A YouGov survey saw 55% of the general public associate donkeys with the “stubborn” label. Learn more about why this reputation is unjustified.

Why does this misunderstanding exist?

This misunderstanding stems from three donkey characteristics:

  • A stoic nature with very subtle body language, especially when showing pain or fear
  • A natural propensity to freeze when threatened or frightened
  • A strong sense of self-preservation.

When these characteristics are combined, it can be easy to misinterpret a donkey’s refusal to complete an activity as stubbornness.

If my donkey is not being stubborn what might it be telling me?

The following may be motivating your donkey’s behaviour:

  • Pain
  • Fear
  • Not understanding the required behaviour
  • The behaviour or attitude of the handler.


Refrain from labelling your donkey as “stubborn” and analyse for underlying causes that may be hiding under their body language.

Want to know more?

Learn about other common misconceptions