What You Can Do With A Goose
Geese make wonderful pets. Are you old enough to remember that on the TV Show Daniel Boone the son named Israel had a Pet Goose named Hannibal? Ellie May Klampet, on the Beverly Hillbillies also had Pet Geese.
Geese will follow you around, "talk" to you, watch television with you, come when called by name, they can and do learn tricks and agility, and make great watch "dogs". My two housegeese are/were an Embden and a White Chinese. Both were held on my lap and played with daily from the day we brought them home as goslings. Both are/were very affectionate. They loved/love to sit near us or on our laps and be stroked as we watch TV.
Many geese are welcomed in to human friend's and family's homes. You could take a well behaved goose to an outdoor event. Geese can be taught to perform a few tricks and to have manners. A well behaved goose that arrives in a clean diaper, that is changed when needed, but not on the carpeted areas of a person's home, might be welcome to several people's home. But never expect homeowners to put their own pets in back rooms for your goose's arrival. Always ask ahead of time if your housegoose is welcome to come along with you when you visit (even those that own housegeese themselves). And always, always, always, just as you would with a human baby, carry more diapers then you think you will need as well as extra clean Diaper Holders.
Just remember, and don't get angry about it, not everyone everywhere will welcome your goose. And of course, I should not have to say this, but for the those that do not think about it before doing things, don't take your goose where it will not be safe. Think it through before taking your goose with you when you leave home.
Teaching Your Goose Manners
If you are going to have a pet, you have the responsibility to train it to behave. No one likes to be around an unruly pet. Why do so many people give up their pets when they are past the "cute" stage? Because the owner did not take the time to train the pet to behave. And unruly pets are not a pleasure to be around.
It is important, if you are going to take your goose out and about, or have people to visit you in your home, your goose is well behaved.....or put up into it's crate when people come. You goose needs to know not to bite, or flap at people, to walk with you on a leash or ride quietly in a stroller or wagon. It needs to know that other pets can also be out and about and not to chase them or bite them.
On that, you also need to be well mannered. People are stupid. We all can be. So when you are asked over and over and over "Is that a goose?", the answer is "Yes it is.". Not some smartelic answer. When children run up on your goose as it walks along, it is not ok to shout at them. You can be firm, but not yelling. Remember, they are just excited to see your pet too. And these scenario will be many. Just remember, that person that is asking a list of stupid questions is probably GENUINELY interested. If you are in a hurry, just tell them you would love to talk, but have a deadline to meet. Keep in mind that a person out with a goose is a novelty. Let people leave you saying "Did you see that guy/gal with the KOOOOL pet goose?" not "Wow! I just ran into the biggest jerk and he had a mean goose for a pet!"
COMING WHEN CALLED BY NAME
This is easy, oh so easy. When you first get your pet say it's name often. When you first call your pet to you, give it a treat and petting. Each and every time you call your pet make it a good experience for your pet. Call you pet's name when you feed it. Call your duck or goose's name when you lead it to water or put it into the bathtub with water. Each time you call, make it fun or pleasurable for the animal. Soon, and most times very soon, the animal will come running when they hear you call them by name.
This is Eden, our first HouseGoose. She loved to spend the afternoon out with the other geese and ducks, but in the evening, I would call and she would come in and sit in her "bed" and watch TV with us before lights out.
TEACHING YOUR GOOSE TO WALK ON A LEASH
If your gosling/goose is bonded to you it will follow you everywhere. If you have taught your goose to come when called you can use this to coax it along as your walk. Starting your goose as a gosling to follow you is the easiest way to teach your goose to walk on a leash.
