Why do Geese Hiss?

Many domesticated geese breeds can be pretty friendly towards their keepers and those around these birds. However, geese are rather protective and territorial birds. That’s why they sometimes hiss at humans or anything that gets too close to their babies and nests.

Geese hiss for many reasons. For instance, these birds hiss as a defensive mechanism to scare away potential threats. They can also hiss when they feel threatened.

5 Reasons Geese Hiss at You

There is no single reason your geese could be hissing at you because geese hiss for various reasons. It would be best to understand why your geese are hissing at you to help you understand this behavior much better. These are the top five reasons your birds could be hissing at you.

– Feels Threatened

If you hear your geese hissing at you, it could be they are sensing danger. Hissing among geese is a way of indicating they feel under threat when the owner is around.

Hissing, in this case, is usually a warning sign to owners that they should stay away from the birds. There are good chances the geese will attack you if they see you as a potential threat.

– Territorial Behavior

Geese are quite protective of their territories,  as they are protective of their goslings and eggs. These birds will hiss at anyone that comes too close to their territories, including their owners. Hissing is a territorial behavior among geese meant to warn anyone trespassing into their territories to stay away.

Geese are awesome at protecting their territories. The same way guard dogs defend their territories. Geese are more protective of their territories than most canines. These birds won’t hesitate to make loud hissing sounds if they see or hear someone approaching their territories.

– Protecting Baby Geese

Geese are pretty protective of their goslings, their mates, and eggs. Coming too close to a female goose with her goslings can make the goose start hissing at you. The female goose will be hissing, in this case, to warn you to stay away from her baby geese.

Female geese usually make loud honking sounds while warning anyone to stay from their little ones. Females guard their young ones the same way dogs, and other pets protect their little ones.

– Communication

Geese can hiss at their keepers while trying to communicate something. For example, some of the geese in your flock can hiss at you when hungry to express their need for food. Geese also hiss at each other while communicating in incidences that involve spats over food, territory, or goslings.

Flock leaders also hiss at other flock members to express messages that will help keep the entire flock together.

– Warning You

Geese make hissing sounds to warn of their perceived threats. If a goose is hissing at you, it’s probably warning you not to get close to its goslings or eggs. Male Geese usually hiss to warn intruders to get anywhere close to them.

The goose will ultimately attack you if you don’t heed the warning. Geese have the habit of warning their owners not to come close to their nests whenever they want to collect eggs. The hissing will be much louder when you continue getting close to the nest.

Therefore, don’t ignore a hissing goose because the next thing the bird will do is launch an attack on you if you continue ignoring the warning.

What to Do When a Goose Hisses at You?

Geese will always hiss at their owners and other animals. However, how you react to their loud hissing will determine whether these birds will attack you or not. Here is what to do when a goose hisses at you.

– Understand Why The Goose is Hissing at You

Geese hiss at their keepers for several reasons. For instance, your geese could be hissing at you to communicate something, especially when hungry. Understand why your goose is hissing at you before taking action.

Sometimes, your goose could be perfectly okay with you. The bird could communicate something or warn you to keep off before it strikes.

– Face The Bird While Maintaining Eye Contact

When a goose is hissing at you, it doesn’t mean it’s a fight or flight scenario. Don’t go off running and screaming when you encounter an aggressive goose that is hissing at you aggressively.

Instead, face the goose head-on while maintaining eye contact. The bird will likely stop hissing at you when you show no signs of panic.

– Stay Calm

Always stay calm when you come face to face with an aggressive goose making a loud hissing sound. If you panic and start running from the goose, the bird will most likely attack you. Face the bird while looking at it in the eyes. You can slowly begin to side step backward, but don’t flee.

Doing that will make the goose feel calm and stop hissing at you. Furthermore, the bird will perceive you as brave enough and won’t attack you regardless of how aggressive it is.

– Look For Signs of Aggression

Aggression can make a goose hiss at you repeatedly. If a goose is hissing at you while keeping its head low, it’s an apparent sign of aggression. Retreat carefully before the goose starts reacting. When a goose is hissing while keeping its head upright, it means no aggression.

Instead, the bird is communicating something; you should get the message if it is hissing at you without moving or showing signs of aggression.

– Avoid Coming Into Contact With an Aggressive Goose

A goose will hiss at you if you come too close to its nest, eggs, and goslings. Avoid an altercation with an aggressive goose by staying away from the bird. When a female goose is hissing at you while walking with its goslings, the bird warns you to keep away from the little ones. Therefore, keep a safe distance from the aggressive goose to ensure it doesn’t attack you.

Can Geese Hurt You or Cause Injury?

Geese rarely hurt humans or cause physical injuries. However, these birds are protective and territorial and can sometimes hurt you or cause injuries. Geese attack by biting and hitting their perceived threats with their strong wings, which cause serious injuries. A flock of aggressive geese can be quite dangerous to humans and fellow geese.

Goose bites are extremely painful, and they leave behind bruising. Sometimes, goose bites can break the skin. Because geese have exceptionally strong wings, they can cause physical injuries and even break bones. Geese can also make you experience physical trauma. People who have witnessed geese attacks before tend to become fearful of these birds in the future.

How to Make Your Geese Stop Hissing At You?

Being highly protective and territorial birds, geese occasionally hiss at their owners. Although a hissing goose might chase you, it’s rare for the bird to attack you physically.

Fortunately, you can effectively stop a goose from hissing at you by refraining from doing things that could turn hissing into a physical confrontation. Here are a few tips to prevent a goose from hissing at you.

  • Get away from the hissing goose-The first line of defense when dealing with a hissing duck is to avoid the bird. If you stay watching the goose for long as it hisses at you, you might make it aggressive, prompting the bird to attack you. Moreover, the goose will continue hissing as long as it can see you. Look for signs of attack when your goose is hissing at you. For instance, if the bird is hissing at you while bending its head back, this could be a sign of aggression. Get away from the bird before it becomes more aggressive and turn to you.
  • Don’t be hostile-If you suspect your goose is hissing at you because of aggression, don’t scare it off or become hostile towards the bird. Hostility will aggravate the aggression, causing the bird to attack you. Don’t try yelling at the hissing goose or throwing objects at the bird to scare it away. Any slightest sign of hostility can encourage the bird to continue hissing at you or attack you.
  • Don’t turn away from the hissing goose- Geese sometimes hiss at their owners to seek attention, but not necessarily because of aggression. It’s vital to keep facing the bird until it stops hissing at you. Avoid turning your back on your bird. Continue watching the bird until it stops hissing.
  • Put barriers, if possible– Geese, may sometimes become bothersome, and they might continue hissing at you whenever they see you around. A physical barrier like a fence can protect you from aggressive geese that seem never to stop hissing. A fence will make it impossible for the goose to see you around, so they won’t have an opportunity to hiss at you. Barriers are pretty effective in keeping aggressive geese at bay. Besides putting barriers, you can keep your geese indoors to stop their hissing if they can’t stop hissing whenever they are outdoors.


Hissing is normal behavior among geese. These birds won’t stop hissing at their owners because it’s their territorial behavior. Nonetheless, geese owners should understand why their geese are hissing at them and then think of how they can bring this irritating behavior to a stop.

That’s notwithstanding; geese will remain friendly and loyal to their keepers even when hissing.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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