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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2019 Dec;35(3):575-588. doi: 10.1016/j.cveq.2019.08.010.

Donkey and Mule Behavior.

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Animal Science Department, UC Davis Animal Science, University of California Davis, 2251 Meyer Hall, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Electronic address:
AGR218 PAIDI Group, Department of Genetics, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Córdoba, C5 Building (Gregor Mendel), Ground Floor, Rabanales University Campus, Córdoba 14071, Spain.
Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61802, USA.


Donkeys and mules often are misunderstood because of their behavioral differences compared with horses. Working with these animals requires more patience and ability to notice the slightest changes in behavior to diagnose disease. Mules and donkeys form strong bonds and trust with familiar people and other equids. Training mules and hinnies from an early age is key to modifying behavior and acceptance of unfamiliar people. Reproductive behavior is different from that of horses and requires more patience when collecting jacks. Practitioners working with mules and donkeys should take a methodological approach and get to know the animal before performing examinations.


Behavior; Cognition; Donkeys; Hinnies; Mules

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