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Canada Geese are a big nuisance where I live (despite living several hours away from Canada). To keep them away, I've seen more and more places put down black wooden dog silhouettes like this one from the New York Times:

A wolf silhouette with Canada Geese in foreground

Some of them look more like coyotes or wolves, some move in the wind, and still others are manually moved (because it's supposed to make sure they stay effective: more information on setups can be found on the site of a seller of such silhouettes). There was also one place near me that had realistic-looking plastic/rubber foxes — not silhouettes — which were eventually thrown out because they apparently didn't work.

This makes me wonder: Are dog silhouettes an effective way to keep geese away?

The New York Times gives one example pointing towards (at least a specific type) being effective:

"[Canada Geese] would sit in the water and ruin the fish pond and the vegetables," he said. "We had to clean the walkways twice a day." But once the wolf figures were placed on the lawn, Mr. Salajka said, the geese left.

"It was like a miracle," he said. "The next day, none of them landed."

The wolf figures have been 95 percent effective since September, Mr. Salajka said.

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  • Out of curiosity, how are they a nuisance?
    – gerrit
    Oct 18, 2019 at 7:57
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    @gerrit, during nesting season, Canada geese lose their flight feathers and are confined to walking. At the same time they must defend their mates, nests, eggs, and goslings from danger, so their personalities completely change. If they feel threatened even slightly, they attack, sometimes quite viciously, almost suicidally. The rest of the year they present only token aggression (hissing and posturing) and are mostly harmless. Except, they leave their large greenish droppings everywhere, on the sidewalks and on the picnic grass. Marshland destruction has made the situation much worse. Oct 18, 2019 at 12:36
  • I was hoping the reference I found for my answer of this related question would address this, but it only looked at silhouettes of wood pigeons (and humans, combined with noisy cannons).
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 19, 2019 at 1:39
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    I was momentarily horrified by the two-headed goose on the photo.
    – T. Sar
    Sep 1, 2021 at 13:28
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    @T.Sar That's just optical illusion caused by the angle the picture was taken from. It's actually a three headed goose, but the third head is hidden by its body. Sep 3, 2021 at 0:57

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