How to stop a goose attack

A safe, humane and effective way to control Canada geese populations

How to stop a goose attack

The beautifully manicured lawns and wonderful water features add to the perfect landscape, but they also attract Canada geese. Geese can certainly add to this beauty, in a natural settings. But one pair can quickly become 50 birds over time, and even one pair of nesting geese can become a danger to people innocently passing by their territory.

Canada geese exhibit very strong family bonds, and often return to the place they were born to raise their own families. Female geese lay between 2 and 8 eggs, which incubate for about 28 days. During this nesting season, geese will become extremely protective and exhibit aggressive behavior.

What can you do if a geese attacks you?

  • Stare down your attacker. They will learn from your body language that you are a threat. Canada geese have excellent vision and will be able to perceive where you are looking and how you are reacting to them. Do not close or squint your eyes. Do not turn your back.
  • Slowly back away. Don’t turn your back, or stop looking at the goose. Using your peripheral vision be aware of obstacles in your pathways.
  • Do not act hostile, remain neutral in your demeanor. Do not hit, kick or swing at the goose. This will only agitate them more, and may even bring the female off her nest to support her spouse in the attack. If you remain neutral, you are less of a threat.
  • If the goose flies towards your face, duck or move away at a 90 degree angle to the direction of the flight still facing the attacking goose.

The best solution is to take precautions so that Canada geese and human interactions are limited.

Most importantly, start a goose management program to limit the number of geese on your property. Ohio Geese Control can help develop a custom program to meet your needs. Call us at 1-877-91GEESE.

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I have 6 Chinese white geese. I raised them from goslings. They have been great until a few weeks ago. Two of them have turned real aggressive. Hissing and biting. I know not go go anywhere near the nest. But when ever I come outside they come running like they are happy to see me. Heads up high and making the happy happy sounds. This turns sour after a min. or tow of being near me. The heads drop down and the hissing starts. Then the biting starts. I have tried holding them to calm them down. A suggestion that was given to me. Which is out of the question . Offering them corn, lettuce. and several other things. It keeps getting worse. So how do you members with geese deal with aggressive ganders ? They have drawn blood, left bruises, and I am not happy about this. I’m thinking Thanksgiving dinner , Christmas dinner, New Years dinner, and every Sunday between them, until this mean breed is out of here. I love the way the look, and they can be so kind ( when they feel like it ). I think next time I will pay a little more and get something like American Buff Goose. are known for their calm and docile disposition. Any input about is welcome , and in fact needed.

I know people say.
Don’t show fear
Look them in the eyes
Back away slowly
And a few other things, But pack mentality rules out some of these thoughts. I got 5 healthy bites in less then 2 min. I have considered biting them back.

  • Oct 5, 2010
  • #2
  • ScoobyRoo

    • Oct 5, 2010
  • #3
  • desertdarlene


    I am having problem with a, more or less, feral gander at our lake, actually a pair. He (and his friend) used to run up to me whenever they thought I had food, but when the aggressive one got to within a few feet of me, down goes the head and he threatens to bite. He has bitten me a few times, not hard, but very aggressively. It doesn’t matter what I do, I try to be friends, give him food, etc. Now, however, I give him a firm “no!” and sometimes I will raise my arms and step towards him. Haven’t been bit in a while, doesn’t mean I never will again, but it’s worked so far.

    I do, also, try not to approach him directly and keep my distance, but that’s not always possible when it’s your own gander that you have to handle.

    I notice that this gander is not aggressive to men, but almost always aggressive to women and even female geese and, I think, female ducks.

    He is a good gander in some ways. If he sees any of the other geese feeding in a bad spot, like a driveway or sidewalk, he will move them away from people.

    • Oct 5, 2010
  • #4
  • Flock Mistress
    • Oct 5, 2010
  • #5
  • HeatherLynn

    • Oct 5, 2010
  • #6
  • chickensducks&agoose

    • Oct 5, 2010
  • #7
  • redhen

    Kiss My Grits.

