How to Train a Goat

Goats are great animals for a homestead.  Whether they are for pets, milk, or meat, your family will enjoy raising these goats.  To make life easier, learn how to train a goat with basic commands.  





How to Train a Goat

 

Have you ever wondered: can you train a goat? Well the answer is that you can! 


Training goats might sound like a weird idea, but there are a few benefits to training a goat to listen to you. Primarily, you will want your goat to seek you out for shelter or follow you in case of an emergency or predator.

 

Properly training a goat means that if something goes wrong then you know that they will follow you where you can lead them to safety and away from potential problems and predators. That is not to say that all goat training is about emergency situations though, as you can train goats for fun as well.


Learn more about goats with these goat articles:


 

Following is a simple guide that breaks down the ins and outs of training goats, and what you can expect from your herd.

 

Are Goats Easy To Train?


While it mainly depends on the specific goat, goats are very stubborn critters. As such, they can be hesitant to pay attention or follow along with what you are trying to teach them.

 

Thankfully, there is an equalizer being food. Goats love to eat, so using food is the best way to train them.  I recommend using pasta or goat treats when working with your goats.





When Should I Start Training My Goat?


You can start training goats as soon as you think they are able to be on their own. By the time they can walk away and do their own thing away from parents is when you can start instilling some basic habits.

 

However, if you start training a young goat and they are not having it, consider waiting a bit before trying again. Don’t give up altogether as some goats mature faster than others, which can be a big aspect of training.


Can Goats Learn Commands?


Yes, goats can learn command. However, it is very hard to teach them verbal commands. If you do want to teach them verbal commands, smart small with a pointing or cue stick. Cue sticks look like big magic wands and have a point on one end. 

 

Goats love to stick their noses in things (literally and figuratively), so teach them to tap their nose to the end of the stick. From there, you can use the cue stick to direct the attention of your goat whenever you need it to learn future command.


Can Goats Learn Their Names?


Goats would have a hard time learning their names, unlike a dog. It is better to pair other commands or noises when you want them to come like any sound related to food.


How To Train Goats Not To Jump On You?


Training a goat to not jump on you is a mix of pushing them off and disciplining them after they jump, and rewarding them when they stay on all four legs. 


Try to make a concerted effort to indicate that you want the goat to stand and not jump, and teach them that jumping is bad.


How Do You Train A Goat To Come?


Training a goat to come to you when they see you is very easy, just give them a treat when you see them! Give them a treat whenever you see them for about a week, then every other time. 

 

After a few weeks your goats should be excited and waiting for a treat whenever they see you. Make sure to give them a treat every once in a while as to randomly reinforce that habit. 


Some goats will naturally come to visit when they see you walk up, but treats are a great way to foster or improve upon that habit.


Should You Put Collars On Goats?


There is no reason that you cannot put a collar on a goat, but whether you should or not is up to you. I personally have collars on my goats so that I can put them on leads and on tie-outs.

 

This way they can graze without me having to worry about them crossing over the fence or getting lost. If you have a large herd, don’t use leashes, or have your goats fenced in all of the time you do not need a collar.

 

It is still a good idea to have some kind of identification on your goats especially if it is a large herd. The easiest and most humane way to do this is through a collar tag, but the decision is ultimately yours.





Can You Train Goats To Walk On A Leash?


Learning how to train goats to lead can be a bit tricky. Goats are much more stubborn than dogs, and when they spot something they want to eat or investigate it can be hard to keep them from getting to it.

 

However, goats can learn to be walked on a leash, especially if you start them young. Remember to use plenty of positive reinforcement in the form of treats because goats are not as receptive to verbal or physical praise as are dogs and cats. 

 

Further, try to keep them away from strange or loud noises and sensations early on as they can get scared and attempt to run away.


Can You Train A Goat To Be Housebroken?


In short, yes and no. Learning how to train goats is a difficult process. Though that does not mean that training goats to be housebroken is impossible.

 

Through hard work and dedication goats can be taught where to go potty, but if that place is outside then it will be hard to properly train them. 


Goats need open access to potty spots so if you need to put them on a leash or let them out they probably won’t signal to you that they need to go.

 

Do Invisible Fences Work For Goats?


Invisible fences cater to the learning habits of dogs, but that does not mean that they cannot be used with goats. The key to using an invisible fence with a goat is to take your time and ease them into it. 

 

However, it is not best to solely rely on the use of an invisible fence as there are a lot of variables that can go wrong. Further, trying to purchase enough equipment for an entire herd would not be nearly as cost effective as a physical fence would be.





What Are Treats For Goats?


What kind of food is special to creatures who eat everything? Well that usually depends. I recommend feeding your goats some general treats and seeing which ones they prefer. You can usually tell which ones are their favorite by how excited they get when they see it.


My goats love munching on raw pasta, so you can try that.  They also go crazy for some types of leaves that don't grow near their area on the farm.


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