HELP! Training my Donkey?
A little over a week ago I bought 4 pairs of Barbados sheep, and a jenny who lived with the flock. The man who sold me the animals said that he would take the donkey back if she wasn't happy here (she had 2 other donks to hang with at his place), or if I found that she was too much of a handful.
Her first day here, Petunia followed me around like a puppy craving attention. I gave her treats to encourage her to bond with me. The second day, she acted completely miserable; wouldn't even take a cake from me. I talked it over with her previous owner, and we decided to give her a week or two and see if she adjusted. I learned that the donkeys really weren't "part of the flock" at his place, due a large and ill-tempered ram who didn't want them around.
At this point, Petunia seems to be adjusting to hanging with the sheep pretty well, and the ewes and lambs accept her. She got over her 2nd day snit. From time to time she will chase the sheep a bit, but it appears playful, and the sheep often follow her around, too.
The problem is, she is fast becoming a spoiled brat! She never had nearly as much human interaction as she gets here. At this point, she is so pushy with me whenever I have a bucket of corn in my hand, I'm becoming afraid of getting hurt! When I shift the bucket to my other hand to keep it away from her (after throwing some off in another direction in an attempt to distract her), she circles me, gets her head under the bucket and tries to knock it out of my hand. I've also seen her kick at the sheep a bit when she wants control of the corn I've thrown on the ground to lead the sheep into their shed at night. I am relieved to note that she doesn't kick them HARD, however. Just kind of like a sharp nudge, and they move away without any indication that they are hurt.
I know enough about animals in general to realize that I must keep the upper hand with her or I'll be lost! But how do I do that? I think it might help if I put a halter on her, but she's never worn one before. Is she likely to object violently to having it put on her? Also, is it okay to leave it on her all the time, or would it wear sores on her head?
I really enjoy her and want to keep her. But, obviously, I need to learn the correct way to discipline a donkey! I'm beginning to think maybe bribing her with cakes wasn't a good start. She's a greedy ol' thang!