While many people refer to donkeys as a stubborn breed, professional organizations like the department of Agriculture and Rural Development with the Government of Alberta consider the breed to be "kind, gentle and placid." Even so, a person may encounter problems such as kicking, biting and aggression, especially with a male donkey.
According to the Donkey Sanctuary, male donkeys might kick as a result of foot pain. If the donkey has a pain in a foot or a hoof and a person tries to lift the donkey's leg, the donkey may kick. Although the kick puts anyone standing within range in danger, the motion is often an attempt to put the foot back into a position that eases the pain. Causes of foot pain can include untrimmed or unclean hooves.
Painful gums can cause a male donkey to bite or nip. Other problems with the mouth, like uneven teeth, mouth disease or gum disease, can also cause jacks to bite. Some chew on environmental objects like wooden fences, but it's also common for them to nip at people feeding them. The severity of a bite might depend on the male donkey's discomfort; however, male donkeys have ripped off chunks of flesh from an animal under attack.
One danger of jacks is donkey aggression, the fighting that can occur between male donkeys or between a male donkey and another animal. In an abstract published by the Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa, author Peta A Jones recounts an instance in which one male donkey attacked another, using teeth and hooves to severely damage the other's hindquarters. Usually when a donkey attacks another one, both animals are male; castration often can reduce this tendency.
Some male donkeys also might attack predators. According to the American Donkey and Mule Society, donkeys will attack dogs and other animals threatening a herd of goats or sheep under the donkey's watch.
Also, when a male donkey is being aggressive, the donkey might not stop or dodge objects moving into its way. If a person moves to stop the donkey, the donkey might run over the person, or bite or kick him.