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