Protective German Shepherd Fosters Adorable Abandoned Ducklings

An extremely protective German Shepherd took on a clutch of abandoned ducklings to tuck under his large, furry wing and became their surrogate dad when they needed him most.

Not long ago, a dog named Ben living in New Zealand had a brief friendship with a mama duck that flew the coop unexpectedly, leaving their newly-hatched ducklings unattended.

curious German shepherd
Photo: Pixabay/mristenpart

Protective Dog Breeds

Ben and the sweet little brood immediately bonded, and before he knew it, he was spending most of his time watching over them as they slept, ate, frolicked, and bathed. While they were tiny, he was so protective of them that he even barked at the family’s tabby cat if it had the temerity to get too close to the fuzzy young fluff balls.

Julie McGuire, Ben’s mom, lives in Motueka, New Zealand, where the ducklings were discovered all alone in a stream by orchard workers who kept an eye out for her for eight hours, but for some unknown reason, the mother duck never returned.

Photo: Pixabay/Graham-H

Becoming a Foster Parent

So, McGuire, 35, agreed to take care of them in her home until they could survive on their own in the wild. Julie noted that their dog, Ben, was “extremely curious” and insisted on knowing what the heck was going on in the room where the babies were being fed and kept.

“He’s very protective. He watches over them and makes sure the cat doesn’t get too close. They deserve the best life, and I am just happy we could help some of them survive, and Ben has had fun with them growing up,” she stated about their being fostered.

German shepherd
Photo: Pixabay/Eric1964

Generally, it takes about 6-8 weeks for ducklings to mature enough to become self-sufficient. So, if you’re ever in the position to have to care for abandoned ducklings, make sure you plan on housing them for at least that long. If not, you really should contact a local wildlife center and let them do the job, as they know exactly what they’re doing and how to best care for them.

Now that Ben’s small flock is bigger, Julie lets the ducklings roam free on her property to do their own thing. But in the beginning, when they were so very little, gentle Ben was absolutely enthralled by them and couldn’t bear for them to be out of his sight.

New Zealand Wildlife

baby ducks
Photo: Pixabay/NickyPe

“If they decide to fly away, I’m happy with that,” she acknowledged. There’s no word on how Ben is taking being an empty nester now, but maybe he’ll have another shot at being a surrogate dad someday. He did a top-notch job of it the first time around. You can see some of the extreme cuteness that was involved in the unusual and touching relationship in the video clip below.

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