All the photos here (on leash) are of Nichole Duman's (www.DumansArk.com ) handsome pet goose, Quigley. He was raised from a gosling as a pet in Diaper Holders and was walked on a leash as a youngster. Quigley enjoys outings to the Flea Market quite often as well as Pet Stores and he likes the idea that he can walk right along like all the other people. The Diaper Holder with Leash Ring is one made by www.workingwings.com
The most important part of teaching your goose or other animals to walk on a leash is finding a harness and leash that are appropriate and safe for your pet. You CAN NOT just snap a dog leash on the back of your goose's diaper holder and go. You must try out all harnesses for safety when used as a leash harness at home, in a very safe, fenced or indoors first. Make sure the harness will not just come off the goose sideways if it gets scared or chased. Make sure the snap on your goose's harness is small and light, not big, heavy and bulky for their backs.
Do not use a collar around your goose's neck.....for many reasons. First and foremost is that if a dog, child or other predator goes to chase your goose and it runs with you holding tight to the leash it's neck is connected to, you might just choke your goose or break it's neck yourself.
After you have found a good harness and a light weight leash for your goose that follows you everywhere, you are safe to go many places with your goose with you on leash.
Why use a leash on a goose that stays right with you and follows you everywhere? Because you are going off your own property and will need to be not only responsible, as dog owners should be, but also will be able to hang onto your goose should it be frightened or threatened.
If your goose does not follow you around. It will be hard for you to teach your goose to walk nicely with you on a leash. Start by training or enticing your pet goose to follow you when called by name (see above how to train your goose to come when called). It is not safe to take out a goose on a leash that is not willing to follow you.
KEEP IN MIND THAT IF THE PAVEMENT IS HOT FOR YOUR BARE FEET, IT IS ALSO HOT FOR YOUR PET'S FEET TOO. BE PREPARED TO CARRY YOUR PET IF THE SUMMER DAYS GET HOT AND YOU ARE WALKING ON PAVEMENT.
TEACH YOUR GOOSE TO RIDE INSIDE A PET CRATE IN YOUR VEHICLE
The safest place for your goose to be in a vehicle is inside a pet crate that is big enough for the goose to be comfortable and small enough that the goose will not slide around in. This way if you slam on the brakes or would be in an accident your goose would not "go flying"....and not the good and fun type flying that pet goose's dream of....or at least our big fat Embden goose, Blue, dreams of doing.
To teach this to your goose is really quite easy. Start from the beginning by putting the gosling inside a pet crate when you travel. Set the carrier so that the gosling or goose can see you or others in the vehicle. If it squalls, do not get it out and set it on your lap. This is how it learns. If you teach it that it must stay there, it will settle down and do just that. If you teach your gosling that if it squalls you will get it out, baby it, hold it and make a fuss over it, your goose will SQUAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL every time it is put into a pet crate.
Remember, if your goose travels without a Diaper Holder on, you will not want it inside a barred pet crate. Without a diaper, your goose should ride inside a plastic sided pet crate so that poop is not "flying" in your vehicle.
What crate should you purchase for your goose? Plastic, metal, plastic and metal, mesh, fabric and mesh, and the list goes on. Make sure you buy the type that works best for you. Keep in mind a duck does not squat to poop, so a metal barred crate will not hold the poop within, not too nice in the vehicle or on your carpeted floors. Make sure the crate is big enough for your duck to turn around in and stand up in for sleeping in and bigger if the duck is going to spend time in it while you are away. Like most pet supplies, prices vary greatly and spending more is not always the best choice.
TEACHING YOUR GOOSE TO RIDE IN A PET CARRIER
Some geese will learn to ride in a Pet Carrier. There are all types, sizes and designs of Pet Carriers on the market. Some look like purses, some like backpacks, some are backpacks. The type you chose is up to you, but the training will be the same. Your Pet Carrier needs to be big enough and study enough for the full grown goose to ride in safely and comfortably. With a goose, the neck and head should have the option to stick out of the top of a Pet Carrier (making them just as cute as can be).
Training your gosling or goose to ride in a Pet Carrier is not hard at all. If you have carried your goose around in your arms (who has not?) training your goose to the Pet Carrier will be easy.
