Tuesday, June 24, 2008

When Ducks Attack

No fiber content at all in this post. I apologize for the following long-winded story about duck bullies

My neighborhood has a family of ducks. They're not just any ducks, though. These are some pretty mean ducks. Today, one of them chased our dog.

Indy has a history with ducks.

Indy with Dinner

This is a favorite toy, err, training device, named "Dinner", as in "Indy go get Dinner". It looks like he's hugging, but he's really just waiting to attack.

Indy with Dinner

He's tough on waterfowl.

Chasing ducks is one of his favorite past-times. He stalks them, like a lion on the Serengeti, and then charges. Shih Tzu means "Little Lion", and when Indy hunts you can see how they got that name. We keep him on the leash, and don't let him get close enough to really threaten them.

Our previous apartment had normal, non-scary ducks. Once, a duck flew into his path. Indy lept at it and I thought he was going to bite it, but all he did was to touch it with his nose (his mouth was even closed) as if to say "Tag, You're It". It is definitely a game to him.

Indy also sees it as protecting us when the animals become aggressive. At our old place, a belligerent goose once tried to attack my husband. Even though this goose had a good 10 pounds on Indy, he ran away when the dog charged at him. Because he's a bird, and birds are supposed to be afraid of dogs and people, right?


When the neighborhood was new, there weren't any ducks at all, even though we have a pond. Soon, however, a few ducks wondered in and people started feeding them. Over the months, they've grown used to being fed, and gotten more confident.

Last winter, we noticed they were getting pretty comfy when one wondered up to us while we were grilling.

Some of our neighbors encourage us to let Indy chase the ducks, in hopes that they would leave.


When the ducks first showed up, Indy would chase them into the water, they would run away, and come back again probably in a few minutes.

Then, some babies were born. They are obviously off limits, as we don't want to scare or hurt any of the cute ducklings, and mamma ducks are supposed to be aggressive. So we kept Indy away from them until they were grown up.

Now the ducks are pretty much full grown, and for the past month or so, Indy's been allowed to chase them. But they've learned.


They know that while he may come running at them from across the street, he's not going to get within a couple of feet of him. So they ignore him. Yesterday, I decided to test how brave these ducks were. I ran at them, and stopped a bit closer than we let Indy get. And they ignored me!

So today, when we went walking I took the camera, hoping to get a shot of the ducks and Indy trying to chase them. Indy was a few feet away from the ducks, when one of them charged him! We had to pull him away!

The funny thing is, he's so submissive, if a duck attacked him, he'd probably lay down and take it.

So Indy's duck chasing days are over, for the time being. Luckily he has stopped wanting to chase them as much, because where's the fun in chasing something that doesn't run.

I know violent gangs could ruin neighborhoods, but I never imagined we'd have a gang of ducks terrorize our dog.


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