EVER HEARD OF THE GEESE POLICE?
While in Kansas City for our 50th high school reunion, Stu and I headed to Shawnee Mission Park for nature photography. While photographing Canada Geese at the lake, we met the Geese Police!
As we sat on the beach taking photos, a man with a kayak “put in” near where we sat. He headed straight for the geese at a quick clip. When he reached the geese, he shook a plastic jug filled with what sounded like rocks and the geese took flight. We were thrilled because Stu wanted some photos of geese taking flight and landing. But what was going on?
In cities across the country, Canada geese create distasteful messes on golf courses, in corporate compounds, playgrounds, parks and elsewhere. We found out those are the places that employ the Geese Police!
The Geese Police use trained Border Collies that are trained using traditional Scottish herding commands to safely “guide” the geese to another location. Border Collies use their eyes to mesmerize the geese into flight.
TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH COMMANDS
We were lucky enough to meet Rebel, Chris Stoneberger’s Border Collie herding dog. Rebel knows the traditional Scottish commands of:
“Come-bye” which tells the dog to move clockwise around the geese.
“Away” which tells the dog to move counter-clockwise around the geese.
Rebel knows when Chris says, “Street” he must stop.
The geese are perfectly safe but believe the dogs to be predators and quickly leave. Properly trained dogs never touch the birds.
As if meeting Chris and Rebel were not treat enough, Chris gave Stu and me each a set of Goose Handcuffs! There is even a tiny key!
Now we know Geese Police!