Why do my donkeys

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Dec 1, 2002
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I have 2 - 8 month old donkeys. They are both very tame but whenever I run my hands over Jakob's back, he sinks way down and acts like it bothers him.

Jonah is fine with me touching him.

Why would Jakob do this?? Should I be doing something to get him over this? So far I have been backing off hoping that he will improve but it hasn't seemed to make any difference. Do they need to be desensitized or will he get over this on his own???

Thanks for any help!!
That is very common Donna...Both of mine did that.. Took Charley my first Charley over a year to finally not do it now this new one does it and he is now 3 yrs old BUT I am a new owner to him....This will go away in time...This is a Donkey thing
I have reads this on over posting on my donkey boards
I wondered the same thing
I posted the same question when I got Priscilla in October. She got a lot better with touching/grooming everyday and now she only does it occasionally.

I checked back in the other donkey topics and found where you had also asked that question-Jenny's answer really makes a lot of sense-so thought I would add it to this topic: Hope you don't mind, Jenny!!

Yes, sinking down is very common in mini donkeys. They do that right away from birth. We do LOTS of handling with our little ones to get them over that, all our babies get over that quite quickly with all the handling. The donkeys we've purchased, some do that, and when they are older, it takes longer to get over that. It's just a donkey quirk.Jenny
I have 6 donkeys and not a one of mine sink down on there backs. Mine are handles alot at birth also. I just talked to a breeder who has been in mini donkeys for YEARS, (and has had some of the original import stock) and I asked him about this, and he said very few of his do this. I have been over to his farm a few times and "played" with his donks, and never noticed it neither. Which makes me wonder why some do and others dont??? Are your donkes handled immediately when born, or do you wait a few days? Mine are immediately, and after checking to make sure everything is Ok, then we let Mom take over.
Hi Corinne,

My 2 donkeys were about 6 months old when I got them and I know that Jonah was handled some but Jakob was not handled at all. He was so scared and wild when I got him plus was very malnourished.

I wasn't sure if this was a natural thing for donkeys or not - at first I thought it hurt Jakob when I touched his back but he seems to be getting much better.

Guess I was looking for advice from those of you that have had and raised donkeys. I wasn't sure whether or not I should let them alone and not touch their backs or should very carefully keep on grooming, stroking and loving on them.

They are both adorable and I have lots of time to work and play with them.

Thanks for any help.
Mine was 6 months old too.

qtrrae - I just got a great Donkey Training DVD - it seems to be really thorough on helping me understand donks as opposed to horses. I also subscribed to Miniture Donkey Talk magazine - which I hope will give me ideas and of course all of the knowledge here

Would love to know more about the Donkey Training DVD.

Where did you get it from? I have a lot of info on minis but nothing on Donkeys.

Also could you give me the address of the Miniature Donkey Talk magazine?

Wonder how many times this topic comes up with new donkey owners!? I just checked in tonite, first time in awhile, and want to add too....

All of our babies are imprinted IMMEDIATELY (not all that intense b.s. with clippers, needles and such, but touching ALL over) and we handle and mess with them every day, heck, every baby donk has to put up with me carrying it for a couple weeks! They are just too cuddly and soft to resist the cute donkey "teddy bear" hehe. We just purchased another sorrel jack weanling at Thanksgivving time and he came from a bigger farm, where he had a fair amount of handling, but not the one on one we give ours with only having 1-4 babies a year. Cloud is really goosey from the back if I suprise him, but if I'm petting him and rub his back, he's fine. I really think it's an instinct/survival thing that's in their brain somewhere to get down and scurry away from whatever just "landed" on it's back. That would be why the donkeys that trust their keepers don't have a problem and ones that are wild, skittish, or new need to learn it's okay and to trust us.
Thanks Jenny for the added info.

I have been really working on the "trust" issue, especially with Jakob. I am finding that if I start rubbing him along his sides before I even try touching his back he isn't quite so "goosey"

Jonah (his registered name is "Lucky Stars Naughty by Nature" but he definitely is NOT naughty) on the other hand is fine.

These 2 little guys came from 2 different places and I can surely tell that Jonah was handled and played with whereas Jakob just ran wild with his Mom.

They are so adorable and are becoming VERY addicting!!!
I just noticed that my donkey Rufus does this, I'm not sure on the other two Scout and Shimmie. All my donkeys are under 3.

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