See a Donkey Protect a Herd of Sheep From Two Pitbulls

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Written by Marisa Wilson

Updated: November 9, 2023

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12 Animals of Christmas From Around the World - donkey
© Angyalosi Beata/

Our featured video opens on a donkey surrounded by a herd of sheep in a field. As the camera pans to the right, you see a beautiful yard full of green grass and a pile of lumber. Two dogs then approach. One dog is brown, and one is white. They both also have noses to the ground like they are conducting an investigation or are trying to put an animal to the scent they are tracking. While the two dogs are together, they prefer doing their own thing. Neither seems to be the leader of the two-dog pack.

As they get closer to the sheep, you notice the donkey is already paying close attention to the dogs. Almost a dozen sheep are watching in the same direction as the donkey to see what unfolds. The sheep are of all sizes and ages.

It looks like a tiny village worried that a battle is about to rage through their city walls. The donkey doesn’t wait for them to be close to the sheep. It goes to get a better look at the situation. Slow and firm, the donkey keeps a watchful eye on the brown dog. It’s almost as if the donkeys were saying something like, “Hey what are you doing on my lawn?”

This donkey also acts like you would imagine a herding dog to behave. No one told the donkey they were a donkey not a herding dog. The brown dog runs around the donkey, trying to avoid a confrontation with something significantly larger than them.

However, the donkey follows the brown dog, who is heading toward the sheep. Although it appears he is running to the sheep, the brown dog is just running through the sheep to get away from the donkey. It’s like the brown dog was curious and then feels a little fear. The brown dog made better choices in this situation, running as far away from the sheep as possible.

Good thing this doggie wasn’t looking for trouble! Once the brown dog is away from the sheep, the white dog takes a run through the sheep.

baby donkey and mother

Donkeys are highly intelligent animals with amazing memories. They are able to recognize other donkeys after many years.


The dog gets close to the sheep and seems to be testing the waters. It’s like the dog wants to see how close the donkey will let them get to the sheep before they get a big buck from a hoof. While the dog isn’t trying to attack, the donkey takes no chances and keeps his nose a few feet away from the dog.

The white dog zooms in and out of the herd of sheep, and the donkey also stays right on the dog’s tail. After the white dog decides the donkey may not be the best animal to play with, both dogs take off to leave the sheep alone. The donkey’s defense warded off the possible enemy attacks. It’s a good thing these dogs were easily deterred from attacking the sheep.

Mother and newborn baby donkeys on the floral meadow

Donkeys bray, bite, and kick to defend themselves and often bond with other animals when other donkeys or horses aren’t around.

©Geza Farkas/

Donkeys have a powerful kick that they will use in several situations, like feeling their territory is being invaded or threatened. You can tell by the donkey’s actions that they already felt uneasy about their territory being invaded.

Is it Normal for Donkeys to Protect Sheep?

Rural countryside farm with sheep grazing on green grass hill pasture fall season in Blue Ridge mountains pastoral landscape in Blue Grass, Highland County, Virginia

As donkeys eat the same grass and food as the sheep that they are watching, they make inexpensive guard animals.

©Kristi Blokhin/

Donkeys are being put to work as livestock protectors all over the world for several reasons. They are highly intelligent and territorial — and they are inexpensive and can eat the same grass and food as the livestock.

The more time the guard donkey spends with the flock or herd, the more it will bond with and protect them. Donkeys have a natural dislike of dogs and coyotes, making them great livestock guardians if trained properly, like the one in the video. Besides braying and charging, donkeys are also capable of biting and kicking threats.

While some donkeys may appear to be showing protective behavior towards other livestock, the truth may also be that they are protecting themselves, seeing an unfamiliar animal as a potential threat. If you are considering using donkeys as guardians, it is advised to have at least two, as a solo donkey will likely socialize with the other animals rather than be their guardian.

Another animal that is often utilized to protect domestic animals, but is also a friendlier option, is the llama. They are territorial and instinctually protective of fellow herd animals and young animals. Some llamas will even keep watch for potential predators by purposely frequenting an area that gives them a better view of the surrounding landscape. A llama’s protective behaviors would include charging, pawing, or kicking.

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Initially, the caiman (which was mistakenly referred to as an alligator) is seen sunbathing and appearing relaxed, when suddenly the jaguar‘s head emerges above the water’s surface. Gradually, the jaguar approaches the caiman until it can launch a surprise attack on land.

The big cat sneaks out of the water slowly and cautiously towards its intended target. Eventually, the jaguar takes hold of the caiman in a powerful chokehold, which may be sufficient to immobilize it.

Within moments, the jaguar has seized the caiman, and it promptly moves away from the area with its prey, without any delay.

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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