It’s not uncommon to see dogs in pastures with livestock to serve as protection from predators, but many people do not realize that donkeys can be excellent guards, as well. They are typically suited for protecting calves, sheep and goats, and will easily fend off canine attackers, fox or even bobcats.
Of course, as it is with dogs, they should not be expected to take on several attackers, such as a pack of dogs.
Why Use a Donkey?
The donkey’s ability to protect livestock comes from its naturally aggressive nature toward dogs and coyotes. They are known for attacking canines by charging, braying, biting and striking. While most donkeys will try to scare the predator away by charging at it, many also will confront the predator if it comes down to it. They often bite at predators while slashing their front hooves, or they even may turn around to kick their back hooves.
Although the donkey’s instinct to fend off predators is a purely selfish motive, it is enough to keep an entire herd safe, provided there is only one attacker. Because of this and the donkey’s larger size, smaller livestock tend to hang around donkeys for protection.