Training session went awry - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Training session went awry

It's goose mating season (i think). I don't know much about geese, but what I've seen over the last 16 years of going to the same natural park, now's the time the geese are out and about, in good numbers and in pairs Perfect training opportunity for me and Phoenix. Last year, around this time, Phoenix was excited for sure...but he was around 1 year old, par for the course, excitement in abundance lol. Great training opportunities, we'd walk past, safe distance mind you, I'd get him to focus on me, even the goose quacking was no issue. A couple of days ago, we're in our usual haunt, about 10 geese scattered about. Perfect, lets walk on by, nice heel, good focus...yup, I was over confident. Because, just about 30 feet away, there are two labradoodles, pulling like all get out (owners fighting to reign them in), barking and bent for chase...so I think, well, here I am walking nicely, certainly these people will control their dogs, because, well that's what you're supposed to do? Nope, these people let their dogs go! Massive chase ensues, and now the 10 geese are flying at me and Phoenix, with two labradoodles in hot pursuit. All I can think is "scatter!" Somehow we get out of the way, we kinda hopped over into the bushes lol, and I'm left wondering...what just happened?! Phoenix got an atta boy, and I gave my best death stare to the oblivious people and their poorly trained dogs...lol, like they even noticed!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:29 PM
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Somehow reading this the old Nintendo duck hunt game popped into my head.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:44 PM
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Hahaha!

I was the person with the poorly trained dog last night... we went to a park that had its floodlights on, a little local soccer game was going on... I knew it was going to be tough training with a game on but I thought it would be good to see how we get on... couldn't even get a 10 second stay before Kaiser was off like a shot to join in the soccer game... the men were all killing themselves laughing tho... so alls well that ends well I guess. I continued to train stays with my foot on the lead.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
Somehow reading this the old Nintendo duck hunt game popped into my head.
Shoot, now there's a flashback! Hehe, only I wasn't gracefully jumping into the bushes...
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KaiserAus View Post
Hahaha!

I was the person with the poorly trained dog last night... we went to a park that had its floodlights on, a little local soccer game was going on... I knew it was going to be tough training with a game on but I thought it would be good to see how we get on... couldn't even get a 10 second stay before Kaiser was off like a shot to join in the soccer game... the men were all killing themselves laughing tho... so alls well that ends well I guess. I continued to train stays with my foot on the lead.
Ha! I'd say "pup in training" not poorly trained believe me, Phoenix and I are far from perfect! And no doubt, a soccer game is a huge distraction! But I bet your pup had a good little run
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 12:06 AM
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If you knew more about geese, you wouldn't find this funny. Geese are nesting right now, and like most parents, they will go to great lengths to defend their young. And adult male goose can hid hard enough with its wings to break bone. If they can get the dog out into the water, they will try their best to drown it by climbing on its back, and forcing it underwater.

You were wise to get your dog out of the way!

Stupid dog owner - I have YET to meet a well-trained labradoodle! I know they MUST be out there, but I've yet to meet one. Must have something to do with the mindset of the owners, who will pay more for a mutt than for a dog from a reputable breeder!
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 07:32 AM
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I've often looked at the geese by the pond and thought, "how much fun it would be to let my big boy go and let him chase them into the pond". But that would set up an expectation to chase birds that I don't want to have to "correct" later. I bet the Lab/doodle folks just thought it would be harmless fun and the birds would escape to the water. I had no idea that a flock might actually attack the dog.

When my boy was younger he had to learn that the neighborhood basketballs weren't his. The guy across the street wasn't spraying the hose for him. The fellow raking wasn't gathering leaves in a pile for him. To me it almost made me feel like a parent telling a happy child, "no you can't have an ice-cream cone before lunch". But it is for everyone's good to say no.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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I've often looked at the geese by the pond and thought, "how much fun it would be to let my big boy go and let him chase them into the pond". But that would set up an expectation to chase birds that I don't want to have to "correct" later. I bet the Lab/doodle folks just thought it would be harmless fun and the birds would escape to the water. I had no idea that a flock might actually attack the dog.

When my boy was younger he had to learn that the neighborhood basketballs weren't his. The guy across the street wasn't spraying the hose for him. The fellow raking wasn't gathering leaves in a pile for him. To me it almost made me feel like a parent telling a happy child, "no you can't have an ice-cream cone before lunch". But it is for everyone's good to say no.
It's amazing how some people see their dogs chasing wildlife as just harmless fun, I've seen dogs go after the deer, with owners not even making any attempt to recall the dog I get quite angry, but not much I can do. Phoenix and i have had to back-track a few times if we come across geese in the path...I may not know much about geese, but I know enough to keep my distance! Plus if they start quacking, I feel like I'm upsetting them, which I don't want to do. And I have more incentive to "say no"... I have two cats. Our GSDs are smart, but it would be impossible to say...chase this, but not that. Talk about confusing and inconsistent messaging! Just seems to me that the person who let her dog go after the pulling, barking, excited behaviour has just taught/reinforced to the dog that the behaviour is acceptable and will be rewarded (ie. you get let go, and get to chase).
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
If you knew more about geese, you wouldn't find this funny. Geese are nesting right now, and like most parents, they will go to great lengths to defend their young. And adult male goose can hid hard enough with its wings to break bone. If they can get the dog out into the water, they will try their best to drown it by climbing on its back, and forcing it underwater.

You were wise to get your dog out of the way!
A goose, no matter how protective it is, is not going to drown or attack a dog like a GSD...maybe a small lapdog, but not a GSD-sized dog. Nor have I ever heard of one using its wings to break an animal's bones (at least not a gsd-sized animal). They encounter canine predators in the wild all the time, and the ones that survive more than a season are smart enough to avoid such threats, not confront them. They likely view most dogs the same way they view wild predators.


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It's amazing how some people see their dogs chasing wildlife as just harmless fun, I've seen dogs go after the deer, with owners not even making any attempt to recall the dog I get quite angry, but not much I can do. Phoenix and i have had to back-track a few times if we come across geese in the path...I may not know much about geese, but I know enough to keep my distance! Plus if they start quacking, I feel like I'm upsetting them, which I don't want to do. And I have more incentive to "say no"... I have two cats. Our GSDs are smart, but it would be impossible to say...chase this, but not that. Talk about confusing and inconsistent messaging! Just seems to me that the person who let her dog go after the pulling, barking, excited behaviour has just taught/reinforced to the dog that the behaviour is acceptable and will be rewarded (ie. you get let go, and get to chase).
I don't condone chasing or harassing the wildlife, especially out of season, but this situation did turn out to be harmless. And to some extent, most dogs have a natural inclination to engage in such behaviors....they are dogs after all. That's why many people use them for hunting and herding.

The dogs in the OP's post should have been under control, I think we all agree on that. But let's not act like this was some horrible experience for the geese. The playful chase of a lab is nothing compared to the pressure they're going to face from predators out in the wild.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 05:17 PM
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Ever seen a Canada goose up close? They are BIG!! The males average 14 lbs, and have a 6 foot wing span. And yes, a blow from a wing CAN break bone. Maybe not a full grown human's bone, but definitely a kid or a dog.

The wings are their main defense They have bony spurs on their wings, and sharp claws on their feet. If they can drive the dog into the water, they will jump on its back, and beat it with their wings, trying to force it under the water and drown it. Their beaks are serrated like steak knives, and can rip skin badly enough that you'd need stitches.
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