City of Tonawanda hires dogs to control geese

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Canada Geese at Niawanda Park in the City of Tonawanda have been a problem for more than a decade.

Jean Wood, visiting from Buffalo, said, “It’s kind of messy to walk around in flip flops when the geese are around. They’re great if they would stay in the water but when they come on land and make a mess it’s kind of a challenge to watch where you’re walking.”

This year it’s worse than ever before and the solution may be a Border Collie named Gracie.

Gracie is one of three herding dogs at Craig Cygan’s company, Borders on Patrol. She was hired by the City of Tonawanda on a trial basis to scare away the geese.

Cygan said the premise is simple. He explained, “It’s behavior modification where you’re introducing a predator to an area that normally there aren’t any.”

Mayor Rick Davis told News 4, it’s a $1,050 contract for six weeks. Cygan has dozens of other clients, including Forest Lawn Cemetery, ECC and a number of golf courses.

“The geese are everywhere and by introducing the dog, people have to understand that the dogs don’t hurt the geese at all, it’s just the fear factor,” said Cygan.

Mayor Davis says if the Collies help they problem, the city will hire them again in the spring when the geese begin nesting. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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