Just like people, all miniature donkeys have their own personalities. Some of them are going to be quieter than others while some are just more talkative on the whole.
A very mouthy miniature donkey will probably make more noise than a dog or even other types of farm animals, especially if they want something. You’re probably more than familiar with the noise that full-sized donkeys make when they’re hungry if you’ve ever visited a functioning farm.
Some people can train their donkeys to make certain noises in certain situations, but many stay relatively noisy no matter what. I’ve come across several people who actually appreciate that fact, however, since it means that they’re always alerted to what’s going on.
At least one owner claimed that his donkey was better than a trained guard dog because these animals can be really protective and let you know when something bad is about to happen!
Perhaps most notably, miniature donkeys can bray just like any other donkey might. That’s probably going to be their loudest sound, but they do make others.
Do Miniature Donkeys Bray?
I’ve seen some really heated debates on whether or not miniature donkeys actually bray! Full-sized animals can apparently call out for over 20 seconds and their sound can be heard for more than a mile away.
You’re going to be hard-pressed to find a miniature donkey that makes that much noise, but they certainly can put out a call that will put most other farm animals of their size to shame.
Those who are going to keep miniature donkeys as pets in smaller residences might want to keep this in mind because they often use a braying sound to show that they’re content. Hopefully, you’re planning on keeping your donkey in good spirits at all times!
When you do, you’ll probably hear about it. On top of that, anybody who keeps more than one miniature donkey might end up hearing from the whole group at the same time.
Why Do Mini Donkeys Bray and Make Noise?
Donkeys bray to maintain contact with the other donkeys in the herd. When they do so, their vocalizations function as alarm calls- informing all members of the herd that there is danger ahead – or as rallying calls- boosting their members’ morale at times when they need it most. The more isolated and less integrated an individual donkey is within its social group, then the less vocal it will be during periods of stress or distress.
Do Donkeys Bray When They are Happy?
Donkeys make a whole host of noises when they’re content, and some might end up making a braying noise whenever you’ve done something that really pleased them. If they’re feeling lonely, then they might also call like that to show you that they want some attention.
I’ve even come across some conflicting stories about miniature donkeys that have become spoiled rotten and always make noise to try and get their owners’ attention!
According to some of the veterinarians that I follow, a true bray is a loud call that donkeys make for up to around 20 seconds. It might be a way for them to keep in contact with other members of their species, though domesticated animals could end up learning to use it for other reasons.
Since this sound is used as a form of communication, it might often be interpreted as a call to try and get the attention of others. That being said, some donkeys make it for almost inexplicable reasons.
They might end up making a few other noises as well, especially if they’re trying to get your attention about something.
What Other Noises Do they Make and Why?
When a donkey gets in a tight spot, he or she might start to make the loudest braying noise you’ll ever hear! This is meant to be irritating enough that other donkeys would have to hear it no matter what sort of things might have preoccupied them.
Domestic miniature donkeys that live in close contact with humans might start to respond to the sound of music. Some people have found that if they have more than one donkey, they’ll start to respond to one another.
In that case, all of them might get going if something sets one of the donkeys off. You could observe the same kind of behavior in these donkeys that you might if you were listening to dogs or any other social animal.
There are ways to train your donkey to be quieter if it becomes a problem or if your donkeys have a tendency to make noise at the wrong time. After all, some donkeys might start to make noise for seemingly no real reason at all if they really like to talk!
How to Train Your Donkey to be Less Noisy in 10 Steps
Try these steps as you go:
- Do other activities with your donkey, so that he or she learns to trust you
- Reward good behavior
- Pay attention to every noise your donkey makes – he or she might be trying to tell you something
- Discourage other behavior besides just excessive noise, so your donkey gets an idea of what’s not acceptable
- Practice target training to lead your donkey into new areas so he or she won’t feel threatened and therefore not need to bray
- Give your donkey plenty of exercise to burn off extra energy
- Let your donkey explore, again to make him or her feel more comfortable with the surroundings
- Get on a reinforcement schedule, so your donkey doesn’t feel feel too forced
- Reduce the amount of rewards you give your donkey over time, so your donkey doesn’t become too reliant
- Be patient, because donkeys need to work things out on their own time
Positive Reinforcement Training Video
Perhaps the biggest thing to remember when training a donkey is to use positive reinforcement. At Avian Behavior International, they were able to use positive reinforcement to coax miniature donkeys into trying new things:
While it might not seem like it, this is the same sort of methodology you’d use to train a miniature donkey to make less noise. If you were planning on teaching yours to do anything else, then that’s a good start because you’re already improving your bond with them.