Advice Page 5


Short rather than too long, but in proportion with the rest of the animal. Straight or slightly dished profile. Eyes large, of mild expression, set low, wide apart and clear. Nostrils well shaped and open. Teeth in good condition with no undershot or overshot jaws. Jaws generous, round and open. Head deep through the jaws, tapering to a small muzzle. Ears long, clean cut, set upright, carried firmly and alertly pointed. An appearance of strength and masculinity in jactks and femininity in jennets.


Neck well proportioned to the rest of the animal, joined to head and shoulder correctly and smoothly. Crest of the neck should be fai ly straight, not ewe-necked, nor fallen to the side or excessively fat. Neck firm, well fle hed and strong. Mane usually short and upright, but may fall to the side as with the horse mane.


Withers practically nonexistent, but if noticeable so much the better. Shoulder slightly sloping, although more upright than the hors . The ribs should be well sprung and the girth deep. Chest relatively wide, not narrow. Back short and level, or slightly dipped in the case of older animals or in foal jennets. Alvery long, out of proportion back is undesirable. Loin strong, broad and firmly coupled. Quarters long, wide, and as flat as possible. Should be well fleshed with plenty of length between point of hip and point of buttock. When viewed from the rear the thicker all parts of the quarters and thighs are the better. Top of croup rounded, not extremely sloping. Tail well set, not low, covered with short hair and completed by a tuft of lond hair.


Limbs must be straight and true, with adequate bone in proportion to the type of animal. Knees flat and wide, cannon bones short. Hocks set low, strong, clean and correct shape. Characteristics desirable in the limbs of the horse are also desirable in the donkey, except pasterns of the donkey are more upright.


Hooves should be even, of good shape and well trimmed. They should be hard, clean, smooth, elastic and tough. The size must be adequate to the donkey, but true to the typical donkey hoof which is narrow.  No tendency to low heels. Front foot oval, hind foot more elongated and frog small but well developed.


To be level and true, willing and active.


Donkeys come in a wide variety of colors; dun-grey is the most common. Grey donkeys often have dorsal and shoulder stripes that are black, brown or dark grey, usually the same color as the mane. These markings are more common in the smaller donkeys and are thought to indicate a common ancestry with Nubian Wild Ass (Africa). True Mammoths rarely have dorsal and shoulder stripes. Zebra stripes or horizontal stripes on the legs may indicate common ancestry with the Somali Wild Ass (Africa).

Black and brown are the next most common colors. The brown color can vary from pale oatmeal to deep chocolate. More rare are the red or blue roan donkeys which have white hairs interspersed with chestnut (red roan) or black hair (blue roan).

Equally rare are the broken colored or spotted donkeys that combine white patches with black, brown, roan or grey patches.

Standard donkey markings are generally a white nose, eye rings and a white underbelly. Completely black donkeys, or grey donkeys with unusual black noses are seen occasionally.