Yes ducks can be friendly. Give them lots of treats! And yes some ducks are "friendlier" than others. I do believe the more ducks you have the more scare of you they are. As the saying goes "Birds of a feather..." They will like to hang out by themselves. If you handle them a lot and give them treats, they will walk up to you on their own. Khaki Campbells are nice ducks as well as the Swedish ( they don't run as fast as the others and are easier to catch)
The Indian Runners are just that, they love to run. My boys pick them all up all the time though. Ducks are AWESOME!
I have several breeds and some are more likely to be friendlier than others. If you seriously want a "lap duck", I would try Welsh Harlequins. Buffs are also friendly, but they are generally more "bossy" and strong headed. Kind of like a cat...LOL Then I would only get two ducks and handle them like crazy. More ducks and they bond to each other and not you.
My Anconas *could be* very friendly. They were extremely intelligent and were the definite ring leaders of my flock when I had them. They didn't like to be picked up, but once you did- they were very calm.
The calmest and tamest ducks I have ever had are Mini Appleyard/Silver Bantams. They like to be right by us when we are out in the yard. We also had a Dutch Hookbill that was very calm and tame also (have heard that is typical for the breed, but I only had one).
I would *love* to try the Welsh Harlequins since I have heard they are so friendly too.
Number 1,... food is king,..my ducks will do just about anything for food, number two, I call this the art of seduction,...my husband by the way says I have been spending too much time with ducks and chicks
My ducks and chicks will come to me easily but on their own terms. For instance some of my ducks like to sit on my lap and nibble any buttons on my clothes. If I were to pick one up it would flap like a maniac and protest, but if I sit on the floor within moments they will come and sit on my lap,..it has to be their own idea. I think I managed to get them this way first with bribery, aka hey ducky want some spinach or lettuce,..so they associated me with their fav treats. I would just sit in the middle of them and let them chomp away as I hand fed them,..some of them let their curiosity about my buttons lead to them being lap ducks. Now they will do it without treats, but again, it has to be in their own time and their own way. Also I have noticed that each duck has it's own desire so to speak. Some of them want to sit with me for warmth, some for food, some just because they are copying the others. You have to figure out what they want and then entice them with it.