Put your goose in the carrier and give it a feed treat. Make a fuss over the goose being inside the carrier. Pick up the Carrier with the goose in it and hold next to your chest (even if the pack is a back pack) and carry it. Most likely, the goose will not change behavior at all. Carry your goose inside the Carrier several times per day and carry it in front of you. Do this a couple of days. After that you can hook the Carrier as it was intended with the goose inside of it. IF YOU HAVE LONG HAIR AND ARE USING A BACKPACK FOR YOUR GOOSE, you will want to tie your hair back and up so that the goose does not chew on it, or chew it off, as you walk about.
TEACHING YOUR GOOSE TO RIDE IN A BABY BUGGY (stroller)
More and more people are putting their pets in a stroller, first made for human children, now for pets, and taking them along with them all over the place. This is a safe place for them to ride and many have netting over the front so that the pet can not get out and strangers can not reach in. The strollers are a nice item for short legged pets, or pets that need to be in your arms but get heavy to ride in.
To train your goose to ride comfortably in a stroller, just start taking it for short rides with the front of the netting closed or if there is no netting on your stroller, set the gosling or goose into a small crate with the crate in the seat of the stroller. Take a very short walk to start. Take a short walk each day and lengthen the walk each day. Soon your goose will look very forward to the ride in the stroller....and your dog might be a bit jealous and want to ride too.
These photos are of my goslings first ride in the stroller I bought for $1 at a Thrift Store. I wanted to start getting the goslings used to riding in the stroller right away and plan to give them a little ride each day for a while, just around the house.
If you have not looked at or did not know about pet Strollers you might be surprised at how many choices there are. Not only are there different types/builds/styles, they come in a rainbow of colors and even come in animal prints. There are so many choices you really need to do research before buying one for your own pet. Make sure you get the correct type of wheels, some are meant to only be used indoors. You will want to make sure the one you purchase is big enough for your pet, and is not top heavy to the point of the stroller wanting to tip over easily. Some come with storage compartments and cup holder, some with rain gear. All have netting so that the pet is kept in the stroller and strangers can not just reach in to touch your pet. Strollers can be inexpensive or several hundred dollars. And of course, there are some folks that use human baby strollers, adapted or not, for their pets to ride in.
It sounds real cute and for some people going some places, this might work. However. A wagon is pulled behind you, not like a stroller in front of you. It is open and flatter and unless you put your goose into a crate or small cage or basket, inside the wagon, the goose could jump, dogs or people can walk right up and scare or grab your goose. Think this item out real well before using. But the training is the same as it would be for a stroller.
If you do chose to use a wagon for your goose to ride in, keep in mind that a wagon is not as smooth as ride a stroller or a pet carrier. On bumpy ground, such as at parks and or fairs, it will not be a fun ride for your goose. So train first on solid ground (pavement) and add a soft cushion to the bed of the wagon.
You might even have a spotter or two. Someone to walk on the side or behind the wagon to help keep and eye on things in and around the wagon. But just think how cute your goose will be riding in a little red wagon in your local parade!
Teaching Your Goose A Few Cute Tricks
For more detailed information on how to start training tricks, where to find props and more, see our My Pet Goose website.
JUMP THROUGH A HOOP
As a young child, early grade school, I taught my pet chicken to jump through a hoop and over a stick I held out. It is not rocket science, but you do need to know how to make the bird understand what you are asking it to do. Many birds, most in fact, will take a treat from your hand. That will help in training.
You will need a hoop that is the right size for your bird. If you are working with a parakeet you will need a smaller hoop than if you are working with a goose. Chickens can jump through a hoop that is further off the floor then a goose, and parrots can have a higher hoop then a chicken. But keep the hoop low to the ground for your birds.