    First thing.. i wouldnt back away at all. make HIM back away.

    What i do when my gander tries me.. when he goes to bite me.. i grab his head and force his head and neck to the ground. so he cant move.. just use your hand to hold him down. dont use your body or be too rough with him.. but hold him down firmly. so he knows your the boss.
    I’ll sit there for a minute until i feel him “give up”. then i let him go and he’ll usually yell at me some. (like a tough guy

    Before i put my hands on him though..i will give him a chance to back down. i’ll point away from me and tell him “no. go on!”.. that works sometimes too..
    But if he STILL comes at me. then its ON..

    • Oct 5, 2010
  • #8
  • redhen

    Kiss My Grits.

    chickensducks&agoose :

    my chinese gander is a HUGE jerk. he has been since adolescence, and I assume he will continue to bite me and terrify my children, and their children, and their children.

    • Oct 5, 2010
  • #9
  • sourland

    Broody Magician
    • Oct 6, 2010
  • #10
  • ultasol


    I put on my big girl pants, will raise and flap my arms, make myself big. I never turn my back on an aggressive gander. I think that making yourself overly familiar with young ganders increases aggression as they get older, especially hand feeding, because they don’t respect your personal space. If they are less familiar, they won’t be as ‘cuddly’ when young, but you won’t get attacked as much when they are older, and simply raising an arm is usually enough to shoo one off unless you are getting eggs from his mate.

    Ganders can be aggressive. It’s their nature, they protect their geese and their nests, protect their territory. I have a sebbie that will grab my pantleg and attack feed buckets in breeding season. My dewlaps will put on a show, but I have never been bitten or flogged by them.

    The only time I received a real flogging was when I went into the barn to check on a Buff American goose on the nest, and I thought the gander was out grazing. He came in behind me, unbeknownst to me, and about the time I realized the eggs hatched (saw a little head pop out from under the goose’s wing) he nailed me from behind and flogged and bit me (I was in shorts, big mistake.) By the time I was able to pull him off and get him put in a stall, I had deep bruises and bite marks on my calfs, lower arms, and upper arms.

    It wasn’t his fault, it was mine. He was protecting his nest and that was the only time he was aggressive.

    Anyway, in summary, don’t try to coddle them or ‘make friends’ with them as you will make it worse. Even says as much in ‘The Book of Geese’ by Holderread.

    by Erich Martin

    © Jannis Werner |

    Tips / Safety

    There might not be a more terrifying, in-the-moment experience than taking a leisurely walk along a lake and getting ambushed by angry, honking geese.

    Geese have a pretty well-earned reputation as horrible monsters. An independent video game studio even released a game where you play as a goose whose only motivation is being a jerk to an entire town. In the context of a game, this is funny and cute, but geese can be truly terrifying.

    The most important point to realize is geese are extremely territorial. No matter what, if you walk into their home, they are going to watch you. If you get too close to them, they will begin honking angrily.

    Like most animals, geese tending babies are much more aggressive than geese just minding their nest. Depending on the subset of geese, they have different breeding seasons. Canadian Geese, for example, breed between February and April. If you are walking near water during the breeding season, take extra care.

    If you get the attention of a feisty goose, make sure to keep facing it. Don’t turn your back on the bird and back away slowly. Be sure to start backing off before it decides you’re a real threat and begins chasing you. Like excitable dogs, running away from a goose might just make it want to chase you more. Stay calm and back away slowly.

    No matter what you do, do not engage in an openly hostile way. If you are unfortunate enough to become the object of a goose attack, seek medical attention. It probably isn’t serious, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

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    I had a very lonely male goose so I purchase an adult female and 2 – 1yr olds. So things went along fine for 3 weeks and then this weekend I had to take one of my Turkeys to the vet I went to pick him up and one of the 1 yr old greese bit me in the butt. I hoped it would be a one time thing but yesterday I walked out into the yard and it ran to attack me and would not stop so I picked it up and put it in a pin until I was done the I let the goose loose and hurried in the house. I have had geese for years and never had this happen although people told me geese were mean I never had one.

