I may be dating myself, but I remember loving autumn not only because of the crisp temperatures and colored landscapes, but also the hundreds of Vs of honking Canada geese migrating south for the winter. These days, that V is almost a rarity as more and more geese are forgoing the annual trek south and are choosing instead to inhabit city recreational areas, greenbelts, golf courses, and corporate parks. Do I still love the sight and sounds of these urbanized fowl? Not so much.

Flocks of geese have become a nuisance and even a menace to municipalities across the U.S. The birds impede traffic, attack passersby, damage property, and leave their calling card everywhere, especially under your foot. Rounding them up and killing them is not an option, and few other control methods have proven effective. Enter the herding dog--and a unique pet business idea.

That's right. Herding dogs, particularly border collies, are being used to control goose populations. One or more dogs, under the guidance of a handler, will move the dogs away from the area where they are unwanted. The dogs never hurt the birds, but the birds see the dogs as predators and will often take flight. This process is repeated daily, and eventually most of the birds relocate. If the geese return later, the dog is brought back. It has proven to be a very effective goose-control method.

A Goose-Control Business?

City governments, corporations, even individual property owners are spending a lot of money for the services of goose-herding dogs. Businesses that provide this service are cropping up all over. However, it's not for everyone. It takes a highly skilled stock dog handler and superbly trained dogs. You can't simply turn your pet corgi loose on a flock. Most people who get into this business are professional dog trainers or those who have a great deal of experience working with herding dogs.

Perhaps a Franchise?

However, if you're convinced that this is something you'd like to do, there is one way to get started. Believe it or not, there are quite a few goose-management franchise opportunities out there. However, a reputable franchise should require that you are qualified--in other words, you need some experience working with stock dogs.

When searching for a franchise, make sure the company provides comprehensive training and ongoing support. The company should help you decide the size of your market and give you an exclusive territory. It should also provide strategic marketing and coordinated communications including all the advertising materials needed to continuously promote and grow your business.

If you're still intrigued by this business venture, good luck. And good luck with your efforts to relocate those dog-gone geese.