While you may be able to coax a dog or throw it a treat, there is no reasoning with an angry goose, as the Gauls found to their cost when their night attack on Rome was foiled by two noisy birds in 390BC.
While the Romans’ guard dogs uttered not a whimper as the Gauls approached, the pair of sacred geese flapped their wings and honked the Capitoline Hill down, awakening Marcus Manlius Capitolinus and his troops, who drove off the attack.
Geese are extremely territorial birds, and will make a fearful racket when threatened. They also have incredible hearing and, in common with most birds, razor sharp eyesight, making them more effective than even dogs at spotting unwelcome intruders.
They will also normally run aggressively towards the point of danger and give a nasty nip, which may not be as life-threatening as a Bulldog’s bite but is usually enough to frighten the life out of would-be burglars.
While most people are familiar with dogs, the sight of a honking goose in full flow offers fear of the unknown – and they’re very hard to quieten down once they’re riled.
It’s best to get a guard goose from very young, and they’re best suited in rural areas – unless you really want to fall out with your neighbours?!
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