Dogs help chase away geese from Longmont golf course

LONGMONT, Colo. -- More geese than usual seem to be flocking to golf courses in Longmont. They’re annoying for some golfers, so the city came up with a unique way to deal with them.

Two large flocks of geese call Twin Peaks Golf Course home. Course regulars said they don’t mind the geese, but they do mind their leftovers.

“They like to leave things behind when they walk on the course,” golfer Brad Harvey said.

The flocks leave so many feathers on the grass, golfers complain it’s too hard to find their balls. They also leave holes in the fairways where they eat the grass. And all of that goose food gets left behind too.

“When you’re on the greens that’s when it’s kind of a nuisance because you don’t want your ball landing in the geese poop,” Bill Hake said.

Luckily, there’s a local hero taking care of the problem and she comes complete with a cape.

“Every time we open the gate she knows to go chase the geese,” Emma Massey said.

Massey's golden retriever Katie is one of a team of volunteer dogs whose job is to scare the birds away for golfers. The dogs are allowed to run on the course off-leash whenever they want to chase.

“We let her off and she’ll just keep running,” Massey said.

It’s a perfect job for dogs like Katie who have a lot of energy to burn. The dogs don’t hunt the birds; they simply shoo them away before golfers hit the links. The geese usually seek safety in one of the course’s lakes and return by the end of the day.

“We usually come out here earlier in the morning to chase the geese off the golf course for the golfers. That way they don’t have to run through geese while they’re golfing because no one really wants to do that,” Massey said.

Not all of the golfers are on board with the four-legged bird chasers.

“I’m not too big on that. Because then we’ll have dog poop on the courses if they don’t clean it up,” Hake said.

“They get a little confused and annoyed when we first come out, but once they see what we’re actually doing, they’re OK with it,” Massey said.

The dogs are approved through Longmont and the individual golf courses. Each dog and handler get a special orange vest to wear while on duty.

“Just so the golfers know we aren’t doing this just to get our dog exercise. We’re actually allowed to do this,” Massey said.

To sign up a dog up for the goose-hazing program, email Longmont golf operations manager Larry Mills.