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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have two male wether pygmies and I love them to pieces.
However, one of them constantly head butts (very hard) on the legs and knees if you dont give him attention.
I had been given advice to tug his ear when he does something bad, apparently replicating what an elder goat will do to tell them off. I'm not sure if its true but it definitely doesn't work.
I really need him to stop though as my dad has a fractured knee cap. If he headbutts my dad on his knee cap then prospects don't look good for either my dad or the goat.
I'm still new to goat keeping and this is an issue that has progressed as he has got older. I don't know why he does it as my other goat has never butted me in his life! I have raised them both the same so I don't know why he does it.
Please help me train him. Many thanks :)
 

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Hi all,
I have two male wether pygmies and I love them to pieces.
However, one of them constantly head butts (very hard) on the legs and knees if you dont give him attention.
I had been given advice to tug his ear when he does something bad, apparently replicating what an elder goat will do to tell them off. I'm not sure if its true but it definitely doesn't work.
I really need him to stop though as my dad has a fractured knee cap. If he headbutts my dad on his knee cap then prospects don't look good for either my dad or the goat.
I'm still new to goat keeping and this is an issue that has progressed as he has got older. I don't know why he does it as my other goat has never butted me in his life! I have raised them both the same so I don't know why he does it.
Please help me train him. Many thanks :)
Whenever one of my bucks is naughty (or my does) I give them a light slap on the nose. Doesn't do any damage but it stings, if you do that enough times they usually seem to learn not to do what they were doing wrong...

Of course, when my bucks are being naughty it's usually because they're challenging me for dominance and/or wanting to jump me, so they definitely needn't to be taught a lesson quickly! XD
 

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I have one like that too. I've tried everything people have suggested. I even had to take a horse whip to him to get him off of my nephew one day. He finally backed off him but came after me. He's in a pen alone now. I have everything set up where I don't have to step foot in there unless something is wrong with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your help. I will give it a try!
My two goats are really rough with each other and fight over food even though they always have it in abundance. They spin each other around and then butt each other. Should I do something about this??
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank You! Your replies are really helpful and I have already seen an improvement of my naughtiest goat!
He has not headbutted me today yet (by this point I would have been butted between 1 or 2 times).
Thank you again!
 

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I have a dwarf Nubian who butts. Not sure why this developed, but I have had little luck stopping her completely, although I have been able to make it a "tentative" behavior, which means she does it less, and hesitates if she she does try, with less force. When I see it coming I have grabbed a horn and held her head down for a half a minute or so to let her know I am in charge. Not perfect, but its slowly helping.
 

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My youngest daughter will do this to my pygmy when the water bottle isn’t readily available. Afterwards she gives him a smooch right between his eyes and all is good!
 

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I would not recommend bopping on the nose or face for a goat with an already-established butting problem. It can work to remedy goats who are just experimenting with aggression for the first time, but an established head-butter will probably rise to the occasion and get worse. Water is usually a really good deterrent for bad behavior. Sometimes spraying the front feet works better than spraying the face. You can also add vinegar to your spray bottle to give it a greater deterrent factor. I've also heard of some some folks having success with blasting an air horn in the face of an aggressive goat. I hope you are able to successfully retrain this fellow. It sounds like he's being quite the little monster!
 

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I think thumping a goat might work but also think some will take it ad a challenge. I use water bottle and on a friends buck who was in rut I opened the dang hose on him. Lol my friend was like why is he so wet ... I don't know
 

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My buck was like that when i first got him. He would also use his horns to hook around my leg. I would just start of by givinb him a bit if a tap and get harder if he continued. Eventually he got the picture. I was only 13 when i got him so i struggled to show him who was the boss. I have heard people say to spray them with water but that never seamed to work for me. He kinda likes water. if he got really bad i would chase him away from me and scare him a bit. Now he is like a big dog, he is the most gentle and friendly goat i own. I have found that the key is to set boundaries and to stay consistent.
 

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If all else fails, you can use a hot shot and zap him when he butts after yelling NO. Another option is a quick shot of pepper spray. I had to use it on a loose buck one day in the line of duty. He came after me and it was either hit him with pepper spray or shoot him. I chose the pepper spray first, and it worked....really well.
 
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The water trick worked for me. I don't recommend wrestling them onto the ground. I had a guy that turned it into a game and it only made it worse.
 

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I use a spray bottle with water. My little butthead hates it, so it works. and if I don't have the spray bottle handy, I can just make the spritzing noise between my teeth and that's enough to get him to turn around and go the other way.
 

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Make sure you give some kind of Command when your doing it. That way if you, your dad or really anyone has to go in and happen to not have the gun he will still back off. I bought a buck that was never put in his place. They never really had to handle him just open and close a gate. Anyways he was a jerk and this is NOT something I allow. I used a hot shot though but every time he came at me he got nailed and I yelled “back off!” I had to go in his pen this winter and my hot shot croaked on me. He did that head to the side thing at me and I pointed at him and yelled “back off!” And he did.
As for the smacking it usually doesn’t really work. Look at how hard Goats butt each other even playing and they still come back for more. If it’s a sweet goat you might simply hurt their feelings enough to make them stop but for serious issues like this it’s not even bother them. Whatever is done needs to be something that makes a impression on them. The hate for water usually works. Mine not so much so I just go with the hot shot when someone steps out of line.
 

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Please protect your father's knee above your love for your goat. Also, this behaviour can lead to lawsuits, so beware who you allow him to get access to.
 

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I agree, safety first. I won't have a doe in our herd that would ever use her horns on a person. My rule here is, if a small child can not go in the pen with a goat, then that goat can't be here with the exception of breeding buck. But a buck is not out with our does outside of breeding season.
I had to sell a doe I loved/was my baby years ago because she didn't like my daughter.
If our does don't want to be touched, they run away.

Your goat is a pet, he's not a breeding animal. That is concerning when safety is an issue.
 

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I have two yearlings, doe and wether, who like to jump up on me for cuddles. I allowed it when they were wee, but now, their hooves reach my face. (Hoof on the cheekbone. Dude.) One thing that has worked for me was the consistent push back I gave them when theyd do this. They would jump or start and I would walk away, ignoring bad behaviour. They dont jump up for me as bad and I show them affection by bending down to them. They prefer me around and after a month or so of this, theyre doing better. I hope you can find your way of handling your goats. And I hope it gets better for you!
 
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