    I would love to keep him or her but I can do with the attacks. HELP.

    • Sep 11, 2013
  • #2
  • Songster

    I had a very lonely male goose so I purchase an adult female and 2 – 1yr olds. So things went along fine for 3 weeks and then this weekend I had to take one of my Turkeys to the vet I went to pick him up and one of the 1 yr old greese bit me in the butt. I hoped it would be a one time thing but yesterday I walked out into the yard and it ran to attack me and would not stop so I picked it up and put it in a pin until I was done the I let the goose loose and hurried in the house. I have had geese for years and never had this happen although people told me geese were mean I never had one.

    I would love to keep him or her but I can do with the attacks. HELP.

    First you were wonderful to get you gander some gaggle friends. But since a gander he has adopted them and is protecting them now as his flock. The only thing you can do to keep him from coming after you to bite is grab him up and put him under your arm and hold him tight until he stops fighting. Then if he trys to bite you hold his beak closed and say no bite. Do not cover his nostrils just hold the end closed. You might have to do this several times for him to learn you are bigger than he is and will confine him which they hate.
    Others will chime in to ad some of their ways as well.

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    We have what we think is a pair of embden geese. One is bigger and beefier than the other and acts like he’s in charge so we’re guessing he’s a male. The smaller one who has always followed before has started attacking everyone. She’s never liked my daughter and always used to run away from her or yell at her but I’ve always been able to handle her. In the last week though she has even tried to attack me and she is pulling all the feathers out of the chickens and tried to climb on top of the turkey. I clapped in front of her one time she started to attack and she immediately backed up and looked at me like I had lost my mind but the very next time I went out she tried to kick through the fence to attack me.

    I’m afraid she’s going to hurt herself or one of the other birds if we don’t do something to stop it, but I have no clue why she started or what to do about it. Any suggestions? Will she grow out of it as she gets older?

    Right now they have free run with the chickens, a duck, and a turkey and they are all housed together at night. But we are getting a set of broiler chickens next week and I’m concerned she will kill the young ones. Should we be housing them separately?

    • Sep 16, 2011
  • #2
  • Oregon Blues


    I suspect that you have 2 ganders.

    Geese aren’t lap dogs and if you try to raise them like a lap dog, then you can have behavior problems with them.

    Also, if your goose (gander?) has been hissing at your child continuously, you have been allowing the child to to torment the goose. They have long memories and aren’t very forgiving. Something about the child’s behavior bothered the goose so either the child’s behavior should have been modified, or she should have been kept entirely away from the goose.

    Perhaps if you can’t handle the goose, you could rehome her (him?) with someone who can. Right now you are on target to get someone hurt. It might be your new chickens, but it could also very well be your daughter.

    Spring is breeding season for Canada geese. The birds often become aggressive if they believe that their eggs or goslings are threatened. Even if you don’t see a nest, one may be nearby. If you get too close, a goose may attack to defend it.

    Most goose attacks on humans result in minor or no injuries, but severe injuries can happen. Goose attacks have resulted in broken bones, head trauma, and emotional distress. Many of these injuries occur when the person tries to avoid an attacking goose and trips and falls.

    If wild geese are fed by people, they lose their natural fear of humans and will often build their nests close to people. The geese will then become aggressive if humans get too close to the nest. This is one of many reasons why it is not a good idea to feed wild geese.

    The female stays in the nest with the eggs during the incubation period, and it is the gander’s job to protect them. He usually stays nearby and stands guard. If a potential predator gets too close, the gander will often give a warning call and try to chase it away. If the intruder does not leave quickly, the gander can become aggressive.

    Geese have excellent vision and pay close attention to the eyes and body language of people and other animals that they view as potential threats. If a goose begins acting aggressively toward you, maintain eye contact and face your body directly toward the bird. Never close or squint your eyes, and do not turn your back or shoulders away because that will make the goose more likely to attack. Back away slowly and never run, yell, kick, or act aggressively in any way. If you do, the other bird may attack you as well. If a goose flies toward your face, duck or moves away from it at a 90-degree angle to the direction of flight. Continue to face the goose at all times.

