Dogs and ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bayyjayy, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    I have three Shih Tzu' do I get them used to the ducks. Right now all they do is run like crazy up to the fence and bark like crazy at them. While I was on vacation, they got one of my females and played with her to death...literally! She died. Has anyone had a problem with their dogs being like this and got them over it? I would like my dogs and ducks to coexist nicely. My dogs aren't being mean, they just want to PLAY and PLAY. Any advice?
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    Sorry to hear about your loss....I have a weim and she is pretty hyper for a 5 year old....she still has the energy of a puppy! I taught her to be easy and kept telling her they are "Mommy's ducks" right from the brooding stage.Mine are in a run so she cannot get to them even if she wanted to but I never allowed her to bark at them.She would try when I first got poultry but now she knows better since I kept yelling at her in the beginning.Maybe you could try the clicker training for them?Have them on a leash and make them sit quietly by the ducks with their backs to the ducks.Reward with a click and treat? Sounds like for you it will be a huge undertaking but it's possible.Have you ever watched the shows It's Me or the Dog or The Dog Whisperer? They have helped overcome a lot of weird/unacceptable behaviors.If not training...maybe separating the two?
    Good luck [​IMG]
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    I have trained 2 dogs to new ducklings (a greyhound and a doberman) and a new dog (great dane) to ducks.

    I would first start with the barking. I wouldn't allow them to bark at the ducks - playing or not.
    I would not let them run up to the ducks. They can walk up or walk by, but no running at the ducks.
    Take lots of time getting them used to being calm around the ducks.
    Once they are at this stage, you can leash a dog and be around the ducks, but keep the dog far enough away that it can't get the ducks. With them acting like they are, I'd probably not ever trust the ducks and dogs alone together unleashed.

    My parents visited last year with 3 dachshunds. One didn't care. One just didn't want my mom out of her sight and the 3rd was a duck dog. He was kept leashed (they all were actually). He'd bark and be crazy. So Ally, one of my ducks, tucked her head down and charged at him and wrapped her little neck around him. He had no clue what had him lol
    Then she took off another another of their dogs and sent that one running.
    But duck dog still wanted to try some duck. Maybe he wanted to play, but no way was I trying that out. And while Ally may have been brave and charged him, the dog could easily have killed her if she tried it again and he wasn't surprised/off guard.

    Lots of training and time.
  4. sandysylvester

    sandysylvester Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2011
    I am by no means an expert, but I have 2 beagles I am currently working with to get used to my chickens. My advice is to break up your pack. Have one dog out at a time. Monitor their behavior on how they react to the ducks. You will see who is the initial pack leader who creates the chaos in the first place. It is easier to work with them one at a time.
    As of now my one beagle Jack is gentle with the chickens, but is still monitored. My girl Sweetie is too much of a hunter so she is not allowed outside if my birds are out of their run.
    Good luck!
  5. QuackerJackFarms

    QuackerJackFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    Agreed with SandySylvester: Separate the dogs, or start with your Alpha dog. I had to do this with my 6 month old pup. I had to "Ceasar Millan" her little puppy booty.

    I keep her on a leash at all time when around my ducks. Any time she lunges towards them or shows interest in them I jerk back the leash (slightly) and say "leave it!"

    When I feed the ducks treats outside their pen (on purpose for this exercise) I make her sit and watch. As long as she's sitting beside me not showing any interest in them I am petting her. The minute she shows any aggressive interest in them, again I jerk her collar and say, "leave it!"

    She is learning but it is taking time. I absolutely do NOT trust her with the ducks or chickens but she has come a long way.

    I hope this helps. I did a lot of googling on this topic after the pup killed a chicken by playing with it to hard.
  6. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    Yes, one dog at a time to break the barking. They're not to toy with the ducks AT ALL, avoid any and all excitement when they see the ducks. Work with one dog after another, daily, for a couple of weeks. On leash. Walk them up to the ducks, getting after them for every little bark in the direction of the ducks. Once they grasp the concept, work with them as a group so that pack mentality doesn't set in and undo the training.

    If they stare at the ducks for more than 3 seconds, bump the leash and divert their attention. Too much focus through a simple stare will escalate to a bark, break the staring, break the barking.

    When doing the group, stand on the fence line to the duck run. When they approach, shoo them back. Let them know you mean it, the ducks aren't toys or novelty critters they can bark at.

