Dogs help keep local goose population moving


TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) — This is an issue that, frankly, has a lot of people honking their horns.

We talk about the growing number of Canada geese that inhabit our area. There is a human way to help manage the problem and that involves four-legged helpers.

You certainly don’t have to go far to find Canada geese. Cynthia Poe, migratory bird specialist and dog handler for Ohio Goose Control in the Toledo region, says that we have seen an annual increase in population.

“Population growth in northwest Ohio has been estimated at 10 to 15 percent per year, every year. We are a goose population human resolution service. Humane is the first word in our company’s mission,” Poe said.

Poe said the company has several border collies at work in our area.

“The dogs are trained to come back as soon as they are called, so they never reach the geese. They just run to them and come back. a predator in the environment, so they can’t hang around and be big and sassy like they’re used to,” Poe said.

We met dogs, Emma and Katt, at the Glass City Metropark on Friday. This is one of the many places where the dogs patrol.

“We work in places like college campuses, hospital campuses, public parks, private parks, industrial sites with ponds, and retirement communities,” Poe said.

Michael Sullivan is Emma’s manager. He said she was often one step ahead of him. “Sometimes the dogs tell me there’s a bird there when I didn’t even notice it. It’s amazing to watch them work,” Sullivan said.

Border Collies are highly intelligent and herded bred. Many of the dogs used by Ohio Geese Control are rescues.

“They want to go to work. They have the instinct to herd animals. These are usually cattle and sheep, but we take that instinct and direct them to Canada geese lounging on the ground. At home they are pampered pets, but in the field they are working dogs on a mission. They really like to work, Poe said.

There are migratory and resident Canada geese. Poe said both populations are growing, but it’s the resident geese that are of concern.

“We humans continue to create perfect environments for Canada geese. They like open lawns, fertilized grass, short grass so they can see predators, but there are no predators and they like ponds. People also feed them sometimes, and those things are part of why some populations have gotten out of control,” Poe said.

Dogs are trained to help balance people and birds, and Sullivan loves being part of that mission. ” I do not work. It’s one of those positions where you do what you love, so you don’t work.

The dogs live with their masters. Once retired, they can be adopted by their master.

If you love dogs and spending time outdoors, Ohio Geese Control is hiring. To learn more, Click here.

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