Tecumseh Welcomes Four Legged Staffers in Lakewood Park
The Town of Tecumseh welcomed several four legged staffers in Lakewood Park this week to assist with Goose Detterance. Apollo, Archer, Aura, Brigid, Celeste and Evelyn from Caora Border Collies in Leamington, were on the job this week to disrupt geese that settle in the park. The dogs work off leash and are clearly identifiable by their reflective vests. A sign will be placed in the parking lots to indicate that the dogs are working and the Town requests that users not interfere with the handler and dogs while they are on-site and keep their own dogs on leash.
“We have heard input from the public that uses Lakewood Park and those residents that live along the park that goose control needs to be a priority,” said Gary McNamara, Mayor of Tecumseh. “This method is harmless for the geese and works much more effectively than other measures.”
The six dogs will work one at a time during various time periods at the Park. They are clearly marked with reflective vests and are only off-leash for the period where they herd the geese. They use a “stalk and stare” method which mimics the behaviour of wild predators. The dogs do not touch the geese or harm nests or goslings, their method is herding and they circle back to their handler after pushing the geese out of the area. The dogs are trained on sheep, ducks and geese in addition to obedience and manners. They are people safe and only respond to their handler. Work will include going into the lake along the shoreline as geese tend to wait out the dogs in the water.
“Parks staff have tried a number of control options to try to deter the birds from nesting and settling in the parks,” said Paul Anthony, Director Parks and Recreation. “Canada Geese are intelligent birds and have gotten used to the flashes, bangers and other measures we have tried. They are also used to domestic pets that use the park and get used to methods of shooing them away. Border Collies have been shown to be successful in other park areas which is why we decided to use this method in Lakewood.”
The program will run for the next three months and will be reviewed following that time to determine additional days and times throughout the summer and fall as required. As the dogs mimic the behaviour of a predator and they are being used at various times of the day and early evening, the geese will eventually move on to avoid them. The dogs are out now to prevent nesting in the park in the spring. It is hoped that this program will reduce the number of geese in Lakewood Park significantly so users can continue to enjoy the park area free of goose droppings.