Tucker Creek Goose Control

The use of dogs for wildlife control, particularly goose control is becoming widespread.  Their use on Military air force base airports has a 30 year history in the US and overseas.  Since bird strikes can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages should a flock enter a jet engine, a wide variety of methods has been tried to deter all sorts of birds and other  wildlife from utilizing airport and runway property.  Vancouver airport currently uses dogs as an effective method for bird control and has had great success.

Dogs represent a real, rather than a perceived threat to geese since canines are a natural predator and geese understand this.  Constant harassment causes geese to eventually decide that there are likely better, less risky places to settle.  Therefore other methods such as egg removal, nest destruction etc. can be eliminated or at least reduced.

Early eradication of Geese and deterring breeding/nesting will result in future reduction in resident numbers of geese at the sites they choose for nesting and staging (resting for the purpose of grazing and moulting).  Our team at Tucker Creek has over 20 years of experience working with different techniques to deal with unwanted geese and other wildlife, that destroy parkland, new sod, green-spaces and public use facilities.

We have used a variety of methods from scaring with pyrotechnics, bangers, fire tape, floating eyeballs, and more.  We have learned that more than anything, geese respond to the presence of the perceived predator to discourage them from establishing nests sites and staging in areas where the expectations are that predators are abundant.  The dog program works hands down better than anything and we are proud to have the many years of experience and testimonials to prove it!

We are experienced with acquiring permits with the Canadian Wildlife Service to approve our activities and work actively with other agents who do re-locations and landscape assessments to create challenging access for sites for unwanted species.

We are skilled, educated, experienced and capable of dealing with many beast control issues particularly geese and gulls.  We look forward to working with you and your staff to come up with a suitable strategy which will include our dogs in the future.

Background and Experience

I have a Master’s degree in Biology (Wildlife biologist) and served as a contract employee over many years to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Lakehead University, and the University of Guelph.  My Master’s Thesis was on the Breeding Ecology of the Red-Necked Grebe (waterfowl species) and undergraduate work in animal behaviour resulting in publication of papers in the raising of orphaned moose calves.  I was active in banding songbirds for the Canadian Wildlife Service for three years as a wildlife biologist.

I have over 20 years experience working as consultant on a variety of projects for wildlife management and management of species, particularly Canada Geese and local Gull populations.

As a wildlife biologist I have been in contact with many biologists and research scientists who have been dealt the difficult task of eradicating birds and other nuisance wildlife from parks, golf courses and airport runways.  I have extensive experience in research and application and problem solve with considerable expertise.  As a consultant for numerous projects from tourism development to wildlife monitoring, I also have a great deal experience working with many levels of government, and the general public.

In addition our goose control, Tucker Creek Farm is a small sheep operation located south on Highway 61 towards the USA border, owned by me, Tanya Wheeler.  The facility is host to one of only 2 all-breed sheepdog training facilities in Canada and hosts several herding trials and training classes year-round.

We host regular sheep dog herding classes in the summer season and occasionally take in dogs for herding training.  I am a volunteer trainer for the Thunder Kennel and Training Club and personally compete in a variety of dog sports throughout the region, country, and internationally. I raise and train Australian Shepherds for performance and practical ranch work.

I am one of only a handful of certified Stock-dog judges in Canada for the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) and holds a license to judge in the US and Canada for the American Herding Breed Association and the Australian Shepherd Club of America.  I have accredited titles on many dogs and our Kennel is recognized as Hall of Fame Excellent Kennel #1.   I teach clinics locally and abroad including the USA and overseas on the subject of dog training in general and specifically the fine art of sheep dog herding.

Our Team at Tucker Creek Goose Control

We have had some of our staff from the early beginnings that still work for us on an occasional or full time seasonal basis.  Any given year we are running at least 4 staff persons on a rotation basis in the City of Thunder Bay managing properties on the North and South side.  We are in communication daily as to the numbers in each location.  With regular communication, we are able to send our teams to specific locations for heavier loads and double our efforts as we see fit.

Our clients enjoy being able to communicate with us also on a regular basis by asking for increased service if sites are being prepared for special events, or if larger numbers of geese or flocks arrive unnoticed.  We can be on the site almost immediately with a phone call from clients.

Why Tucker Creek Dogs?

Among my group of dogs, and our handlers’ own dogs, all of them are highly keen on working birds, almost all will hit the water with glee, but the combination is rare.   We have the canine resources that are needed to assist in reducing the goose problem in an area and at least a trial period of one year is advised.  Seasonal “resident” populations may have to be deterred from successfully hatching young via other methods in order to see these resident populations decline over time.

Many of our dogs are trained Australian Shepherds which operate under my or my daughter’s control and have been trained to work sheep both at our farm and for more precise control in trial situations abroad.   Our handlers occasionally handle with their own dogs and each one has been screened and trained for off leash work in public spaces.  Dogs are vested so that they can be identified as working dogs, and handlers adhere to all safety precautions when working at each location. 

Good working dogs should be under control and work well with at least two handlers.  Distance work requires some voice and some whistle commands.  At the current time, some dogs are training with whistles commands and willing to work with almost anyone. 

Most of our dogs are adept swimmers and keen to enter the water where geese and other waterfowl are likely to seek refuge.  This is an uncommon trait as is the dog’s specific interest in birds, which these two dogs possess.  I have additional dogs which work well in public settings and will assist in the disturbance of bird flocks and then return to me when called.  This is a particularly important feature of bird control and often additional dogs are used to make the quarry feel sufficiently threatened if they have dogs coming from many angles.

 All our dogs are well trained and enjoy public attention while some are extremely focused on their work and will not bother with people or other animals when they are at work.  It is our preference not to have the working dogs engaging with the public while they are one duty.  However, as an important part of public awareness and education, the dogs are all social and most love to gain attention from passers-by.

Dog training has fast become more than a hobby and now sustains me significantly year round as a reputable animal trainer and behaviourist.  In addition to the goose control program, many of our dog compete on an international level at sheep dog trials and we raise competent Australian Shepherds for working sheep and cattle ranches throughout Canada, the USA, and Europe.

I am familiar with the goose problem at various properties throughout Thunder Bay and I am interested in working with other property owners to develop a strategy that both include dogs and other potentially successful tools to address the problem. I currently possess 5 dogs suitable for this type of work and will further describe the necessary talents below as they pertain to being a pert of the goose management solution in Thunder Bay.

Looking for training resources?  Visit The Talking Dog at www.thetalkingdog.ca.

Upcoming Training and Certification Program for People Interested in the Goose Control Business

We are working on a training and certification  program for people interested in working in the wildlife management business in Canada.  We have done a great deal of consulting in both Canada and the USA and overseas (Denmark) on the subject of Canada goose management in public and private properties.

We can help get you and your project or dog teams set up in developing a reliable and success full Goose Control business.

Contact us for details.