Town uses fake dogs to scare off real geese

Border Collies were an effective — but expensive — at keeping the geese away; the city of Wyandotte opted for the fake dogs and coyotes instead (inset). (Inset photo credit: Don Gutz)

For many of us, seeing Canadian geese is our only encounter with wildlife. These birds are beautiful to watch. However, most of us don’t enjoy having to watch where we step when we are around these big birds. Golfers get mad when they have to sidestep around geese droppings too.

Don Gutz, a resident of Wyandotte, Wisconsin, came up with a peaceful way to rid his neighborhood park and golf course of the water fowl. Placing life-like menacing looking dogs and coyotes made out of rubber and plastic around the park and golf course, Gutz told, a USA Today reporter, “These “dogs” and “coyotes” are staged at various points to discourage geese from messing up the putting greens. One of them is placed close to BASF (Waterfront) Park and shocking park goers and some golfers. Wow!”

Justin Lanagan, superintendent of Recreation for the city of Wyandotte, stated that when a person gets close to these “dogs” and “coyotes,” it’s clear that they are not real. “The only movement you see is the tail blowing in the wind or the entire decoy spinning in the wind,” Lanagan said to USA Today. “It’s very real to the geese, and obviously real to some people.”

Prior to placing the decoys in the park and throughout the golf course, Lanagan hired a professional company with a trained Border Collie to chase the geese away. While it worked incredibly well, it was quite expensive. That is why he opted to place decoys in the park and on the golf course.

Made out of a rubber cutout, similar to materials you find in a Halloween mask, the decoys also have a fluffy tail that flaps in the wind. It is mounted on a plastic stake.

The park and golf course crews move the decoys around to create the illusion of movement and to give the geese a sense that these fakes are real. They are mostly placed alongside the ponds — a favorite place of Canadian geese.

The fakes are a success. According to Lanagan, “Compared to last year, our problems with the geese have drastically been reduced.”

Sources: USA Today,