Dog Barks at Geese? Here’s How to Stop It!
What in the world has gotten into your dog? Every time you take them to the park, your dog is barking at geese like it’s the end of the world! Why do dogs bark at geese? Are geese scared of dogs, or do they not care? Can a goose hurt your dog?
Worry and wonder no longer, because today we’re going to answer all of these questions for you. Most importantly, we’ll tell you how to stop your dog barking at geese once and for all. Soon, this annoying problem will all be behind you. Keep reading below for our article “Dog Barks at Geese? Here’s How to Stop It!”
Table of Contents
Why Do Dogs Bark at Geese?
Dogs bark at geese because it’s in their natural instincts to see them as prey, particularly if they’re a hunting breed. Geese are also very loud, which can provoke many dogs into feeling a need to protect themselves, you, and what they perceive as their territory from this boisterous threat.
It’s also possible that if your dog has a friendly temperament and has spent lots of time around other animals that they just see the geese as potential playmates. They don’t understand that this isn’t really possible, so they bark at the geese to try and get them to play chase. If this is the case with your dog, look for signs of play like wagging their tail or doing play bows.
If your dog is barking at geese and ignoring your commands to quit, however, then there are clearly feeling dominant over you which is a serious behavioral issue. Your dog feeling that it’s okay to show disobedience and disrespect in this way needs to be treated immediately, or their misbehavior will only grow and escalate.
You’ll find your dog barks at ducks, barks at other dogs, and barks at deer. If you live on a farm, they’ll likely be barking at the pigs, barking at the chickens, barking at the cows, and barking at the horses. And if left untreated long enough, this aggression could eventually escalate into attacks on these animals.
For obvious reasons, you don’t want any of that, so it’s important to take action right away. To stop your dog from barking at geese and other animals, skip to the last section now where we’ll give you the exact steps you need to be following.
Are Geese Scared of Dogs?
Geese are scared of dogs. It’s natural for them to see dogs as predators similar to foxes, wolves, and coyotes. It’s also natural for your dog to see them as prey, so you can see why interactions between the two would not be friendly and cordial generally.
Geese will almost always attempt to flee the area if barking dogs are around. This, however, stirs up your dog’s predator instincts even further, as that makes the geese appear as prey even more strongly. Ensure that you have a firm grip on your dog’s leash if you’re taking them to the park and you know there will be geese around, because they may try to chase them.
Can a Goose Hurt My Dog?
A goose can hurt your dog, but it’s unlikely. There have been reported incidents of Canadien geese luring out particularly aggressive dogs far into deep water, and then drowning them by standing on their backs or pushing them down with their wings.
Most geese, though, will not want to engage with a predator and will choose to run or fly away. But it’s still a good idea to keep a firm hold on your dog’s leash when geese are around, to teach them to obey your commands, and the ability to swim.
How to Stop Dog Barking at Geese
To stop dog barking at geese, take your dog to where there will be geese with plenty of small dog treats. Keep a firm grip on their leash and plan on staying at a comfortable distance. When your dog notices the geese, say “quiet” in a positive voice. If they look at you, give your dog praise along with a treat right away.
If your dog gets excited after and begins barking at you or the geese, then place a treat in your fist, and put your fist in front of your dog’s nose. They’ll be able to smell it (even within your hand) and should stop their barking to investigate the scent.
Once your dog quits barking and is giving you their full attention, again say “quiet,” and open your hand to reward them with a treat and praise. If they remain quiet, keep giving them praise and treats. But if your dog starts barking again (whether it’s at you or the geese), repeat this process of putting a treat in your fist, placing it near their nose, and then waiting until they’re quiet.
It’s important that you’re pausing so that you don’t open your hand to give them their praise and treat until they’ve gotten quiet. This will form a positive connection in their mind with keeping their mouth closed whenever you say “quiet.” Reward them with the treats and praise immediately when they do, particularly early on when your dog is still learning.
With consistency, time, and practice, your dog will learn to stop their barking whenever you say “quiet” but without you needing to place your hand by their mouth. When they’re responding well to only the verbal command, you should increase the length of time you pause before you reward them with the treat. Begin with 2-3 seconds, then move to 5 seconds, and so on.
It won’t be long before the food rewards and praise will no longer be necessary and you can get your dog to stop barking at geese and for any other reason just by giving the “quiet” command. But you’ll still need to do something about the root issue which was causing all of this disobedience and disrespect to begin with: your dog’s feelings of dominance.
For us to go over that, we need to first quickly talk about what makes dogs tick. You’ve probably heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader. But when your dog is barking at geese and then ignores your commands to stop, they are definitively showing that they have no respect for you in this role. They even see themselves in it.
If your dog did respect you as their pack leader, they wouldn’t bark at geese or any other animals. They wouldn’t show any other types of dominance-related misbehavior. And they would obey all of your commands at all times — immediately — and they would do so with joy.
You and the geese will both be better off for obvious reasons. But your dog will be too because you’ll have freed them of all the stress and confusion that pack leader and dominance issues are currently burdening them with every single hour of every single day.
Prove to your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but a capable one deserving of respect, and you’ll be able to make all of these wonderful things a reality.
Sounds like a great plan then, right?
“Well, yeah, but how exactly do I do this?”
You should watch an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this exact subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In his series, Dan explains everything in ways that are very simple to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets immediately to the point so that you can start seeing these important changes in your dog before things get any worse.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t stress, because no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean. Dan uses only 100% humane and loving teaching methods at all times. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.
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 “Dog Barks at Geese? Here’s How to Stop It!”