I am not going to comment on whether you should or should not - I will leave that to people who have far more experience than I do. But, I did want to make a few comments about working ducks, especially in relation to a young dog.
First of all, not every dog will work ducks and how they work ducks may differ from what you see on sheep. There are dogs that will act like ducks do not exist on thier radar, dogs that do not see ducks as working stock and will be likely to chase/bite/kill the ducks, and dogs that will actually be more confident on ducks and show more natural prowess on them. I personally own a dog that has LOVED ducks since she was first introduced to them - works ducks very naturally and a dog that did not see ducks as stock (initially - he now works them like all other livestock, but would choose to work other livestock if he were given that choice).
IF you did choose to get ducks for herding, you would definately want some lessons under your belt so that you could understand and stop unwanted behavior. You might want to take lessons on ducks as well (if you can find somewhere local) prior to purchasing ducks as well so that you can see what your dog will do while you have an experienced person there. Plus, working ducks is VERY different from sheep - thier balance point is the size of a pin, they tend not to fetch (you have a very big effect on the ducks and your effect changes with time and your interaction with them).
Equally, ducks work differently depending on the type of duck you get. I personally would not use Runner ducks. Runner ducks are more upright and fast, turn pretty quickly, and can be very exciting for a puppy. Thier speed may sound like a good thing, but if you are trying to get good work from your dog, especially with you as a beginner and your dog as young as it is, it makes it hard for you to see anything. I have worked several different ducks. Muscovys (sp?) are slower and seperate out easily. They flock better when young, but as an adult they are happy to each move at its own pace. Nice thing though is that they are pretty quiet working ducks. Peking (sp?) flock nice and tightly and move at a great pace. These inexpensive ducks are probably my favorite to work - however they are VERY loud so if your dog is right down behind them, they may have a hard time hearing you over the noise. Call ducks are very small and can vary in thier flocking ability, but if your grass is too high or uneven, it slows them down considerably. I do not enjoy working call ducks personally. I hear Welsh Harlequins, Roan (Ronin, sp? - really wish my computer weren't acting crazy right now or I would be double checking spelling and "breed" names), and Sweeds - I hear these work great, similar to my review on Pekings. I have worked a few crosses of these and they all flocked tightly, moved at a nice pace that still gave you time to react, but I do not think they are quite a loud.
My good friend happens to own several of these ducks and, a part of farm chores there is to put away the birds at night. The dogs gather them up and put them away, which is how I started learning to work them. And as I said, I have a dog that actually prefers to work ducks and is very natural with them in a way that she is not with sheep. But ducks are different - definately not sheep - so I would be looking at learning how to work the ducks (in addition to sheep) if you are going to try to use them as your practice livestock. Otherwise, I won't comment on the shoulds and the should nots - leaving opinions to working ducks as a practice livestock to the experts on training up dogs. I am still learning.
Edit : I forgot to even mention flight. If the bird can fly, it will. You will have to clip wings in order to avoid flying away as they do like to do if they have that option. Runner ducks and Pekings do not fly. I am sure there are others that do not, but those two I commented about so will add that bit.
Edited by ObeytheBC, 15 October 2013 - 07:06 AM.