So, you are about to get some ducks for your farm, and you’re wondering if your canine friend would be in harmony with the ducks. Or you already have ducks, and you’re wondering if it would be okay to get a dog too.
Then a question pops up in your head, “Do ducks and dogs get along?” Ducks and dogs can coexist in one space in harmony, but this mainly depends on the dog.
Normally, dogs will run after ducks and even try to eat them. But if a dog has a high level of socialization, the chances of it trying to prey on ducks are relatively low.
Now, your dog may not spontaneously become familiar with your ducks. Just like you introduce your friends to each other, you may have to introduce your dog to your duck. So, how do you do that? Read on, and you’ll see how.
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Do Ducks and Dogs Get Along
Getting a dog to guard your duck farm can be very useful. They’ll keep an eye on things on the farm, and they could even herd the ducks. But on the flip side, they could startle your ducks, keep them restless, or even feast on them.
You might also want to get a dog and a duck as pets, but the situation is still similar. The dog could be a great companion for your duck, or it could be your duck’s worst nightmare, and your duck, its dinner.
The relationship between ducks and dogs is not straightforward.
Ducks and dogs can get along but you must remember that dogs are predators. If your dog has a strong prey drive, it may not be safe to leave him alone with your ducks.
Ducks pass as prey animals to dogs, and the truth is no one expects a prey-predator relationship to end anywhere else besides the predator’s stomach.
But between ducks and dogs, there is a chance for a harmonious relationship. It all depends on what you do – how you introduce the dog to the ducks. It also depends on how you teach your dogs to act around the ducks.
Get these right, and you’ll have two animals acting like buddies, away from the natural order of things. The next subheading is packed with some tips that you can follow to help your ducks and dogs get along.
11 Tips for Introducing Your Dog to Your Ducks
“Hey dog, this is my other pet, duck. I want you two to get along. Now shake hands and be friends”. If introducing a dog to a duck was that easy, it would have been very nice. But in reality, it takes a lot more.
You have to actively forge a relationship and create boundaries between your dog and your duck as you introduce them to each other. You may follow the tips below to make things easy as you do.
1. Introduce Them Slowly
The first tip is to introduce your dog to your duck slowly. As with humans, it could take a little time for the pets to adjust to each other. We do not make friends in one day, but we can start gradually.
It’s almost the same with dogs and ducks. You may wait for a day or two before you let your dog meet the duck.
2. Place a Fence Between Them
When introducing the dog to your duck, you can place a fence between them. The fence can serve as a way to teach the dog that it has limited access to the duck.
3. Place the Dog on a Leash
If you cannot get a fence between the duck and the dog while introducing them, you can work with a leash. You may also need an extra pair of hands in this situation. One person holds the duck while the other person holds the dog on a leash.
The person holding the dog will control it with the leash and indirectly teach it restraint if it tries to go after the duck.
4. Try Distracting the Dog
You can also train the dog to be around the duck using distraction. Let the dog approach the duck and when it is close enough, try to distract it with your voice, a toy, or a command. Repeat this often until the dog knows to ignore the duck without you distracting it.
Then try letting the duck move closer to the dog gradually and watch the dog’s reaction as it does. Ensure the dog does not approach the duck beyond a safe distance.
At that safe distance, the duck should do the approaching. If you let the dog go after the duck beyond this distance, it might get the feeling that it is okay to do that.
5. Use Commands
Now, if your dog already understands simple commands such as “stop” and “leave it.”, introducing them to the duck can be quite easy. Pay attention whenever the dog is around the ducks.
When the dog tries to startle or attack the ducks, use the commands. If using commands does not work, you may revert to using a leash or a fence until they are compliant.
6. Reward the Dog
One great way to reinforce every training method you try on the dog is to establish a reward system. Whenever the dog heeds your commands, or you successfully distract it from the dog, give it a reward. The reward could be a treat, it could praises, or just anything you know the dog loves.
7. Take the Dog to Training Classes
As you may have realized, getting your dog to cohabit with your duck mainly involves training it. If you are not making sufficient progress training the dog yourself, you can take it to training classes. This can help it socialize better.
8. Zap Collars
If every other method we’ve listed above does not work, you may want to try a zap collar – something with a mild shock. Ensure that the collar has a remote with it.
Used correctly, the collar should not harm the dog and may aid in saving the ducks life. With the collar, all you have to do is monitor the dog round the duck, and anytime it tries to attack the dog, you activate the collar.
The collars sometimes come in various training modes; you can choose to activate the vibration, the shock, or the beep. As long as the dog responds accordingly, you’re good.
But it is preferable if you control them with the vibration or the beep first. Use the shock when they don’t respond to those two.
9. Do Not Be Quick to Leave the Dog Alone With the Duck
Now, the dog may be obedient when you are around. It could play safely with duck or avoid the duck when you are around. But do not be hasty in your decision to leave the dog and duck alone without supervision. You should probably wait for a few months or a year before taking this risk.
10. Be Stern and Patient With the Dog
In every step you take, you have to ensure that you remain stern with the dog. It must obey your commands. At the same time, be patient with the dog. If the introduction is not going well, you can postpone and try later.
11. Feed the Dog Well
This goes without saying. You should ensure you feed your dog well. Having a hungry dog around a duck is a recipe for danger.
While a dog’s prey drive is the main concern in getting them to cohabit with ducks, you can train them to get along. It takes a lot of patience, monitoring, and reinforcement, but it is possible.
Ducks can get along with dogs and many do. Some dogs, though, will never be safe around ducks. It is important to take the time to socialize your dog with the ducks and use your best judgement if and when you decide to leave the two alone.