A huge misconception about donkeys is they don’t need any training. Donkeys need training and equipment most other homestead animals do not need. If you have horses, donkey training and equipment will make more sense to you. Though donkeys are different and horse tack doesn’t usually fit donkeys, so you may need to read up on some donkey training information if you are a horse person.
Btw: You can order donkey halters and other specially made donkey items here: DL Shop
If you’re new to donkeys, you need to understand that just throwing them out into the pasture not knowing the basics will not benefit you or the donkey. It could keep your donkey from getting the care it needs because no farrier or vet likes to fight with a donkey! They are strong and can be dangerous.
I had NO knowledge of donkeys when I bought my first one home in 2011. So I know how it feels.
I was in love, but completely lost.
What not to do
I took on a few I probably shouldn’t have in the beginning years. It’s important to know your limitations! Bringing home an intact, mishandled Jack and an easily spooked large jennet was not the best thing to do as a beginner. In fact, it was pretty dangerous and I’m lucky I didn’t get hurt.
I learned from it, but I sure don’t recommend anyone that’s new to donkeys try it.
They need to be basic trained for their sake and yours.
This is one thing about owning donkeys people rarely consider. Yes, the standards and minis are low maintenance for many things. They don’t need fancy grains or lush pastures,
But they DO need to know basic manners!
Why Donkeys need Training
Donkeys need training if you want a well-behaved donkey for the farrier or if you need to load it for the vet Or halter and lead it anywhere! In my experience, a donkey that isn’t trained to be handled easily is a donkey that may not have a home for very long.
*Equally important is not every farrier understands how to approach and handle a donkey, so they do more damage than good the next time they need hoof work. Donkeys are smart and remember when they’ve been mishandled! (I have info about hoof care in my Donkey Training Membership Group)
Below here is Rani’s first foal born here. I started halter training him at 2 weeks old! He lets me pick his feet up, he leads. Working on loading soon after!
Whoever buys this guy will have a wonderful well-trained gelding that’s been raised around poultry and sheep. I want to help ensure the foals born on my farm get good homes. Sending them out well trained is a good way to do this.
*This little guy has had a wonderful home now for over 6 years. His owners love him and he is a cherished pet/member of their family. He may have been more expensive than others on the market at the time but he was the best trained. His new owners can handle him easily. He’s not a chore or a problem to them. He’s a joy!
If you breed donkeys, it’s your responsibility to start them off right with proper skills for their life. If you can’t commit to that you may want to rethink breeding.
You do get what you pay for…
A $100 standard donkey not trained or $400 for a halter trained or over $1000 for a donkey perfectly trained.
You can usually expect to pay even more for standard donkey trained for riding or driving. I mean really riding, not just someone sitting on its back and being lead around. That’s not riding that’s more like packing a human!
Just because you can sit on a donkeys back does not mean they will take direction from you. A well-trained, finished mammoth riding donkey is usually around $4k or more right now (2022) and worth every penny! Looking for a trained riding donkey? Watch this: Tips for buying a saddle donkey
Many times, as with most things, It’s a case of you get what you pay for!
Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the choice of just buying already trained donkeys. So we must learn to train donkeys ourselves.
But thats ok! I can show you how I’ve trained dozens of rescue donkeys over the years…
Online Donkey Training Videos and Case Studies
I have started an online donkey training membership group through patreon! I keep prices inexpensive so anyone can afford to train their donkey, you can get access to over 100 full-length training videos, training plans and ebooks. Plus, I add new exclusive videos every month. You can see many case studies of different donkeys being trained this way. For me, case studies were the best way to learn about how to train donkeys. Often a single course only shows one donkey but all donkeys have different personalities and can create individual problems to overcome.
My membership group has the biggest library of donkey training information with videos. You also get discounts to use in my custom donkey tack shop and on natural donkey care products when you join. Consultation options, donkey books… its everything you need to be successful with your donkeys…
Click the picture to check out my Membership Donkey Training Group!
Other Donkey Training Information Resources
It’s hard to find resources for training donkeys that make sense. I had to seek outside the box in many cases for things I wanted to train and come up with my own training plans. But here are a few more resources to help on your journey.
- My own Donkey Lovers List! I email out training tips, natural donkey care information, encouragement and more! It’s absolutely FREE so please sign up.
- My Youtube Channel has free donkey training and donkey care videos added every week. Subscribe and click the bell for notifications! Don’t miss a thing! Donkey Listener Youtube
- I have donkey training courses!!!! All of my courses are included in the membership group on patreon but you can purchase standalone courses too. Donkey Training Courses.
- When you sign up for my DLL you will get access to my Ultimate Donkey resource list too!
Donkey Tack and Training Equipment
Donkey tack and training equipment is similar to horse tack but in order to fit a donkey it must be specially made for donkeys or modified.
I make custom donkey tack made just for donkeys and have a special donkey halter training package. Click the pic to check them out!
But remember: In order to train the donkey, the donkey must first trust you.
The unforeseen cost that goes with any animal can add up. I love bargain hunting though. Despite some of the extra needs, I still consider most donkeys low maintenance.
A particular large expense is a livestock trailer but we managed to keep on budget for that too. Since donkeys are here to stay we bought a used one and it’s made life so much easier for any animal we’ve had to transport!
How to train a donkey to load videos and pdf guide in Donkey Training Membership group also…
Buying a Trailer for Donkeys on a Budget!
Don’t have a Donkey? Or Just Purchased a Donkey?
Too many times, people underestimate the needs of these (and other) animals. It’s better to be prepared than to get a big 500 pound or more donkey home that you realize you’re not up to dealing with.
If you need help with deciding or you just got a donkey please do take a look into my ebooklet, Donkey Care Primer, and you are welcome to email me with questions. Remember all my books on donkeys are free for people in the membership group.
I’ve helped many many people be successful with their donkeys. I can help YOU too!!!
Happy people = happy donkeys with good homes! That is really important to me!