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3 cry woof to shoo away the Canada geese

If it seems as if there are fewer geese pooping all over your favorite golf course, park or picnic spot these days, there probably a good reason actually three.

Their names are Gracie, Bogey and Emma.

lot of people think they out there to hunt the geese, but that not what we about, said their owner, Craig Cygan. just try to keep the geese from making the property their home. 53, of the Town of Boston, started the small business Borders on Patrol in 2007, using the dogs to help manage the geese population and the numerous complaints they leave behind. Given the proliferation of geese, the business has taken off.

New York has as many as 250,000 Canada geese, which is about three times too many, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The migratory waterfowl yearly return from the South was once an iconic springtime symbol, but what happened is a portion now stay North year round, thanks to an abundance of winter food and open water, explained Connie Adams, a wildlife biologist with the DEC.

geese have become incredibly adaptable, Adams said. are a wild bird that have become very comfortable around people, and whenever that happens, not only do you end up with a higher population of the animal, but more human versus wildlife conflicts. a result, Cygan now has nearly three dozen clients municipalities, office parks, college campuses, golf courses taking him and his dogs everywhere from Hamburg to Lancaster to Wheatfield twice a day five days a week to chase away geese.

biggest nuisance is biggest nuisance is their droppings, Kevin Glowka said of his problems with geese at Fox Valley Club in Lancaster, the cart paths, on the fairways, near the greens. a playable standpoint, said Glowka, the golf course superintendent at Fox Valley, not good to have golfers walking through goose droppings when they come to play a round of golf. a recent morning, Cygan and Gracie stopped at the Audubon Golf Course on Maple Road in Amherst, one of their new contracts.

that do, Cygan says, giving Gracie her cue to come.

Gracie rises up off the grass and walks beside Cygan: time to go to work.

As Cygan and Gracie walk Audubon, they reach Ellicott Creek, where the two dozen geese in the water sense something is amiss. The geese begin honking.

The idea isn to hurt the geese, Cygan explains, but to portray the dogs as predators and keep the geese from taking up residence.

Gracie crouches down and slowly, quietly skulks toward the water edge.

Cygan says, giving Gracie the signal to run.

She sprints back and forth along the bank, eyes glued at the geese in the water.

The geese continue to honk.

Gracie stops and stands completely still, using her secret weapon: The Stare.

collies have a stare, and that what intimidates the geese, Cygan said. don like the attention. They realize this dog is serious about something. They not sure what it is but they don want to find out. a native of Cheektowaga, was a Secret Service agent for 23 years. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as vice presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney, before a stroke at age 46 ended Cygan career.

As Cygan searched for a new line of work, he read a couple stories that intrigued him: one was about a geese problem in the Town of Wheatfield; another was about using border collies to control the geese population.

When he returned to the Buffalo area in 2007, Cygan talked his wife, Kim, into getting a border collie, a breed known for their intelligence and herding prowess.http://www.canadagoose2015.topCanada Goose Jackets

First came Gracie, 9. She black with white paws and is the consummate pro work first, play later.

Next came Bogey, 6. White with a black patch around his left eye, Bogey the ham who loves attention and praise.

Emma, 3, is the rookie. She slowly coming back to work, after rupturing a tendon while jumping in shallow water to retrieve a tennis ball. and ends after walking about 15 miles during the day, describes his job as more of a safety monitor making sure Gracie, Bogey and Emma don get hurt or scare the geese into traffic.

The dogs, he acknowledged, are the real stars of this show.

The three are a bit like rival siblings, so to avoid problems and injury they only work together on big jobs. But they been on many adventures.

Once, they were contracted to chase away deer from a homeowner property in East Aurora Last year, they were hired to scare away thousands of gulls that had settled on Transit Road in the Town of Lockport, preventing the construction of the Walmart Supercenter.

Now, Cygan said, the three are such a familiar sight, the geese fly away when they spot his tan Ford Escape pulling up to the job.