Friday, April 23, 2010

Cookies and a bell

Knowing we'd be wanting to let the donkeys out in the pasture for only short periods of time early in the season, Rick and I had put our minds at work to figure out an easy way to herd them back in.  He suggested training them to come to us at the ringing of a bell.  So, every night at dinner time I've taken my little bell out with a few donkey cookies. While they're eating hay, I ring the bell and call them by name.  If they venture over to me (standing  few yards away), they're rewarded .  I didn't put much faith in our Pavlovian method, cuz ringing the bell this week while letting them browse grass along the driveway didn't seem to have much effect.

Well, we let them out in the pasture for the first time today for an hour.  I brought my bell and cookies out and gave it a shot.  Would you believe - it worked!  Gabriella (who I've mentioned before is our rebellious girl) came trotting over to me.  Not a casual amble -- a trot.  Got her whisked out, then it was Luigi's turn.  He came right over, eager for his treat.

Who woulda thunk...


  1. What well-behaved little donkeys you have! I love this idea! Not only is it practical, but how fun. -Tammy

  2. Just goes to show that they're all really smart cookies... dogs, donkeys... doesn't matter. The feral cats I support come from across the street when I holler their names, since they know dinner or treats are coming. And when I raised Squidge (an orphaned baby squirrel) years ago, he'd come from anywhere within earshot when I called his name, because he knew he was in for peanuts or sunflower seeds or grapes or... :)

    Nobody EVER should use the phrase "dumb animal"--unless maybe referring to a couple of politicians I can think of. LOL