Our Sebastopol gander has become aggressive!

TwinkleUp

In the Brooder
Apr 22, 2019
37
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44
One of our hens hatched Sunshine in April from an egg I bought from an area farmer. He lived in the house for weeks until the weather was warm enough for him to be outside. We held him, talked to him, and every night, he sat on my husband’s lap while he watched TV. I have read that Sebastopols are one of the less aggressive breeds, but in the last month or so, Sunshine has started attacking my son and I when we go in the backyard. He attacks our cats (coming away with chunks of fur in his bill) and occasionally goes after the dogs. My husband is his person, but yesterday, he even bit him. We’re doing the neck-grabbing, bill-tapping, saying-no thing, but it is not helping. It this puberty? Would Sunshine be happier with other geese? I feel like we’re needing to make a decision about possibly finding him a new home, which is going to break my husband’s heart.
 

DiYMama540

Crossing the Road
Jun 25, 2019
3,942
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SW VA
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Sunshine definitely needs a buddy! You will have to start with a slow introduction though, depending on personality it may go smoothly, and it may not. In my experience, both pomeranians and cotton patch are both pretty relaxed breeds.

As for his nasty gander attitude, you guys need to make it clear who is the boss of the yard to him. Any time he even looks as if he's going to charge you or bite you, you pick him up, pin him, whatever you need to do to show him you are in control. Once he calms down a bit, you can release him and he should retreat, however, in the case he doesn't, pin him/pick him up again. You have to consistently show him that this behavior is not going to fly.
You can use the same technique if you see him going for the cat, dog, whatever. I will link you an article that explains perfectly why and how you should be dominant over your gander.
Don't rehome!! Just be patient and knock his self confidence down a notch.
 
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The goose girl

Songster
10 Years
Jul 7, 2010
953
411
242
Denmark
This too shall (probably) pass.

I've never been able to find any studies mentioning it, but from what I've read in here and from my own experience, it seems most geese tend to go through a somewhat vicious puberty.

My guess is that when they go from being goslings (= blind followers) to being grown geese (= having to determine everything themselves) they get confused for a while - especially when they don't have adult geese around to "fact check" with. They seem to overreact to almost everything for a few months.

My way of handling this period has been to be extra reassuring with them - go slower, greet more, talk a lot, not carry or wear scary new stuff. I don't know if that's the best way, but we got through.
 

bluemerle

Songster
Aug 11, 2018
388
955
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Northern Nevada
Geese are always better in pairs. :) I would advise finding a female buddy for him!

Yes, please do find some patience & keep on keeping on! It's just breeding season hormones. I think all of our ganders are like this right now. My favorite technique is just scooping my ornery one up and carrying him around while I do things that need to be done. He also gets a short 'time-out' in his barn if I have to do extended things around the yard so I can do them in peace (like making repairs with - gasp! - the drill, his arch nemesis .......). Management seems to be key.

Definitely don't let the dogs get into altercations with him, though. Dog bites are much worse than anything a goose could do, so keep them away from each other. And the cats, too.
 

DiYMama540

Crossing the Road
Jun 25, 2019
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SW VA
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:gig@bluemerle with a giant african under your arm! Love the visual! It's nice to know I'm not the only one that's been known to have to carry a goose around the yard!

I think the embarrassment in front of the flock of being chased down and carried is enough to break them of a lot of behaviors! Works wonders on my drake also...he quickly learned more time spent being held for bad behavior equals less time following his woman around the yard waiting for a head bob :lau
 

bluemerle

Songster
Aug 11, 2018
388
955
206
Northern Nevada
:gig@bluemerle with a giant african under your arm! Love the visual! It's nice to know I'm not the only one that's been known to have to carry a goose around the yard!

I think the embarrassment in front of the flock of being chased down and carried is enough to break them of a lot of behaviors! Works wonders on my drake also...he quickly learned more time spent being held for bad behavior equals less time following his woman around the yard waiting for a head bob :lau

I'm lucky he's still small enough to do that! One day he won't be, and I'll have to find other methods. Or grow longer arms. :gig

I'm sure your drake figured that out VERY quickly! Silly boys.
 

Goosebaby

Songster
Nov 10, 2019
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I would suggest that your son pick him up when he’s being naughty, it won’t end his hormonal tantrums, but it will help. He needs to learn he isn’t the strongest and picking them up has always sent my boys a strong message about who’s boss.
I always say “NO” right before too so mine have learned that when they hear that it’s time to back down. It’s really all I have to do now.
 

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