Anyone with ducks AND a lab or golden retriever?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 11, 2013
We're talking about getting a puppy and have always loved those breeds as good family dogs, but I'm kind of hesitant because of their hunting/retrieving nature... anyone have one of these and have experiences good or bad they could share? I know all breeds of dogs will likely be interested in the ducks and a potential threat - all our ducks are in a run outside and we won't be leaving them unsupervised - but I don't want to get a dog that will constantly be going nuts because there are ducks out back
I think if you are planning on getting a young puppy, that would be fine. Yeah, those breeds have hunting in their blood, but nurture overrides nature most of the time, I think. We have an Aussie Shepherd who is two (our chickens and ducks are a recent addition to the family in the last year) and she is great with them. Very curious, and sometimes a little too excited for my comfort, especially with the ducklings and when the chickens were chicks in the brooder, but she knows not to hurt them. Though, she is a herding dog, not a hunting dog.
Yes, she's basically 3yo(come June) a chocolate lab, they only retrieve, they don't actually hunt a thing.. She's been around the ducks(and chickens) for more than half her life, she's fine with them... for the most part ignores them. That said all dogs you must have great care with, they are probably the most underestimated for their predator level.
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You can train a dog no matter what age but getting one young is always better. I have a chocolate lab who came from a family of hunters and he went with them but thankfully he was very easy to train. He was probably like 2 or 3 years old then. I had him for like 3 yrs before i got my first ducklings. What I did is I held a duckling in my hand and let him sniff it but made sure he couldn't harm it if he tried thankfully he never did. I find this is probably the easiest way. He also knows words like 'easy' and 'baby' and the whole time he would sniff it I would say easy its a baby and I put lots of emphasis on the words he knew. Now he doesn't really pay much attention to them. He helps me herd them in at night even. Here's a pic of him being a 'mother hen' to my newest ducklings.
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Personally I have a Golden and a Chocolate Lab. My Golden is much better around my ducks than the Lab. What I notice is that when the ducks get to be carrying on and splashing like ducks do, this seems to really rile up my Lab. I just try to make sure the dogs obey the 'Heel' command, as well as 'Leave it'. Sit and stay works well too. A lot I think depends on the individual and training. Good luck.
I have a golden retriever and two ducks. He leaves them alone. They are loud, with all of their quacking, and he prefers to be far away from them! He's more interested in his ball. But I also think the dog will treat your animals with love and care if he sees you being loving and careful with them. We also have two cats, they are hunters, and were very interested in the ducks when they were little, but we kept a close eye on them when they were around each other the first few times and made sure they knew they were not to touch the ducklings....we had to do that the first time they were around the baby chicks, too. Now they are fine. They like to tease them
but don't do anything to them. It's rather amusing to watch.
i have a golden retriever, and he has been tough with my ducks, he brings them to my door and barks untill i open it, one 1 duck has survived after it, i now have the ducks fenced in a big area, he was older when we got him, and never been around any wildlife to speek of,
The first time my parents' golden retriever met my duck, he was a wreck! We had to struggle to hold him back, and he was jumping and squirming all over the place, whimpering and barking. I don't think he wanted to eat her, but he would've loved to pick her up and run around the yard with her, with all of us chasing him. Over the next few months, he became calmer with her and eventually didn't even always pay attention to her. Generally, when we all played outside together, he'd follow her around sniffing her for a few minutes, and then he'd wander off to do his own thing. Sometimes when he was laying down, she would go up and chew on his fur! He wasn't a big fan of that, but he never snapped or anything. I think they ended up liking each other, overall.
My yellow Lab is great with all my small "prey" animals. She was raised around hamsters, rats, a rabbit, ect when we got her as a puppy. When the chicks were little she would love to watch them and gently sniff and lick them if I let her, and she does the same with my new ducklings. She pretty much ignores the animals I've had for awhile (rats, guinea pigs, rabbit, and now the chicks that are ~10 weeks old.) Any new animal is exciting for her, though.

Like someone else pointed out, they were bred to retrieve dead ducks in cold water rather than actually hunt them. But my lab would be bad at that, she's afraid of dead birds... and guns.

My toy fox/jack russel is a little bit of a different story, although he now ignores the chicks that have pecked him several times.

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