This is an easy trick to teach and one of those "big deal" tricks for onlookers. At first do not decorate the hoop. Place the hoop in your left hand (bird on your left side) hold a treat in your right hand. The hoop should be sitting on the ground, floor or table. Show the bird your treat and tell the bird to "Jump Thru the Hoop". Move your right hand so that the bird has to follow the treat coming all the way thru the hoop before reaching the treat. NOW: You may have to move the hoop, keeping the hoop directly in front of the bird, if the bird tries to go around the hoop, distract it with the treat and encourage the bird to come forward thru the hoop. The bird will probably only walk rather then to jump thru hoop the first few times. Practice makes perfect. When the bird is all the way thru the hoop, give the treat and make a huge fuss with verbal praise!!
Keep working with the bird with the hoop almost touching the ground, when the bird is jumping thru the hoop, raise it a bit, just a bit. Soon your bird will be jumping the hoop.
To Add Glamor to This Trick: After your bird is Jumping Thru the Hoop well, you can add streamers with ribbon.
Or cover the Hoop for that TA'DA' ending to a trick show.
To teach your bird to come through a covered hoop.... first teach it to come through the hoop for a treat. Then have plenty of newspaper and tape on hand. Add just a strip of newspaper to each side of the hoop. Tape paper to paper, not to your hoop. After your bird comes through the hoop with the newspaper strips on each side add a strip of newspaper to the top and bottom of the hoop, again, tape paper to paper, not to your hoop. After your bird comes through that add a little more paper. Make a big fuss each time the bird comes through the covered hoop. Keep closing the hoop off with more and more newspaper, however leave a hole in the middle about 3" so the bird can target that space. Now when you do this as a show off trick, you tissue or wrapping paper or paper you have written on that says, THE END or TA'DA or the like.
Later, after much hoop work, you can teach a parrot to fly through a hoop. Have fun and keep it safe.
FETCHING A LIGHT WEIGHT ITEM
Milk jug lid rings make a great first fetching toys of birds. It is light weight, has color and being round, easy for them to pick up and carry.
more to come on how to teach your bird to fetch
Know What You Have And Where You Can Take It
We all love our own pets (and human children for that matter) but not everyone loves them like we do. Geese are large and loud. But they are also a riot to watch. Be warned: just like a dog or even a hamster, geese too need to be interacted with and trained to make a good pet. Others will not think much of your pet, or keeping geese as pets, if yours is allowed to make their lives miserable when it is around them. Please teach your pet (or human children) good manners.
If your goose is bad mannered, leave it at home. It is not cute or funny or exceptable for your pet to harass other people or their pets. It is not funny cute or exceptable for your goose to visit someone's home and get into their items or run through their home, shop or office.
However, if you have a goose that wears a diaper, is well behaved and stays with you on a leash, why not take it out to be an ambassador for the species as a pet? Show off your pet. Have it do a trick or two for people that have never seen a goose behave so well.
Just remember. Good or Bad. Your goose is an ambassador for their species as a pet. So please, train your pet so that when you go out, you, your goose and the folks, children and pets around your goose will have a good time and you will leave a good impression on them.
The Local Dog Park is not the place for your goose, duck or chicken, to go and walk around. Why? Dogs. Dogs might/will/can/do go after geese to chase, kill and perhaps eat geese. Dogs are loose in a Dog Park and no owner of a dog could be fast enough to stop their dog if you walk in with a loose goose or even if your bird was on a leash.
This is a photo of me (Marna Holt Kazmaier) with Petey and Zamboni, I used to sled dog race and participate in other dog sports with theses two. As trained and well behaved as they were, they would have eaten a "farm bird" in an instant!
Pet Stores That Welcome Pets
If your goose is wearing a diaper and a leash, or will be carried or ride in a cart, any pet store the welcomes pets would get a big kick out of your goose coming in for a visit. Let your goose walk down the Parrot Toy isle, it might just pick out a toy it would like for your to purchase for it.
Some Farm Stores and or Feed Stores will get a kick out of you showing up with your goose in diapers. They might just call in all the employees to have a look and fuss over you diapered baby. Any store where pets are welcome and they're there on a leash. Dogs loose will come after your goose. So chose the stores and other places you take your goose wisely.
