Every year at BlogPaws I’m asked the same question about a million times – Why do you have *insert type of baby fowl here* at BlogPaws, in a Jones Natural Chews dog treat booth? This year it was Why Ducklings? Allow me to show and tell. If you’ve been here long, you probably already know. 😉
Quick order of business, all three BlogPaws ducklings have been rehomed. As darling as they are, we just couldn’t keep any more barnyard birds. And OMD, they’re darling.
Fortunately, the Dalmatian duckling (the Ancona) went to a long-time friend who raises chickens and ducks as both pets and for show. He’ll have other ducklings about his age to hang out with. The two Pekin babies, Diana and Blossom, went to live with a small family who wanted ducks as pets.
How do I make the chickens and ducks work with four dogs? I get that question a lot, too. Surprisingly, it doesn’t involve Jones Natural Chews. I only say that because treats like the taffies and lamb lungs make phenomenal training rewards, tearing and breaking easily into small pieces. But we work regularly with the dogs using Jones as rewards, so they’re not always necessary, if that makes any sense. Like with kids – eventually they do what you ask because you ask and don’t always need a treat to obey. And then they become teenagers and nothing will entice them to listen. *sigh*
That said, the chickens, ducks and dogs all work together because we spend a lot of time with all of them. We initially work with letting the dogs hang out near a closed pen, not able to get at the birds, but able to sit RIGHT NEXT TO THEM. They want them, don’t get me wrong. Pretty badly. And we give a lot of NO sounds when they get too close.
Sometimes we’ll take the birds out and hold them up to the dog, like Christine did with Riley.
It takes a few weeks. It requires enclosed birds and dogs who already know how to sit and stay and understand a no signal. It requires a lot of patience on the part of the trainer. But it can be done with most dogs, I think.
So, why ducklings? Because, ultimately, they’re just really darned cute. Sure, I have chickens and a duck that show up here periodically, along with my cute dogs, but who doesn’t want to hold a duckling, right? And that’s why ducklings.
Until I write again …