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canada goose

I have only had running for a few months now. But several years back I had another similar site with a different name.  I always monitor Google’s SEO analytics to see what keyword phrases get me search engine hits. One of my favorite unusual phrases that showed a Google visitor to my old webpage was “Does Mace work on Geese?” After seeing several other odd animal references lately, I decided I had to resurrect my goose post.

I had to admit, the thought never crossed my mind to use pepper spray on a goose. I have had you use my car horn several times to get geese to move off of the road. I do have several geese living in the pond next to our house. We have at least 2 goose families show up at the beginning of spring, and they each hatch about six chicks. These chicks grow very quickly into a fully-grown gaggle.

By the end of summer, several other geese end up attracted to the pond. If I had to count, I imagine we get well over 50 geese.

Now I’m not going to hose a goose down with pepper spray to test the effects. I also don’t want a hippy, goose-hugging PETA enforcer showing up. Besides, unless they are blocking my car, I like the geese and I have never been attacked. However, I am confident in making the educated conclusion that – Yes, Mace pepper spray would, in fact, affect a goose, if you are ever attacked by one.

Pepper Spray in general is an inflammatory agent, so when any human, canine, or bird is sprayed with OC pepper spray, they will be temporarily blinded by the defensive spray dilating their eye’s capillaries. Additionally, any target who is capable of breathing will suffer instant inflammation in their throat, restricting all but life-support breathing. Nausea is possible and the target will cough uncontrollably.
Pepper spray would have no effect on a vampire or zombie goose, but any regular old Canada goose would be having a rough time.

The main issue you will have trying to pepper spray an aggressive goose is that compared to a human, their heads are a very small target. If you have a pepper spray with a stream spray pattern, you will likely find it difficult to hit the face of the target goose. A fogging model would probably be your best bet, as you can be less pinpoint accurate.

If there ends up appearing to be a goose attack epidemic, Alfred Hitchcock’s estate should be notified. Perhaps they can license out The Birds movie rights so someone can remake it into The Geese… or maybe with turkeys.

Goose Self-Defense Tips

OK, I guess I kind of made light of the situation, so on a more serious note, geese can, in fact, be aggressive, especially in protecting their nests and young.

Here are some tips for staying safe around geese and defending yourself if attacked:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Geese are territorial and may become aggressive if they feel their space is being invaded. If you see a goose, give it a wide berth and avoid making any sudden movements.
  • Do not approach geese. Even if a goose seems friendly, it is best to avoid getting too close. If you must approach a goose, do so slowly and calmly.
  • Do not make eye contact with geese. Geese see eye contact as a sign of aggression. If a goose looks at you, look away.
  • Do not make loud noises around geese. Geese are startled by loud noises and may become aggressive if they are surprised.
  • If a goose attacks you, try to scare it away. You can do this by yelling, waving your arms, or throwing something at the goose.
  • If the goose continues to attack, defend yourself. You can use your hands, feet, or a nearby object to fight back.
  • After the attack, wash any wounds you may have sustained with soap and water. You may also want to see a doctor to make sure there are no serious injuries.


Here are some additional tips for self-defense against geese:

  • Carry a walking stick or umbrella. You can use these objects to fend off an attacking goose.
  • Wear long pants and shoes that cover your ankles. This will protect you from goose bites.
  • If you are attacked by a goose, try to stay calm and do not make any sudden movements. This will make the goose less likely to continue the attack.
  • If the goose continues to attack, try to protect your head and neck. These are the most vulnerable areas to goose bites.
  • If you are bitten by a goose, seek medical attention immediately. Goose bites can become infected and may require antibiotics.


It is important to remember that geese are wild animals and should be treated with respect. By following these tips, you can help to avoid an attack and stay safe around geese. I still wouldn’t necessarily recommend pepper spray in this particular instance, although you should have it on hand anyways. Just in case. 

Have you ever been attacked by a goose, turkey, or other generally non-scary bird?

As always, be safe and be prepared.

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