Oh my. So fun to show off those geese at fairs of all sorts. A well mannered goose can be quite the ambassador for their species to so many people in one day. You might even wind up in the newspaper with a photo of your goose at the Fair.
Some geese are IN the fair. County Fairs all over the Nation have Goose on display that will be judged for their closeness to the Standard of the Breed and beauty. Your goose may not be welcome at such a fair. The geese on display might be at health risk if the board let everyone bring in their animals to gauk at them.
Call ahead and find out if pets on a leash are welcome to the Fair you will be attending before heading out to be stopped at the gates. Some Fairs, such as Renaissance Fairs, charge full admission for your pets to visit the Fair with you.
Always remember, even if your goose is welcome at a fair, that you will not be able to do as much there as you might if you left the goose at home. When it is hot, you will not be able to stop on the way to or from the fair for a bite to eat leaving the goose in the hot vehicle.
Again, be sure you want to take your goose with you. You will not be able to move about, go indoors, move about tables, as easily with your goose with you. Human Children will have to be watched with your goose at all times, as well as those that have had tooooo much to drink. If you are planning to play games, drink, leave with friends to come back later. Either take a crate for your goose, or better yet, leave the goose at home. Goose's safety first.
Saturday morning Farmers Markets, Flea Markets, Festival Vendors Lanes. Most of us love them. Many of us go just for something to do. To see and be seen. Why not take your well behaved, diapered goose with you? Do they allow pets? If they do if you are careful and watch out for dogs and children, you and your goose can have a fun event by going. If they are selling vegetables and fruits make sure your goose can not reach them or it might cost you quite a bit. Geese are also drawn to shiny items, be very aware of the things your goose can reach and break or take.
On the other side of the coin why not let your goose pick out a few things too? At Open Veggie Markets, some greens. At Flea Markets and Garage Sales, a couple of safe for a goose toys. If you are going to take your goose with you, let them have some fun too.
Motels, Hotels and Camping
Need I say? Do I need to tell you? That taking a housegoose to a Hotel Room is asking for trouble that will cost you financially? You better ask special permission to take your goose into a Hotel Room. Even then be prepared to be put out if your goose is loud and to pay extra for any mess your goose might make, including the bath tub. I have however taken our geese to Hotel Rooms with no problems at all. I did however take their crate with us.
Camping? Maybe. If you are going to take your goose anywhere overnight, be sure to take your goose's crate with you. You will need to line it with a blanket as your shavings or straw will make a mess that others are not going to want to deal with. If you take your goose camping be prepared to watch it at all times as you would a human child. If there are loose dogs around (ever been camping when that were not true?) you will have to keep your goose on your lap. Of course you will have to watch your goose around the fire, the food, the drinks, the tent, the tent guy wires..... And. If you are in a public area, you will need to keep your goose very quite.
Some people should not take themselves into the Local Bar but they do, then they stumble out, thinking they are cute and funny and attractive....but they are not. Those people should not take a pet with them when they go. Then there are folks that go and are responsible, they play pool, visit with the folks there, dance, maybe sing a Karoke song and have a great time....but would they be able to keep an eye on their pet? Some people go to the Local Bar for one beer/drink, maybe two, sit at the bar and then go home. Maybe those folks would or could take a pet with them.
But then there is another side of the coin. Does the Bar serve food? Do they allow people to bring pets with them when they come to the Bar? If so, how many other people bring pets and what sorts of pets? Dogs? Dogs they are not watching?
Of course it is up to the pet owner to make these decision, but think. Don't put your pet at risk.
So you have this adorable pet that everyone you know and meet thinks is the cutest thing they have seen in quite sometime. Your goose follows you everywhere and so you are thinking about taking your goose and joining in a local parade. Nothing wrong with that, if you and your goose are prepared. How do you prepare?
How is your goose with crowds? And how does your goose enjoy loud, really loud marching bands? Has your goose ever seen horse poop? (many geese "dig in" it for a treat) Will the pavement it is walking down going to be hot on it's webbed bare feet? Or is there snow on the ground? How many dog groups will be there that day? And speaking of dogs, you need to be very aware of dogs and children watching the parade that might come out to "see" or "get" your goose. If your goose is good to go, have at it. If not, well then you need to prepare before entering your goose in any parades.
