You might think ducks are adorable, but can’t imagine having one running around the house. They aren’t dogs that you can train, right? Wrong. It is very possible to train a pet duck.
You can train ducks to not go where you don’t want them to go. This is done on farms all the time. In your house, it’s done a little differently. My duck, Zucchini, has two fuzzy blankets. She knows to stay on the blankets when I put her on them. And stay, she does. You teach your duck to stay on the blankets by not letting her leave them. If she starts to walk off the blanket, put her back. It won’t take long before you can walk away from your duck on the blanket and she will stay. Zucchini will stand on that blanket and scream for me to come back, but she won’t chase after me.
Without the blanket, it’s a different story.
Realizing that I could teach Zucchini to use the bathroom was an accident. As a baby duckling, I couldn’t leave her without her freaking out. I got into the habit of taking her with me to the bathroom and putting her on the floor. She started doing her business on the tiled bathroom floor whenever I was in there. I started to wonder if she would do it every time. I would put her in the bathroom during random times of the day and, sure enough, she’d do her business. This training isn’t foolproof, but useful if you don’t have a diaper or blanket handy.
You can easily teach your duck where her cage is so that she can go in and out as she pleases. All you have to do is put her in her cage and let her come out on her own. Keep doing that several times, letting her go as far from the cage as she wants. She will learn how to get back to it when she pleases.
Teaching your duck where the food is located is the same as finding the cage. Your duck will go to her cage to get food whenever she wants it. Zucchini also has a water dish in the kitchen that she shares with the dogs and cats. As long as she is not on her blanket, she will go to the water dish when she is thirsty. Just show your duck where the dish is located and let her come back to you.
Ducks can nip, and that nip can pinch. The best way to teach a duck not to bite hard is to keep her around humans. Easy. As long as people handle her as a duckling, your duck will know not to bite you in defense. Yes, she will nibble you hoping you are something to eat, but it will not be a violent bite. She won’t bite strangers either, because in her mind all humans are part of her life.
When Zucchini had nearly all her feathers but was still peeping, I started to call her a willful teenager. She would break the rules of the house, including going off her blanket and running away from me. One day I got frustrated with her and tossed her into her cage and closed the door. I left her in there for an hour. When I went back for her, she was sitting by the door quietly. I let her out and for two whole days, she was a good girl. When she acted up again, I grounded her again. It worked. Over time, either as she finally grew out of those teenager years or because she learned that going in the cage meant she was bad, she grew out of those troublesome teenager antics.