I just got my first Donkey this week. I'm reading everything I can about their behavior, how to train them, etc. We got her to be a guard for our pasture which has chickens and (soon) rabbits, and as a pet. She was raised around mostly goats but also chickens. She is about 9 months old.
I go out there twice a day and check on her and interact with her. The past few times she's been leaning on me, pushing me with her head, and won't leave my side for a second - making it really hard to feed/water the chickens. She seems to be trying to pin me between her and the truck. So far what I do is a very stern no and hold her head or neck so she cant push me. Half the time it stops her, the other half she just leans harder and I have to move. I tried a really firm pat on her chest too.
She also chases my truck when I leave (I think she kicked it today) and it takes forever to get her to come back in the inner gate.
1. How do I train her to:
A. Give me some space when I need to feed the other animals?
B. Stop chasing my truck?
2. Is the leaning/pushing aggression or affection? IE, is she lonely/sad/happy to see me, or angry at me?
3. Is this just an adjustment period of moving to our pasture and being away from her goats? If we got a goat (We want to get goats eventually anyway) would it make it better or worse? Better because she's used to goats, or worse because it's not HER goat?
Note: I spent several years training dogs professionally for pet owners, using clicker training, and have competed with my dogs in dog sports. I understand basic learning theory/behavior training. I know she's not a dog, and she's not a horse - I want to train her using kind gentle methods rather than keep yelling and pushing her which doesn't work well anyway, but I also don't want to use food because I don't want her to expect a treat from me all the time. I just don't know enough about her body language to interpret if she is lonely or angry, and this is the largest animal I've ever had so I'm a little nervous of messing up.
Here's a photo of her:
Thanks for any advice you can offer. I look forward to talking with other donkey owners - I have always loved them and am so excited to have my own now.