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Behaviour expert Ben Hart with two donkeys. Donkey Behaviour and Safety (BEHV102) is a Course

Donkey Behaviour and Safety (BEHV102)



Full course description

Donkey Behaviour and Safety 

Do you ever think about your safety when working with donkeys or mules? Have you ever had or seen a near miss or accident when working around equids? Donkeys and mules can be large fearful animals that can act instinctively when anxious. We know an accident can happen in a split second and have life-changing consequences, but do we ever think that it could happen to us?  

If you can work with the donkey or mules behaviour in a way that gives them a good experience, you can improve their welfare and improve your safety. This course will provide you with an understanding of donkey and mule behaviour that will enhance your safety no matter your level of previous experience. 



This course has two aims: 

  1. To help you go home safe at the end of any time you spend around donkeys or mules 
  2. To improve the treatment and handling of donkeys and mules through increased understanding of their behaviour and the need to provide them with a good experience in each interaction


This course explores the common causes of accidents when interacting with donkeys. The course focuses on increasing the learners understanding of donkey body language, observation of behavioural thresholds and simple methods of handling donkeys to reduce your risk of injury. 

We start with the very basics of interacting with donkeys and how their natural behaviour motivates the flight, fight and freeze responses that can help predict their behaviour. The course modules follow through safety during routine handling and care and increasingly challenging interactions up to safely providing treatment and restraint to nervous or fearful donkeys.  

Through the stories of people who have had accidents, thought-provoking exercises and videos focusing on donkey behaviour, the course provides an opportunity to examine our attitudes to safety and donkey behaviour. 

By the end of the Donkey Behaviour and Safety course, you will be equipped to spot the subtle changes in donkey behaviour that could put you at risk. You will be able to provide the donkey with a good experience in a variety of situations. Finally, having explored your own attitude to safety and examined which human behaviours lead to accidents, you will be equipped to keep yourself and those around you safer in future.  

This course is your opportunity to reduce your chances of a severe accident, help ensure you go home safe at the end of the day, and avoid life-changing accidents. These goals should be essential for anyone interacting with donkeys and mules.  


Course Content  


  1. Introduction to safety around donkeys and mules 
  2. Foundations of safety around donkeys and mules 
  3. Safety when working with donkeys 
  4. Safely restraining your donkey 
  5. Working with groups of donkeys 

Learning outcomes  

Each module has stated learning outcomes which you can find in the welcome element of the course. In addition, there are quizzes and participatory exercises to aid learning retention and act as a knowledge check. Finally, there is a quiz at the end of each module to assess your learning and understanding of the module content. 

Module 1 

  • The learner will be able to lists causes of accidents with donkeys and mules 
  • The learner will be able to summarise how natural donkey behaviour influences safety when working with them 

Module 2 

  • The learner should be able to recall the leading causes of accidents 
  • The learner should be able to summarise why donkey behaviour is different to horse behaviour 
  • The learner should be able to recognise differences in donkey body language 

Module 3 

  • The learner should be able to deconstruct a situation and identify risk elements that occurred 
  • The learner should be able to define the elements of donkey handling that someone working with donkeys must apply to improve safety 

Sign up for this course today.