Dominance or just playing?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by griemar, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. griemar

    griemar Out Of The Brooder

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    Greetings all! Well Lewie is still coming along quite well and we couldnt be happier. But I have a question regarding dominance and play. Lewie has already made it clear to our 2 cats that he's now in charge. One day while he was out and running about, I was shocked to see our smallest cat running through the house at full speed while Lewie was still perched on her back. Needless to say, not too long after, he did the same thing to our male cat and ever since then, they havent bothered him one bit. BUT our 131lb. German Shepard is another story. Lewie has jumped up and taken him for a ride, bites his tail, chases him and even goes after his feet constantly! Our poor Shepard is scared to death of him now and cowards next to us every time Lewie is left out to run. Granted, I sadly have to admit that I find this situation funny, but I also have to take this seriously at the same time. Can anyone tell me if this is "play" or is Lewie just determined to make Sampson's life miserable? Is there anything that we can do to deter Lewie from continuing this behavior? I've tried "shushing" him away and a few times resorted to gently holding his bill closed for a few seconds when he tries to nip, but it hasnt done anything. Lewie does seem to understand a stern "NO" though, whenever he's about to get into trouble. He'll stop what he's about to do and watch us closely, then resume the prior behavior when he thinks we arent paying attention.

    Thanks for reading,
    Griemar
     
  2. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is kinda funny..some role reversal with a bird riding a cat...and chasing the dog.

    Ita a little of both IMO. Drakes play rough. The nipping can be affection or rough play. If the nipping turns to biting (you'll know) then you have to defeat the bite attempt by slipping your hands around and under to his neck/chest area where he cannot get at you. To him, this becomes a game of sorts. Sometimes they give up when he learns that he can't win, sometimes they play along and start playing without the nip. AS you dodge the beak, watch the tail...its is waggling like a puppy you know the duck is entertained...if its still (not waggling) the duck is being defensive or locked in a mating behavior. I've found that having a treat close by to offer will usually break the behavior. Ducks attention span is fairly short and can easily be distracted with a cucumber slice or favorite grape.

    If its a mating behavior there ain';t much that can be done. Thats like asking a high school football player to go read a book instead of looking at cheerleaders....ain;t gonna happen. Hormones drive the priorities in drakes as well as every other living creature. Men too.(boys).

    If thats the case, just keep the animals safe, and as long as there is no blood shed they will all get over it. King Lewie must be on top of the world having a big dog on the run...I've said it before,. a drake when he is on his game is as fearless as a bull and will attempt to stand up to anything that walks in front of him.

    I'd suggest getting involved with these conflicts and playing with them all, so they both see that its fun time, not anything else. You are the moderator and the referee.

    DO try to get a picture next time the duck rides a cat thru the house..! Thats a classic !
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:I can only tell you my experience, and it is with a gander. who by the way was hatched here. Samson has made enemies of our dogs by biting them, they never tried to bite back though till just recently. And they aren't in the house together either. Just outside occasionly when we're all out together. One afternoon I had let the goose and ducks into the backyard which is where the back door to the house is, my gander likes to come up and knock on the door for his afternoon bread snack, well I was on the computer so didn't see what exactly happened but I heard loud knocking and got up to see, when I came into the kitchen there was white feathers everywhere scared me to death just about, I opened the back door and nothing, went out to look and see blood on the front of my ganders chest, look closely and looks like my mix breed grabbed him by the chest thanks goodness all she got was a mouth full of feathers but they came out of the skin and left a large hole. I think she stuck her head out of the doggie door and there was the goose, I don't know if he snapped at her because she didn't have a mark on her but she sure did get him good. I know she could have killed him and I am so thankful it was only minor, but I said all of this to say, Your dog may just have enough and turn on Lewie and it won't be pretty, you need to either keep them separate or really work on breaking Lewie from this, maybe when he goes after your dog pick Lewie up and lay him on his back while holding him, that may break his train of thought long enough, I do this with our inside outside drake when he goes after my feet. and when i put him down most of the time he doesn't do it again. sometimes I have to pick him up twice before he gets it. I hope this helps and that you can get it worked out before something tragic happens.
     
  4. griemar

    griemar Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
    Thanks Duckdad and Miss Lydia, your input has given me a few ideas. Miss Lydia, is laying him on his back a dominance thing for drakes or just a method you use to distract? And Duckdad, I never considered mating behavior. I just assumed that he wouldnt be in that state of mind until spring time. Either way I'm going to try and get more involved and see if I can get a better grip on things.

    As for the video and/or pics, I would gladly post some up should I ever get to the camera fast enough. I will however post a few general pics of Lewie today. I been saying that I would and I just keep getting distracted with other things. In fact, I'll go snap a few now while it's still quiet here, lol.

    Griemar
     
  5. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yep..
    a drake isn't particular when the urge strikes..
    Whats interesting is that even though a drake might demonstrate mating behaviors, grabbing the neck, biting to hold on, riding the back (surfing) they may NOT intend to follow thru with the actual act of mating...just the behaviors. They won't always follow thru. Like a guy at happy hour...he has no intention of ever calling the ph number that he got from some woman at the end of the bar, he just wants to know that he can still get one...
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I think it's both actually, my dh had to do it today and Opie just backed off once put on his back, It is interesting that Opie starts it with me especially if I squat down to talk to him he'll start walking around behind me and trying to climb up on me that I'm pretty sure is matinbg behaviour. I do the same thing pick him uiup and put him on his back which isn't easy since he is very strong, but it seems to be working. I would just be heartbroken for you if your dog funally has enough and kills or maimes Lewi. Hope you can get it across to him. yes pics of Lewie would be great.
    did you see this?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012

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