Training dogs to leave ducklings alone

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ChrisWNY, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY In the Brooder

    Sep 1, 2016
    Pendleton, NY
    Any tips/pointers for training 2 dogs to leave ducklings alone? I have a pitbull and beagle mix, they're both females and the pitbull especially has a prey drive but for the most part has not tried to attack or bite/eat the ducklings. Since my 2 ducklings (both Pekins) are nearly full size and beginning to grow feathers, I have since moved the brooder into the garage to gradually introduce the dogs to them. The dogs can't get into the brooder, but the pitbull has bit off a few pieces of the outer edge of the rubbermaid bin (where the lid fits on) and gets excited when the ducklings "peep", but has otherwise been pretty good about leaving them alone. They're definitely not at the point however where I could leave the ducklings alone and unsecured while the dogs are around. I have a remote zap collar for her and have been giving her treats when she leaves the ducklings alone but not sure if she's put 2+2 together at this point.
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    watch them carefully. Remember that the stare is a prelude to an attack. ... So don't let them do the predatory stare either.
    ChrisWNY likes this.
  3. Jamie Molihan

    Jamie Molihan Songster

    Apr 13, 2018
    Ooh, if you figure this one out please let me know. My son’s dog is a pit husky mix and keeps trying to eat my chicks, it’s heart stopping...theirs and mine...
  4. Nksg75

    Nksg75 Songster

    Aug 18, 2014
    Sugarland Texas
    Have your dogs been able to see you interact with the ducklings?
    I have Aussies. Their drive is quite different than your breeds, however Nonetheless possibly lethal to baby chicks or ducks.
    I have discovered that my dogs are able to differentiate between pet, and nussiance.
    Reason I say that is we have guinea pigs, and my Aussies won't let others near them. They actually protect them, and any and all the chickens we have.
    When I came across a large rat, I of course screamed, and my Aussie was there to kill it immediately.
    I am not positive, however it seems that they can differentiate between the 2.
    sylviethecochin and ChrisWNY like this.
  5. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    With husky in the mix it's unlikely your dog will ever be trustworthy around the birds. Huskies have a very strong prey drive. This article explains why:
    sylviethecochin likes this.
  6. Hyroler

    Hyroler Songster

    Aug 1, 2017
    I don't like to stereotype a dog breed but I know many people who thought there pitbull wouldn't hurt chickens or ducks.Couple of them said dogs never should signs of aggression towards flock after months of dog interacting with them.Then one day they came home and whole flock torn to pieces.It seems like Pitbulls and German Shepards are 2 breeds of dog that this is common with.I myself have 90lb Golden doodle that gets along with my chickens but I still don't trust him enough to leave him alone with chickens for long periods of time
    JaeG and Jamie Molihan like this.
  7. Miss Carcajou

    Miss Carcajou In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2018
    If you have an electric remote collar, I recommend highly supervised interactions with 'zaps' to pull your dog out of that prey drive. So perhaps have them on leash(so they can't lunge) and tap their side with your foot or zap them lightly when they begin staring (like mentioned before, a precursor to prey drive action). You can then give them treats when they turn their attention to you, teaching them that paying attention to you is their priority, not the peeping little fluffy ducks. This training may have to focus most on teaching the dogs to leave the ducks completely alone.

    You may never be able to have the dogs free roam near the ducks- and that is ok! I have a friend with a husky mutt that can never be alone near ducks and chickens... so the birds go in a pen when she is over (a variety of us out here have dogs and chickens and ducks and every mix in between) or the dog remains on a tether and the birds know to stay away.
    rtrodr90, Patinas and Jamie Molihan like this.
  8. Flockandfowl46

    Flockandfowl46 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2018
    Southwest Virginia USA
    I have a pit bull that adores my ducks chickens cats and other livestock my strategy is early and fair introduction so there is no jealousy when I bring in a new baby my pup is included and introduced to them immediately no surprises .he's included in cleaning feeding watering and even samples their food so he doesn't think he's missing anything, BUT... you must have a dominant role in your dog's life so that he knows that no means no if you do not have this trust please don't try it at the cost of your new babies. My dog has had this relationship with all my animals for 5 years and I trust him:)
    Lrosell31 and Jamie Molihan like this.
  9. Nksg75

    Nksg75 Songster

    Aug 18, 2014
    Sugarland Texas
    Quick question I meant to ask.
    How old are your dogs?
  10. Hyroler

    Hyroler Songster

    Aug 1, 2017
    My dog is 6 yrs.old. He does have a thing for chicks.He tore lid off brooder and stole chicks.When I saw brooder lid torn up and chicks gone I was ready to clobber him.To my surprise he had all chicks together and he was laying on them.I'm not sure if he was trying to hide them till he was hungry or playing momma either way chick weren't harmed.Another time I placed chicks in a dog crate and placed it up high on shelf in my garage.During the night a chick was able to squeeze thru wire door and landed on garage floor. My dog found it then brought up to me and placed it on my bed.It was wet slimy and a little cold from being in dogs mouth but wasn't harmed at all.Once in a while he will grab one of my full grown hens and lay on her.Hens don't like it but they are never hurt .Before I said I don't trust him and that's not true.I just prefer not to take the chance of leaving him alone in yard all day with chickens.
    ChrisWNY and Jamie Molihan like this.

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