First of all, most parades are in the summer and the pavement is hot. You might think about having some special booties made up for your goose to walk in. The best way to find out how your goose will behave IN a parade is to take your goose TO a parade as a spectator.
Once you think your goose is ready to be IN the parade, go and talk to the hosts of the parade you will be entering. Ask them to not put your line up in front of a marching band or behind horse units. Ask how far the parade route is. A mile is too long for your goose to be expected to walk along in a stressful situation such as a parade. Remember, your goose has short legs and parades are on pavement.
I would highly recommend that if you are going to have your goose in a parade, have it in a diaper holder with a thicker then usual diaper within. Today's parade watchers seem to not have a clue about animal poop and freak out when they see it. <sigh, I know> If you are going to have your goose wear a hat or skirt or other clothing/costume, get the goose used to wearing it around home as it follows you wearing it.
Don't leave your goose for one minute alone at the parade site. It could be stolen. If the day turns out to be really hot or really cold, stay home. It will not be fun for your goose, or probably you.
Take a bowl and water for your goose to drink while at the parade. The water might also make your goose calm down if it gets wound up. Take a treat for your goose too.
If you do decide to take your goose and participate in a parade you might take your dog with you. The dog might help the goose feel more comfortable. If you have friends with geese...... well, why not.
Rapid City South Dakota offers kind of a President Statue Museum on it's down town streets. People come from all over to visit this and Rushmore. Some stores have set up statues of their own. People often take photos beside the statues. But just like any indoor event your goose will need to by in a diaper while walking on city sidewalks. Just like dog ordinances for leashes and picking up after the dogs, geese should not leave a mess behind either.
Taking Your Goose To Church
I will bet your are thinking, no, never. But that is not true. While you might not take a goose to Church each week there are times geese and other animals are welcome to come to Church. Some Churches have Blessing of the Animals once a year and people are encouraged to bring their pets with them to Church. Then, many Christian Churches have Live Nativities. I would bet that most of these Churches would LOVE for you to volunteer your goose (with you) at the Manger Scene.
Geese Visiting Schools, Libraries and Old Folks Homes and or Hospitals
That's right, Therapy Geese. If your goose is tame and wears a diaper, especially if it is friendly, people would love to see them come and visit. If you are wondering how to get started taking your goose to these places, call or email them. Tell them you have a house goose that is friendly that wears a diaper and you would like to share the goose with others and visit once or even frequently. You can also stop by and talk to these places and if you should, take your clean, fresh diapered goose with you to meet the managers so they can see your pet and see how clean it is.
When visiting schools you may want to give a talk about geese and their care. Talk about what it takes to own a housegoose. Take an extra clean diaper holder with you as well as a clean feeding crock so that they can see what you are telling them in your talk. Be sure to tell the kids in the schools that taking care of a goose is like having a baby that needs much care...not quite as easy as the popular TV shows (now off the air) makes it look.
If your goose can do a trick or a task or come to it's name, show them. Everyone loves this sort of thing. You and especially your goose will be an ambassador in these places more then anywhere else you take it. Here you are educating and letting folks up close and personal with your goose.
Eden Visited The Center Of The Nation
This is the center of the USA Nation. People come from all over and get their photo taken there. During "Bike Week" in Stugis, SD the place is so full. The bikers take their motorcycles up on the platform with them and get their photos taken. Eden had a good time walking all around the platform and I was able to get a few photos.
Please Share Your Goose's Adventures
We would love it if you would share stories and photos of your goose out and about. Write a blog, tell us how you prepare for your goose's adventures and how well your goose was welcomed when you arrived.
The contents of this page for What You Can Do With A Goose is still under construction. Please check back.!
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COMING SOON! MY SPOILED CHICKENS