ command, now is the time to teach them. This command can help you control your dog around wildlife and other distractions. Training should be accompanied by high-value treats and lots of positive reinforcement. Learn how in the first section.

Securing Your Dog in Goose-Populated Areas

If you frequent areas populated by geese, it’s important to keep your dog on a leash. This is especially important during nesting season, as geese can become more aggressive. Keeping your dog under control reduces the chances of conflict and can prevent unfortunate incidents. We explain more in the first section.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to your dog not going crazy and barking and chasing after geese, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “Dogs and Geese: Stop Attacks + Keep the Distance!”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.