Our dog was running off with baby duck!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by petitesphinx, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. petitesphinx

    petitesphinx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2008
    Eeek! I look out the window to see our border collie with one of our baby ducks (from the pond) in her mouth!!!

    I run out and spank her, getting her to drop the poor thing and it's limping all over the place. Thankfully, he's ok (so far). I turned him back to the pond because there he can at least swim better than walk and this morning, he limped up with the others for breakfast.

    Whewww! My heart sank when I saw that she had our little duck, going for a snack!

    How can we keep the dogs from eating everything on our farm? Anyone know? We're having the worst time with the dogs running everything here. We had to tie them up and we hate that, but can't have them eating our chickens, cats, ducks....Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg!
  2. chickfillhay

    chickfillhay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 31, 2007
    Berlin Nh
    It's never a good thing to tie up your dogs. You're gonna have to take the time and have the patience to train them. I had the same problem when I got my basset hound. She loved to play with the chicks. She used to push the brooder to the floor so the chicks would get out. Then straight into her mouth. She didn't intend on eating them. Just playing with them. (I hope)
    The best way that I know how is to get them used to the critters. Put some birds in a cage and have the dog sit with them. Every time she shows interest. Correct her. Don't hit her. Instead make a loud annoying noisie with your voice. Like a loud firm and short NO! And place you flat hand in front of her. Tell her to stay. AND NEVER SPEAK WITH A QUESTION MARK. THEY DO HEAR THAT. When she starts to ignore them then reward her. The best way is to show praise. Dogs live for that. (Better than food reward but that works too!) When they are comfortable with the presence of the birds...Open the cage. This could take some time. (Days even) Let the birds out but within a safe circle of protection from you. (and your partner) Do the same thing. Correct the dog if she shows interest. And praise her for ignoring the animal. In time she should start to behave and you can take the same steps until she is playing free with the birds. But NEVER let your guard down. GOOD LUCK!!!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  3. warcard

    warcard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    SE Indiana
    You don't have to chain her, but you probably should either kennel her when the birds are out and you aren't there or make a yard for her. You picked a high drive herding breed NOT a guarding breed, you are going to have to work with her to have her understand. The herding behavior is another form of chasing (some people say hunting behavior). She needs to be taught how to chase correctly, ie not touching the bird. Many border collies are taught to herd ducks, its a good flock if you can't have sheep. Talk to your breeder or find a herding group in the area to teach you how to work with her.

    The below instructions are to help her ignore the birds not herd them:
    #1 make sure she is getting enough exercise (that doesn't involve chasing birds)

    For now she is not allowed near the birds unless you are there. Teach her the 'watch' or 'look' command away from the birds. Tell her to 'watch,' wait for her to look at you and reward her for looking at you. The reward is whatever works for her food, praise, a toy. You need to be quick at first when her eyes flicker in your direction say 'yes' to mark the behavior and reward. Work your way up to her looking at you for longer. Also practice 'leave it,' put food or a toy on the ground nearby, she is not allowed to take it until you give your release word (ok, alright). Be ready to cover the item quickly when she goes for it so she doesn't self reward. Once these behaviors are set in a non-distraction environment, you can start adding distractions.

    Walk her on leash near the birds, when she looks at them say 'leave it' then 'watch' and reward. Keep her focus on you, you are much better than the birds. Next step is off leash, preferably with a fence between you and the birds.

    This is not an overnight process and it won't guarantee a 100% solution, but it can help. Finding someone to teach you herding will help even more.
  4. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    a underground "fence" around your pond or coop area, will teach her that when she gets to close she gets a little zap. after bout 2 months of that they usually wont even LOOK at a bird.

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