Dog Is Barking at Ducks? Here’s How to Stop It!
You want to take your dog down by the pond, but you can’t because you know they’ll go crazy. Your dog barks at ducks as if they’ve never seen them before! Why do dogs bark at ducks? Are ducks scared of dogs? Should they be? Will your dog attack a duck? Just how careful do you need to be with them?
Today, we’re going to answer all of the questions you have about this frustrating issue. And we’ll cover what you’re really interested in: how to stop your dog barking at the ducks. Soon, you’ll be able to take your dog wherever you please without worrying about how they’ll act. Keep reading below for our article “Dog Is Barking at Ducks? Here’s How to Stop It!”
Table of Contents
Why Do Dogs Bark at Ducks?
Dogs bark at ducks because they see them as prey. This will particularly be true for hunting breeds. The fact that ducks are such vocal animals also helps to provoke dogs, as they are more likely to notice the ducks and to want to react to their noise and movement. Being a prey animal, ducks are also likely to flee which entices a dog’s predator instincts even more.
Be sure that your dog is getting plenty of playtime, attention, and exercise. Dogs are cursorial mammals, so it’s natural and necessary for them to get plenty of time to run around. A tired dog will generally be a quiet and less aggressive one. When you’re at home, make sure they have a toy that will keep them occupied too.
But if your dog is barking at ducks and ignoring your commands to stop, then you have an issue of dominance on your hands. Displaying their disobedience in this way means they think that they are in charge, and also likely that they — and they alone — get to determine what is a threat and what is appropriate to protect you from it.
You’ll likely also find your dog barking uncontrollably at other times, even when it seemingly doesn’t make sense. You’ll find your dog is barking at deer, barking at cows, barking at geese, barking at chickens, and maybe even barking at pigs. If allowed to continue, their misbehavior could even escalate to the point of an attack.
Clearly, this is not something you want occurring, so it’s important that you work on preventing your dog’s disobedience now. To stop your dog from barking at ducks and other animals, skip to the last section now where we’ll give you the exact steps you need to be following.
Are Ducks Scared of Dogs?
Ducks are scared of dogs, though some may have learned to ignore them if they’ve grown up in an environment where there are often non-threatening dogs around. It’s in a duck’s nature to view an animal like a dog as a potential predator. Many, however, spend lots of time near public ponds and parks that often have tame dogs around, so it is possible for ducks to learn to not pay attention to them.
Will My Dog Attack a Duck?
Your dog may attack a duck. It all depends on the dog’s temperament and how they’ve been trained. It’s in their natural instincts, however, to view animals like ducks as prey, so you should assume that they will not behave well around ducks until you have very good reason to believe otherwise.
Do not take your dog where there will be ducks around without having them on a leash. If you take them in the vicinity of ducks that then attempt to quickly get to somewhere else, and your dog pulls at the leash and attempts to chase, then they are seeing the duck as prey and you can clearly know that your dog is not safe to be off the leash around ducks or similar animals.
How to Stop Dog Barking at Ducks
To stop dog barking at ducks, take your dog to where there will be ducks with plenty of small dog treats. When your dog sees the ducks, say “quiet” in a positive voice. If they look at you, immediately give them a treat along with praise. But if your dog gets excited and starts barking at you or something else, place a treat in your fist, and then put your fist in front of your dog’s nose. They’ll be able to smell it and should quit barking to investigate the scent.
Once your dog’s stopped barking and is paying attention to you, again say “quiet,” and then open your hand and reward them with the treat and praise. If they remain quiet, keep giving them intermittent treats and praise. But if they resume barking again (whether it’s at you or the ducks), repeat the process by putting a treat in your fist, placing it by their nose, and then pausing until they’re quiet.
Make sure that you’re waiting so that you don’t open your hand to give them their praise and treat until they’ve quieted. This will form a positive connection in your dog’s mind with keeping their mouth closed anytime that you say “quiet.” Immediately reward them with the treats and praise when they do, especially at first when they’re still learning.
With practice, consistency, and time, your dog will learn to quit barking just by you saying “quiet” but without you needing to put your hand by their mouth. When they’re responding well to the verbal command, you can lengthen the amount of time before you reward them with the treat. Start with just a couple of seconds, then move to 5 seconds, and so on.
Before long, the praise and food rewards will no longer be necessary and you can get your dog to stop barking at ducks and for whatever other reason simply by giving the “quiet” command. But you’ll still need to address the root issue which was causing all of this disobedience in the first place, which is your dog’s feelings of dominance.
And to properly cover that, we first need to talk about what makes dogs tick. You’ve likely heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader. But when your dog barks at ducks and then ignores your commands to stop, and shows other displays of disobedience, they are definitively telling you that they don’t respect you in this leadership role.
If they did, they would not bark at the ducks and they would not engage in any other types of disrespect and misbehavior. And they would obey your commands at all times as soon as you give them, and they would do so happily.
You’ll be better off. The ducks will be better off. But your dog will be the biggest winner here because you’ll have freed them of all the stress and confusion that pack leader and dominance issues are currently saddling them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sounds like a heck of a deal, does it not?
“Yeah, certainly. But how do I do this?”
You should watch an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this very subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In the series, Dan explains absolutely everything in ways that are very easy to understand and to teach to your own dog, and he gets immediately to the point so that you can start seeing these important changes in your dog in no time.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t worry, because no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean to your four-legged little buddy. Dan never uses those types of methods. Not just because loving teaching techniques are the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.
I’m sure you’re looking forward to taking your dog to the pond or the park without worrying about how they’ll act, so I’ll let you get started on things now. Best wishes, and thank you for reading our article “Dog Is Barking at Ducks? Here’s How to Stop It!”