Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Donkey Behavior

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Question
We have a lone jack - no other animals penned with him. We've had him for many years. He was moved in late October and appeared to have adjusted extremely well. Lately, he has become very aggressive. When I go out to feed I toss the hay into the sheltered area where he spends most of his time. He literally attacks the hay - ears back, grabs the whole flake and throws it around, prances around the pen with a huge mouthful, goes down on his knees and tries to maul the hay. By the time I go get water for him and bring it into the pen he usually seems to have calmed down. He did try to bite one time. In our new location we have neighbors with horses - could this have anything to do with this behavior? Episodes do seem to come and go - so far they have not been a constant issue.

Answer
Hi Jeff,
         There are two things that are causing your present issues. One that your donkey is still a jack and the second being that he is alone.

A donkey should only be left a jack if he is being used for breeding. There is no other reason. Right now your donkey is filled with testosterone, and the behavior is how he is releasing it. Jacks are dangerous, an can be volatile. This is due to their hormones and the fact that they are unable to control them. I have seen many sweet jacks change and become vicious.

He is also feeling territorial because of the horses. In his mind, the horses are trying to get into his area. I would highly recommend that you castrate him. It will be better for you and him. He will be happier, his behaviors will improve. You will also be able to safely put other animals in with him if you ever want to.

Lisa  

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Lisa Kalp

Expertise

I am able to answer questions regarding the training and behavior of horses, and answer questions in regards to adopting mustangs and burros from the BLM and the different types of gentling methods that might be helpful to assist you in getting to know your horse.

Experience

I have experience in gentling Mustangs, training and breeding of stallions and mare behaviors.

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Experience in breeding horses. Gentling and training horses.

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