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Lucky Ducks Facts

Nettie's duck named Ming Mei wearing a custom harness during a walk at the beach.

Nettie's duck named Ming Mei wearing a custom harness during a walk at the beach. (View larger version)

Photograph by NGC / Daniel Gibson

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  • The Labrador dog originated in Newfoundland, Canada. They were also known as the St. John's Dog, the Lesser St. John's Dog, and the Newfoundland.

  • A Labrador dog like Chase has characteristics of webbed paws for swimming, which is useful for his breed's original purpose of retrieving fishing nets.

  • The world record for the youngest dog ever to win a gun dog trial was a black Labrador puppy named Surprise of Triple Crown, aged 246 days. Surprise came first in the South of Ireland Gundog Club's Open Field Trial Stake at Birr Castle in Offaly, Ireland on December 6, 1971.

  • Labrador dogs are the do-it-all dogs. Whether it's hunting, service work, therapy, or search and rescue, Labs are the best. Their good nature and willingness to please and work with their owners make them the perfect work dog.

  • Endal, a male Labrador retriever and service dog from Great Britain, was the first dog to ride on the London Eye and the first dog known to work a 'chip and pin' ATM card.

  • Jake, an American black Labrador and trained rescue dog, worked with members of Utah Task Force 1, a federal search and rescue team trained to respond to disasters. Jake helped search for human remains at Ground Zero after 9/11 and also assisted the team during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

  • Scientists have divided ducks into 2 groups based on what they eat. There are dabbling ducks, who usually feed in shallow water with their heads underwater and their tails tipping up, and the other group are the diving ducks, who dive completely underwater for their food.

  • A duck makes its feathers waterproof by rubbing them with a waxy oil from a gland near its tail called the preen gland. This oil repels water.

  • Male ducks are called drakes. Females are called hens.

  • People who have kept all types of poultry generally agree that ducks are the easiest domestic birds to raise. Along with guinea fowl and geese, ducks are incredibly resistant to disease. Even when kept under less than ideal conditions, small duck flocks are seldom bothered by sickness or parasites.

  • Among the first living creatures to take flight in a man-made craft was a duck. The Montgolfier brothers, inventors of the hot air balloon, first tested their aerial innovation in 1783 for King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette by employing a duck, a sheep, and a rooster as the first living creatures on board!

  • The first commercial dog food was introduced in England in the 1860s by an American electrician named James Spratt. Spratt was in London at the time and noticed that dogs were being fed leftover biscuits from navy ships. He decided to create his own dog biscuit, shaped like a bone and made up of wheat meal, vegetables and meat. He began selling the item successfully in England and began U.S. production in 1890.

  • Some common everyday human foods that a dog should not eat are: chocolate, caffeine drinks, grapes, avocados, mushrooms, onions, milk and other dairy products.

  • If you want your dog to eat his/her food, make sure it smells good! Since dogs have about one-sixth of the taste buds in their mouth than humans do, it's the smell of food that attracts them, not the taste.

  • The amount of money spent on dog food is 4 times as much as what is spent on baby food, about $1.8 billion.

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