    Likely they charge as a pack full speed ahead and start the barking before they're even at the ducks? On leash, they're just not allowed to do that. They can approach calmly, or they don't go at all. Don't let them "drag" on the leash in an attempt to get to the ducks. It will eventually transfer to off leash and as a pack behaving but it's a long haul to get there.

    You have to work with them daily, and they're not allowed to be exposed to the ducks without supervision. Very little thing about those ducks needs to be corrected. They already had "fun" with one, so you need to be real serious about correcting it or just leave them away from the ducks and have plenty of secure fencing. The training... 3 dogs, 15-20 minutes a day, one at a time, over the span of several weeks with group lessons thrown in too. It will be a time commitment. One may grasp it faster than the others. See if you can spot the one who starts it and does it worse than the rest, and put more focus on that dog.

    If they get to the ducks without supervision or discipline, it will undo the training. So be very vigilant and treat every duck encounter as a training session. Take a dog with you on the leash when you go to fill water containers or feed, and rotate which dog it is. The rest stay put up, you can't correct all of them effectively until they each know what you're getting at.

    No staring, no charging, no barking, no excitement. Ducks are off limits, period. Maybe later they can have a mild interest if they behave, but through training, nothing. Give them an inch, they'll take a mile.

    At our old house, we had two lunatic dobermans next door that would run their fence and bark their heads off at my dogs, and the 10+ deer that would walk and graze behind our fences. I wasn't going to let my dogs do that. On the leash they went. Once they understood what I was getting at, I stood on the fence line and kept them back. Logan proceeded quickly through the training and was allowed to sit and stare at the deer because that's all he did. My lunatic dog, learned she's just better off to totally ignore everything. She's incapable of watching with out building up excitement.

    When my dogs started to ignore the Dobermans next door, the dobermans chilled out too. They realized the fun was over and they shut the heck up too. Still went off on the deer, which let me know to get out and resume training to keep my dogs solid on the "No barking and running the fence at the deer" rule. I had to drag my butt up off the couch during my favorite shows to make corrections until they were solid on it. No waiting for commercial break or all my work would end up for nothing.

    Once you start it, you have to stay on it. The end result is well worth it though. When we moved here, the dogs easily accepted the birds. They didn't even think about charging the run fence, charging fences is a no-no, I don't care what is on the other side. The neighbor kid teases them through the fence from his side, or tries to anyways. I don't know why he can't listen when we and his mom tell him it's not a good idea to tease 2, 100 pound German Shepherds. But they ignore him, as if he were only a deer. They barked at him once, and I was like... No, remember? Doesn't matter what's outside the fence, it's your job to protect what's inside.

    Deer, idiot dobermans, chickens, ducks, neighbor kid.... all of it gets ignored and treated with respect. It took about 3 weeks to get it through their skulls I wasn't kidding about the new rule. And it's ongoing keeping the rule in effect. I check out every bark I hear to be sure they aren't breaking any rules. I don't have to monitor them outside anymore, and I can tell by their bark what the issue is. They call right off it, immediately though. They stop in their tracks and return to me. Bonus of the training, the good behavior carries over to other things.

    Your tough part will be conquering the pack mentality between the 3 of them. That's why you teach it to the individuals, and then work with them as a group.
  7. littlenell1

    littlenell1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2011
    Hi there, we have two dobermann's and also foster additional ones for a rescue here in UK. Our dobermann girl- who has a very high prey drive- was very obsessed with our chickens. She got into the run and maimed one, killed another. We reinforced the fencing, and she then obsesses over them until we moved them into the bigger run with the runner ducks. She soon got bored once she realised she could not get to them. I have since started raising ducks/geese, and to educate her they are ours and therefore family...I brood them in the house, let her sniff them calmly, but removed them the moment she goes up a notch, and tell her firmly they were mine. She knows what MINE means!! Since then we have raised 3 cockerel boys, and she still recognises them, so won't chase them or bark through the fence...and same with the ducklings. She also knows our goslings, even if we had a blip and she managed to get one and mother it to death. She meant it no harm or we would not have found her with them both.
    We have progressed now where we can let and her male dobe partner into the big field, where I have 4 adult geese and ignore them, but only do this with us around. She used to think these were fair game, but after chasing her round the field, and giving her time out in our caged area near to the field she knows better than to mess with them. I think alot depends on the dog and the setup you can create. What works for one, might not for another.

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