DON'T USE THE 'S' WORD!
No, it’s not the word you’re thinking! The one word we feel is often unfairly put to donkeys is STUBBORN.
Where did this stereotype begin? It’s hard to know. It could have come from comparing donkeys and horses - a horse will nearly always do your bidding. You can bend a horse to your will if necessary. However a donkey (no matter how well trained), will always think of the command you have given them and if it doesn’t seem safe to them they will not do it. Now to me, that sounds clever - not stubborn! In most living creatures there is the instinct to either ‘fight or flight’. When put in a threatening situation you will either naturally fight, or run away. In 9/10 situations a donkey will ‘fight’, this doesn’t always mean an altercation sometimes it might just be standing their ground. The Wild Ass (the donkey’s predecessor) have actually been known to fight lions when provoked. If we interrupt Denis while he’s eating we know the feeling!
Another reason donkeys might seem stubborn - they might not always walk through a puddle or over different coloured ground. This is actually due to the shape of their eyes; they have little depth perception and thus do not know how far away the ground is! For all they know we are leading them into a deep pool of water when it’s actually shallow.
With other domesticated animals you can tell them what to do. With donkeys you must ask. If they deem it safe enough they will do what you ask. You must build a relationship with them so that they will trust you, even more than their own instincts. This is why we find training donkeys so rewarding, as there is no greater gift they can give you than their trust.
HEE-HAW!!! Love, Kinedale Crew xxx