    Remember that geese act aggressively because their instincts compel them to protect their young, just as humans and other animals do. Serious injuries from goose attacks are uncommon, but it is best to avoid geese as much as possible during the breeding season.

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Stop A Goose Attack

    Geese are territorial animals, especially during nesting season, when reports of goose attacks increase. The male goose is protecting the female and the nest from perceived threats. Follow these steps to prevent these attacks.


    Prevent a Goose Attack

    1. Call your local wildlife department if the geese in your area become too numerous or too aggressive. They can assist in making safe arrangements to move the geese if necessary.

    2. Refrain from feeding the geese. Once geese lose their fear of humans, they begin nesting closer to office buildings and public parks.

    3. Install a specially designed fence to keep geese off your property and limit access to water. The geese will move on to better nesting grounds when you cut off their water supply.

    4. Use caution around geese in the spring, when the female lays her eggs and sits on the nest for incubation. Male geese are at their most aggressive at this time.

    Stop a Goose Attack

    5. Pay attention to the actions of the male goose when you enter his territory. If he sounds a warning, that is your signal to leave the area.

    6. Show no fear. Geese are particularly attuned to body language and a show of fear may increase the intensity of the attack.

    7. Maintain eye contact. Geese have excellent vision and interpret loss of eye contact as an act of fear.

    8. Stay calm. Don’t yell or try to hit the male goose. The female may join the attack and then you will be in real trouble.

    9. Keep your body facing directly toward the goose. Never turn your back on an attacking goose.

    10. Walk slowly backwards if the goose hisses at you or spreads its wings. Use your peripheral vision to avoid tripping over obstacles.

    11. Continue facing the goose and back slowly away at a 90-degree angle from the goose if he flies up at your face.

    12. Make your escape and exit the area through a gate if possible. Geese rarely fly over a fence.

    Tags: Goose Attack, male goose, geese your, Stop Goose, Stop Goose Attack

    What should I do if I find a baby goose?

    If someone finds a baby goose, Manoa advises to first wait and see if the parents return to the stray gosling. If not, then they can bring the little one to Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. And don’t keep a gosling as a pet. For one, it’s against state law.

    Can you touch baby geese?

    The best rule of thumb if you find a baby bird or any animal infant is just to leave it alone. In most cases, the parents are nearby and may be waiting for you to leave the area. Touching animals can also result in diseases passing from wildlife to humans, or vice versa.

    What happens when you touch a baby goose?

    Most of the birds people find are fledglings. . Don’t worry—parent birds do not recognize their young by smell. They will not abandon a baby if it has been touched by humans.” So leave the cute ones alone, and put the little ratty-looking ones back in the nest.

    Can you put baby geese with chickens?

    Yes! Generally speaking, ducks, geese, and chickens (and most other types of fowl) get along really well with one another without too many issues, especially if they grow up together from the time they are very young and have plenty of space in their coop and exercise area.

    Can chickens live with geese?

    Geese are great guard dogs and keeping them with your chickens will provide a warning system if predators are about. But guard geese are more dedicated to a flock they’ve bonded with, so if that’s your goal get one goose and raise it with your chickens.

    Can you keep a single goose with chickens?

    Surprisingly, a single goose can often provide the best protection for a flock of chickens. If you raise multiple geese, they will bond with one another, and while they may deter potential predators, they will not actively work to protect your hens.

    Why do geese peck at you?

    Travel in a group so the goose will not single you out. Why do geese attack humans? They are territorial and protecting their nesting areas. . Geese often travel in flocks; one pair can quickly become 50 birds.

    How do you stop a goose attack?

    Maintain a neutral demeanor toward the goose. Don’t yell or hit. At the same time, do not cower, hide or run. If a goose flies up towards your face, then duck or move away at a 90-degree angle to the direction of flight, still facing the attacking goose.