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Goose dog training

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Not sure who it was, but someone asked Becca how she trains her dogs for goose chase- this piqued my interest. Anyone else out here do this, and what sort of commands do you put on them etc?

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[url="http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=17523"]It was here[/url] that I asked the question, sincerely, mind you, not faceatiously. I'm still hoping Becca will respond.

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Hi Wendy
I have two dogs that are employed doing this. I have found certain things to be more helpful than others. Since I don't have my own geese, all training is done on the job.

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Like stockdog training, it's less about "commands" and more about building interest and shaping the work, then putting some control on. There's a whole process that differs from dog to dog.

It's important that the dog have manners, and be reliable off leash. One wants a dog that will maintain steady pressure on the birds unless asked otherwise (opposite of stockdog training, generally). You can build this on the water's edge even before the dog swims. I won't give away my trade secret here. :rolleyes: Just kidding, it's just about reinforcing any contact the dog makes. This is generally very exciting for dogs who spend most of their lives getting corrected for pushing in.

Eventually if your setup is decent, you should be able to get the dog following the birds in the water. You can then use body language to teach flanks and other commands - most of the time we start with a dog that is familiar with these from training on stock on land, first. One of the most important commands is the easiest - "Get up!" - when the birds fly, you use that, and then the dog gets excited. After a few repeats of that, the dog will try to [i]make[/i] the birds fly when you say "Get up!" or whatever you are using.

There's not really any magic to it, just like training for other stock work except it's not really stock work - I always say it's more like flyball, actually. Any of the above might be different for any dog - there's no hard and fast rules, no standard commands. I sold a dog last year to a guy who insisted that what he wanted in a dog was unquestioning obedience all the time. The dog in question wouldn't be like that, but he knew it and thought he'd give it a whirl anyway. This dog has changed his mind - he still prefers "stop means stop" but he likes how this dog saves his bacon on occasion while refusing commands.

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Thanks for your reply. So, you don't use penned birds, then? Or do you? Frankly, I hadn't thought of that, but I have used dogs on ducks, but leashed if I was uncertain whether they would do any harm.

Since I don't sell dogs, I train for my own purposes, which includes sheepdog trials. This means stockwork and plenty of it. I work in high traffic situations, and so have developed very controlled methods of harassment. [i]For my purposes[/i], I need controlled keenness, nothing which resembles anything like chasing, or killing, or flyball hyperness, hence my question.


ETA: Becca, I now saw your reply on the other thread about the penned ducks and the fact that you were being facetious. No need to reply further.

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I don't use the same commands on sheep as geese. Basically, geese are driven away, sheep are herded - I know, bad word, but it does describe the difference. Both dogs learned on the job. What I find most critical are a) will go after the geese to the ends of the earth, :rolleyes: will recall without question. Canada geese get lazy. Chase them into the water, they stay, unless you have a dog who will swim. Before I had a swimming dog, geese thought they were smart, and gave me fits. Then, the younger dog taught herself to swim, and that's that. You also need dogs who ignore people, for the most part- I work on golf courses, and people don't want dogs bothering them. You also want dogs not prone to wandering. For my purposes, I don't need much on these dogs in the way of training- basically, I need good temperament and keen-ness. I worried about my young dog since she was also learning sheep work, but so far, that hasn't been a concern. But, I don't use the same commands, so she can't get lazy or cheat.

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KG- I use the same commands on both sheep and geese. Don't think it makes any difference either way. The dogs know the job and what they are doing. Frankly, I prefer whistles anyways. Much classier than shouting.

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Well, if I COULD whistle, I would :rolleyes: Well, that's not true, I can whistle, only the high pitched stuff. I can go up and down in octaves, but everything sounds like a screech. For my dog who can be pushy, I find it's important that I don't use the same, as she may be inclined to slice in, or well, any number of things that I couldn't prevent so far away. I will say, I had a distinct moment of pleasure last fall when she was in a pond for some time working out packets of geese. They would lift off, and land a ways a way- that girl stayed in there for EVER. Anyway, there were only a few left, and she came up behind them, but left one. I yelled "LOOK BACK"- had to yell- she was far far away, and she DID!! She turned back and got the little spits. Never knew she knew that. Do you have any pics of your guys working?

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[quote name='Wendy V' post='216786' date='Feb 6 2008, 09:23 PM']KG- I use the same commands on both sheep and geese. Don't think it makes any difference either way. The dogs know the job and what they are doing. Frankly, I prefer whistles anyways. Much classier than shouting.[/quote]

:rolleyes: :D :D Ya think?

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Wendy-we spend way too much time on this board. :rolleyes:

KG-Your young one sounds just like Meg, my sister's dog, who died recently. Quite the treasure, when you have one that keen to swim.

