Hey, that's a VERY well behaved dog you have there
January 29, 2008 6:39 PM   Subscribe

What's up with all these dog silhouettes?

I started seeing them several months ago on large corporate properties. First, I thought it was kind of a tongue in cheek thing. But then I spotted them in a cemetery (!). Not on the graves, but on the front lawn of the entrance area. I've also seen these "dogs" on municipal grounds. Some are running, some in a sitting position.

Is it some sort of warped idea of a goose deterrent? Some sort of mental 'chin up Wilbur'? I'm now seeing them pretty regularly. If it makes a difference, I've seen them in Philadelphia (University City area) as well as Northern New Jersey. I Googled around for pictures, but nothing came up.

Any ideas?
posted by dancinglamb to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
I believe they are used to scare away Canadian geese.
posted by Funky Claude at 6:50 PM on January 29, 2008

Hah! I had to ask the very same company when I worked in an industrial park in NJ, where several companies had these.

They are, indeed, for scaring off geese. they seem to work pretty well, too. My company's lawn was constantly covered in them, and we had no silhouettes. The nearby companies that did use them? Never saw geese anywhere near their lawns.

So it's not really a "warped idea" of a goose deterrent; they're the best. Canadian geese are apparently so afraid of dogs that they won't go anywhere near these things. Next time you're near some geese, try barking at them. That'll scare 'em off, too.
posted by CrayDrygu at 8:48 PM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

(I'm pretty sure the name is "Canada Goose/Geese", not "Canadian Goose/Geese". FWIW I don't think I've ever heard a Canadian call them "Canadian Geese", only "Canada Geese".)
posted by loiseau at 8:55 PM on January 29, 2008

It may be an American thing, as I've only ever heard them called Canadian geese. I think in the spirit of reciprocity, Canadians should call them American geese.

OP, I had the same question (offline from AskMe), and was given the same answer about scaring away geese, too.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:03 PM on January 29, 2008

loiseau: I've always called them Canadian Geese (it's what I've called them since I was little). Apparently, either name works. Maybe it's a regional thing? I'm from NJ, if it matters.
posted by dancinglamb at 9:50 PM on January 29, 2008

I'm from the US and have always called them/heard them called Canada geese. Or sometimes just "Canadas", by birdwatchers Never Canadian geese.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:36 PM on January 29, 2008

This is unrelated, but I once saw a Canadian goose take off from the road after being honked at by a car and take a midflight shit straight on the offending vehicle. Also, I've heard plenty of people in Canada refer to them as Canadian geese.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:51 AM on January 30, 2008

As a Canadian, I've never heard them referred to as "Canadian Geese", always "Canada Geese".

And they're right to be terrified of dogs, I've seen what a dog can do to a goose who isn't quick to flight.
posted by smitt at 8:00 AM on January 30, 2008

How do you know they're Canadian? A lot of Canada goose flocks are nonmigratory now, too - so they might be American or even English geese!

I have to say, though, I'm shocked that dog silhouettes work to deter Canada geese. Full-time border collie patrols, I would believe, but I can't help thinking those silhouettes won't work for long. Canada geese are not shrinking violets.
posted by caitlinb at 10:40 AM on January 30, 2008

"I had to ask the very same company..."

I totally meant "I had to ask the very same question." I know, I got the answer across anyway, but I just can't let that stand uncorrected.

Anyway, glad to be of help!
posted by CrayDrygu at 7:12 PM on January 30, 2008

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