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8 ducks and a puppy?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!  My 8 ducks have happily had the yard to themselves the whole time I've had them.  I just added a new puppy to the family, and I am looking for suggestions of ways for them to happily live together.  The dog is a maltese, yorkie mix, so it is small (will be 6 lbs full grown). I specifically avoided getting a dog bigger than the ducks, or one that is of a hunting breed - but I think all terrier derived breeds retain some hunting traits.  When I take the puppy outside to go potty, I keep it on the leash.  If he is on the leash, the ducks are fine, and will come within a few feet of us to get a look.  The problem is - if he is let off the leash, he thinks it is his job to put the ducks in the pond.  He will walk up to each one until they turn around and hop in.  Most of the time, he is just walking calmly to them, and guiding them in - but other times, he is quite rowdy about it, and I'm afraid one of the ducks will get injured trying to get away from him.  


My ducks have free roam of the yard, and they were here first - but I do want the dog to be able to run around the yard too.  He is an inside pet, and will never be allowed to be outside unsupervised.  As long as the ducks are in the pond, he doesn't even care about them.  If they get out, he puts them back in.  I have a few ducks that don't like the pond, they would rather be in the stream.  I don't want to disrupt their routine. 


Have you successfully trained your dogs to be near your ducks without chasing?  Should I put them in their house before the dog runs free?  Will everything calm down when the newness wears off - or will it get worse? 


He has never been aggressive with the ducks - I will not tolerate that.  Not growling or barking - but happily putting them where he thinks they belong. 

Learning through living with my 8 ducks -  1 Chocolate Runner, 1 Blue Runner, 1 Fawn and White Runner, 1 Khaki Campbell, 2 Welsh Harlequins and 2 Pekins
Learning through living with my 8 ducks -  1 Chocolate Runner, 1 Blue Runner, 1 Fawn and White Runner, 1 Khaki Campbell, 2 Welsh Harlequins and 2 Pekins
post #2 of 9

Well, sounds like an adjustment, and sounds like you have thought through much of it.  I will be interested to see the advice experienced folks offer.

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  


Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

post #3 of 9

I had my dogs (a greyhound and a doberman) before I got ducks.

The ducklings quickly let them know they would not tolerate anything from them. Both dogs just stuck their nose in the pen the ducklings were in and the ducklings quickly grabbed for their nose. Took one time for each dog and then they didn't poke their nose where it didn't belong. I would show the ducklings to the dogs each time I had them out and tell the dogs they were MINE.

Never had an issue with the greyhound or doberman. The doberman ignores them to the point of running through them, over them, etc.


Then I added a great dane that was a year old. She lived with cats/ferrets/dogs, so I figured she'd be workable.

She was never off leash if the ducks were out at the start. I let her check out the ducks to see what they were, but made sure she wasn't interested in eating the ducks. She wanted to play with them. So we worked, on leash, with ducks are not toys and ducks are MINE. You don't touch stuff that is MINE.

Once I was confident that she would "leave it" every time, I would let her off leash while they were out, but at a distance.  Never once did she try to run toward them or anything.


We have since had more ducklings and chicks and the chicks would sit on the dane and she'd never bat an eye.



My dogs ignore the birds.They don't bother them other than when they aren't paying attention to them and go running through/over them. Ducks and chicken aren't so fond of that  lol 

post #4 of 9
When my husband was training a new puppy to be a chicken dog, if it was inclined to chase a chicken (and most are..what fun, make em flutter!), he would just keep the pup on a leash and would tie the leash to his belt whenever he was out working with the birds. Kept the pup right by his side at all times, so it could be corrected if it got too curious. This method takes time, but it works. Most of the time it would be a year before the dog was trusted alone with the birds. I don't think there are any short cuts.
post #5 of 9

I'm doing the same thing right now.  Training a puppy to be around poultry.  Mine is a yorkie puppy.  He takes great interest in the chickens and needs to be told to respect their personal boundaries.  (Not chasing... He will try to lick their bottoms.)  He leaves the ducks alone now.  The only time I have had to discipline him (verbally) has been when he got the great idea he would help me herd the ducks when I was moving them.  I had to tell him no a few times, that he was not to help me chase them, since then we have been fine.  I have the benefit of an well-behaved older dog who will discipline him for me if she thinks he is out of line.  The dogs, ducks and chickens all roam the same yard without supervision.   I just can't wait for him to grow up.  He looks like an adult, but he is still an idiot puppy with some things to learn.  He is slowly growing his brain.  If you can get past that stage you are home free.  (How to say no:  A sharp deep "NO!" and a very quick touch, tap,  with your hand. Nothing works better than surprise and speed.  This is the same way their mothers tell them no, only they use their mouths to nip the puppy.  You only need to tap.)  Be consistent.  You'll be fine.

post #6 of 9

I'm watching anxiously, too.   I'd love to be able to hike my dogs and ducks through our woods together. But i realistically understand that  it will most likely not be in the cards for all of us.  And i won't leave one dog behind while the hike with the other & the ducks.

Edited by cayugaducklady - 12/17/15 at 11:20am
post #7 of 9

I had to laugh at your post. Apparently my dogs think duck poop is the second most tasty thing on this earth. 

post #8 of 9

Whew!!  So it's just not me!!!  I'd swear both of my dogs have switched from dog food to yummy goose and duck droppings...  My composter is getting robbed of valuable input.  And I have no idea how either one can stand it.... I just slowly shake my head and focus on something different.

post #9 of 9

I have a 45 pound Shepard who predates my ducks by about 6 years.  And honestly in "pecking order" she's at the very bottom.  They stole her pool, and she was relegated to taking a dunk when they were fully satisfied, which was just about never.    They'd crowd her out and she'd sit, 2 feet away, crying while they happily played.   Honestly, I think that the bigger the dog the less likely there is to be problems, so long as the dog doesn't have "terrier" or "bull" or "pointer" or "hound" in the name.


My dog doesn't care for the duck poo, but the food.  That's a different story.  I have to make sure they eat before I let her out.

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