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This is a discussion on reunited within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-23-2014, 11:17 AM

    About a year ago my parents got my brother a little spotted donkey. My brother lost interest in him after about a week and he became mine. His previous owners abused him and he was very shy of touch. I gained his trust and spent a lot of time with him. But then work got slow for my parents and we had to give him away. The person we gave him to didn't take good care of him and he got very skinny. My parents wouldn't let me go see him cause it was so heart breaking to see him so sad. Well just the other day I was driving down a street near my house and I saw a little spotted donkey in someones yard. I just knew it was him! I text his previous owner to see if he had gotten rid of him and sure enough he gave him to someone down the street from me! I was told I can visit him whenever I want. Yesterday I went to bring him some treats and see if he remembered me. I called his old name (Otis) and he picked his head up and came right to the fence. I was very surprised he remembered me cause it had be so long sence I had seen him. He's the same sweet donkey I knew but in much better condition. I would like to halter break him but he's still a little head shy. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
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        04-23-2014, 05:05 PM
    Such a sweet story! I wish you all the best with Otis. I don't have any donkey experience, but wanted to say congrats. He's a lucky donkey, I think.
        04-23-2014, 07:34 PM
    Maybe you should post in the other equines section? I have no idea if this is different for a donkey but I'll tell you what I would do if it was a horse. Take things slow and be very gentle. Put a rope over his lower neck, away from his head. Get him used to being touched on his neck and rubbed and slowly work your way up to his head. Talk softly to him the whole time in reassuring tones. Treat him when he has stood and accepted contact quietly for several minutes. Don't overdo the treats as he may become nippy if expecting a treat consistently. You could even do two jobs at once and brush him instead of just petting him.
        04-23-2014, 10:27 PM
    Yeah, a year isn't long re memory really, but animals don't think/remember in the same way as us & he'd probably still remember you if it were 10 or more years later. 'They' say that horses never forget, but they forgive. Donkeys never forget OR forgive, so you'd best do it right!

    Slow & easy, as for a horse, but IME donks, like less 'tame' animals, don't respond/learn as well to negative reinforcement(pressure/release) or punishment (tho you can force/bully these animals into stuff) and positive reinforcement is invaluable.

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