A very self-assured donkey was spotted confidently leading a very willing herd of sheep down a dusty road in Winnemucca, Nevada. While this was surprising, it wasn’t completely out of the ordinary since many ranchers have taken to employing donkeys as guard animals for their sheep.
Donkeys rely predominantly on sight and sound to detect intruders. When approached, sheep will tend to move so the guard animal is between the intruder and themselves. The donkeys’ loud brays and quick pursuit will scare away predators and may also alert the shepherd. In most instances donkeys will confront and chase dogs or coyotes out of the pasture. If the canines do not retreat quickly the donkeys will attack them by rising up on their hind legs and striking with both front feet. …Given ample opportunity, most donkeys will bond with sheep and protect them from predators.