Advise Please

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Advise Please

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  • My donkey will back up to me so i can scratch his butt, and keep backing up until he backs into me. do all donkeys do this?

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  • 2 Post By lilruffian
  • 1 Post By lilruffian

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    01-31-2014, 10:01 PM
Advise Please

Several months ago I bought a miniature donkey. He is 8mo old now. I have never trained a donkey of any type. I have a horse and it slightly seems easier to train her because of the "flight" response, but again the donk catches on a lot quicker to not freak out. I can rub him all over, pick his feet up, he follows me like a dog and I swear he would crawl in my lap if I let him. But some things are stressing me out, I want to be doing it right. So whats your advise....

1) His testicles have not dropped, worried he might be a cyptorcid (one having a retained testicle) I can't wait to take them out, but am scared of the surgery if they don't drop. (i have a mare so they need to go)

2) I want him to respect my space ESP when its feeding time. I put him in a stall to eat grain. He gets agitated and impatient he doesnt necessarily pin his ears but moves his head and ears in an agitated way and wont stand still. Its not directed "at me" quite yet in an aggressive manner but I know it could if I don't work with him now. This is what I am doing now: I place the food down and stand in front of or beside it and use a rope +/- swinging to keep him out of my space, only when he calms down do I walk away and let him eat. What else should I do? Is this a "right" thing to do?

3) My horse yields her hind quarters, backs up with a gentle shake of a finger or lead rope, lunges etc. (I like parelli) How do I accomplish these with a donkey (they push back so much!) What I am doing now: I place a light touch on his hip, increasing the pressure until he gives and then immediately release pressure when he moves way. It seems to work. Backing up I slowly shake my finger with lead rope in hand and increase shaking until he backs up as soon as he does I immediately stop the "pressure"

Any and all advise would be great, I like Parelli but am open to other training techniques also...Merlin is a sweat donkey and I want to keep him that way...i don't need an Ass of a donkey
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    01-31-2014, 10:40 PM
Green Broke
Donkeys have more "fight" response than "flight" like horses. This is commonly translated to stubborness. Confidence may not be an issue for you, but gaining his respect and confidence in you as his leader may take some time.
Whatever you do with dankeys/horses like this is don't get into a fight with him, because this may turn him into a shy case or one that wants nothing to do with you.
Work on getting him to respond to direct and rythmic pressure. Start small and use as much pressure as needed until he responds. Keep this up but never make him feel wrong. Just make the wrong decision more difficult for him.
When he's having an "attitude" like being impatient about his feed, run him off until he approaches with a respectful manner (head lower, ears forward and calm) don't guard the food, but stand by it in a relaxed pose and if he approaches in a less than respectful manner, bring your energy up.
Just don't be afraid to get firm with him. You won't ruin his trust, so long as you know when to let off or give him time.
NorthernMama and littrella like this.
    02-01-2014, 07:41 AM
My mini donk did not dropp untill just after his 1st birthday. My vet told me that mini's take longer to dropp. Other than that, Lilruffian was spot on with the training stuff
    02-02-2014, 11:56 AM
Good it seems like I'm on the right track. We did an experiment yesterday. My husband says he doesn't do this behavior to him so I watched as he fed. He only barely shook his head to him. And was more likely to walk away from my husband to go do something else. (My husband is not experianced with horses etc) So we switched I tried to feed him. He was walking be hind me and tried to nip, I kicked back at him did not make contact since he did not make contact either. He stopped that went into the stall and did the usual annoyance behavior. I set the food down and drove him off if he approached in an aggitated manor. He eventually relaxed and stood so I let him eat. WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST? Feeding him in his 10x10 stall or outside so there is more space?
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    02-02-2014, 11:59 AM
Originally Posted by littrella    
My mini donk did not dropp untill just after his 1st birthday. My vet told me that mini's take longer to dropp. Other than that, Lilruffian was spot on with the training stuff
Thank you very much it was starting to make me's all I need to have a donk with a retained tesicles! $$$. And more dangerous. If someone told me some voodoo like I had to rub his butt everyday I swear I would ha ha.
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    02-02-2014, 06:31 PM
Green Broke
Have you spent much time just observing equines together? It's always a good exercise, especially in warm weather, when you can just sit out and relax and watch them.
You need to be the lead mare. Kicking at him was good, but if he pushes you or nips you in a domineering manner, do not be afraid to make contact and really make him jump away. Lead mares aren't always in the mood for playful shenanigans and it is up to you when it is play time, not him. You will not ruin his trust by doing this, so long as you don't keep chasing him around and smacking at him. Address the behavior instantly but without any malice or a grudge.
I've done this a few times with my filly, who sounds alot like your donkey. She is super friendly, curious and in your pocket because she has no fear of people. This is a good thing, however, she has no trouble trying every once in awhile to push me around or barge into my space either. If motioning for her to back off does not work, or she pushes in too quickly, I never hesitate to smack my hands together or aim a strong kick at the part of her body that is shoving my way (usually the chest or shoulder). Then I force her back to a respectful distance and then turn away and resume whatever it was that I was doing with a calm energy.
She always comes in again right away but with more respect and attention to my space.
So always use as much force as necessary to get what you want (start small if you can and build up), then leave him alone. He will learn quickly enough that you only tolerate a respectful, level-headed donkey in your space
littrella likes this.
    02-02-2014, 07:07 PM
Awesome! Yes I love watching horse behavior and that was exactly my train of thought treat him like another horse would. :) a strike of my leg usually makes him back off and reassess the situtation. Worked great yesterday :) glad to hear some reinforcement that I'm hopefully on the right track thanks!
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