Since I haven't yet spent the thousands of hours to get my rusty old brain around posting pictures, you can visit my website at www.thegooseman.com. I have some new pics that Dan Phillips (of flyball fame) took for me, and many others that didn't make the cut.

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I will say- I don't really say anything. I pull up to the geese in my golf cart dogs sitting next to me, scan the area for errant golf balls so my block isn't knocked off, make sure everyone is done with their strokes, and send them. They drive them away, and come back without me saying a word. The only yelling I did was when I forgot to put the golf cart break on, and it went into the pond, and the dogs kept trying to sit on the seat (as they thought we were done now that the geese are gone), and causing it to sink further. That was NOT one of my best days. Nope :rolleyes:

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Here's my training secret I used with Twist. We went to the beach A LOT when she was a puppy. She liked to chase the gulls and I encouraged it by saying "Get The Birds!" That bit of puppy fun stuck with her, and when I tried her for goose control, "Get the birds" sent her after them, her flank commands from stockdog training gave her directional control, and her love of swimming made following them into water natural....

Jill loves to work poultry. I watched her at Becca's once swim around the pond for something like half an hour or 45 minutes behind the ducks until she finally made them give up and get out of the water. The rest of us were simply playing fetch in the water, but Jill chose to go work the ducks. I once helped someone who does have a goose control business and after seeing them work, she offered to buy both. Getting Jill out of the water on a cold November day was a rather difficult task though! :rolleyes:

J.

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[quote]Wendy-we spend way too much time on this board. :D[/quote]

talking to yourself again eh? Sheesh. :rolleyes:

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These were taken late winter last year.
At first glance
[img]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y188/kelpiegirl/Atfirstglance.jpg[/img]
Kylie straight up the middle, Lucy flanking away- no commands
[img]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y188/kelpiegirl/noticekyliestraightonlucycomeby-1.jpg[/img]
Continuing on course
[img]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y188/kelpiegirl/TheresLucy.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y188/kelpiegirl/Theyreoffthegeesedogsstillgoing.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y188/kelpiegirl/stillgoing.jpg[/img]

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[quote name='Wendy V' post='216789' date='Feb 6 2008, 04:31 PM']Wendy-we spend way too much time on this board. :rolleyes:

KG-Your young one sounds just like Meg, my sister's dog, who died recently. Quite the treasure, when you have one that keen to swim.

Since I haven't yet spent the thousands of hours to get my rusty old brain around posting pictures, you can visit my website at www.thegooseman.com. I have some new pics that Dan Phillips (of flyball fame) took for me, and many others that didn't make the cut.[/quote]

Great pictures--you know Burl and Kyzer look a lot alike, except for a few speckles.....

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[quote]Great pictures--you know Burl and Kyzer look a lot alike, except for a few speckles.....[/quote]

Ah, Burl, my black beastie, er, um, beauty, depending on the day. Well, they[i] are[/i] cousins, aren't they? :rolleyes:

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HEY...slightly OT but is it legal to feed wild geese? These is big problem with this down here at a public park. The lady brings bags of bread and sacks of seed and grain. So the geese don't migrate and the place is a MESS.

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[quote name='Wendy V' post='216815' date='Feb 6 2008, 05:32 PM']Ah, Burl, my black beastie, er, um, beauty, depending on the day. Well, they[i] are[/i] cousins, aren't they? :rolleyes:[/quote]

Indeed--though Kyzer is only occasionally a beast...it must be the shep part of him :D

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Ask her if she is the human version of "stupid pet tricks". Seriously, that is incredibly stupid. Our geese don't migrate, but no one feeds them here. They have simply grown up here, and want to raise their babies here. Bring your BC to the park with you, that will fix the problem. And, if you're lucky, have the manager see you do it, and get paid. Canada geese are disgusting. Ducks I will take, geese, no.

[quote name='Lenajo' post='216823' date='Feb 6 2008, 05:47 PM']HEY...slightly OT but is it legal to feed wild geese? These is big problem with this down here at a public park. The lady brings bags of bread and sacks of seed and grain. So the geese don't migrate and the place is a MESS.[/quote]

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[quote name='Wendy V' post='216825' date='Feb 6 2008, 10:48 PM']It is only illegal to kill the person doing it.[/quote]

Not a park I'm at regularily LOL

But friends are. They say this lady brings an entire trunk full of food daily - hundreds of pounds of seed, plus bread. The park shore line is unuseable, and now the geese are getting aggressive and moving up to the playground. I suspect it will get solved there LOL

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Just cruising the thread and my LT would have LOVED to do this. That dog will loose her mind for some birds. She does the beach thing and will run hard and then work them if they go were she can't reach them. She does draw the line at jumping in the water, but I bet a million dollars if I had spent time encouraging it, she would have been keen enough to do it.

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