Can my goats be trained......

Discussion in 'Goats' started by BearCreekFarm, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    Can my goats be trained to NOT butt my dog? Seems like I should be able to- if they can be trained to pull a cart, etc., but I don't have the vaguest notion how to go about starting.

    We have 2 toggenburg wethers who are about 6 months old (I think). They are really nice goats and we take them for walks all the time and generally they are no problem. Except that, for the past few weeks, now that it is getting cooler, they are really feeling their oats. They jump around, kicking up their heels, climbing on everything, and head-butting each other, which is fine. But, they also butt the dog, and although they haven't hit her nearly hard enough to hurt her, she is terrified of them (my 90 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, believe it or not). So, the goats can no longer run around the yard while we work out there- the dog wants to be near me, the goats want to be near me, but they also terrorize the dog.

    I am open to suggestions.
  2. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2003
    My herd queen got bit in the face by our very well-mannered bird dog after the goat pushed her button a few too many we have a border collie and all it takes is a look from the dog and the goats head for the barn....even the bucks in full rut!

  3. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2005
    Southeast Ohio
    For intervention, squirt guns work quite well. :)

  4. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Verndale MN
    Butting could be difficult to modify since it has so many uses in goat talk. They could be establishing a herd order that includes your dog, displaying aggression, or soliciting play. A gentle butt is the goat equivalent of a play bow.

    They'll probably have to be trained to be afraid of your dog & leave her alone. Sneezing or a "chu!" noise means "watch out!". A squirt bottle/gun is effective but you have to be in the right position to get them in the face. Some dog techniques like a check line might injure a goat or just be totally ineffective. Goats just aren't motivated by trying to please us!

    If you can borrow a shock/training collar, I'd use that to teach them to respect the dog's space. Sounds harsh, but properly used is just as humane as an electric fence. You'd only need to use it on one of the boys- one gets a shock or a vibration and flees and the other one will do the same.

    BTW, as to the age, #3 was born 4 May and #5 was born 7 May.
  5. Oscar

    Oscar Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2005
    Wow, I have just gotten a wealth of information on how to keep my goats from gushing out the door every morning and running amuck in the middle room! A squirt bottle... why didn't I think of that before?! If I spritz their faces just as they are starting to try their push towards the door, I think they'll back off a little. HOPEFULLLY because each morning and night is a nightmare trying to get hay and water and minerals stocked up while they are constantly tyring to escape! Thanks.
  6. gryndlgoat

    gryndlgoat Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    A squirt bottle worked like a charm for me. I keep the feed in a small room off the barn and everytime I opened the door with the feed bucket I would be mobbed. Goats pushing everywhere, jumping on me to get at the bucket, while I desperately tried to latch the door, often unsuccessfully. A few times coming through the door with the squirt gun was all it took. Now, even when I have the bucket, everyone stays a respectful distance away from the door, I get time to close and latch the door, and can walk safely to their feed area- they now run there and wait for me.