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Hi everyone!
I just joined this forum to ask this question. I have a 3 year old goat wether. He is probably a Nubian mix so he is large. I rescued him 3 years ago from being killed and when he was about a year I introduced a female Nigerian with him. She ended up being a bully towards him and taught him how to use his horns. They would head butt a lot. I finally ended up selling her as she was constantly in heat and a bit aggressive towards my horses and me. So I introduced Wall-E my weather goat into a heard of 3 other wethers a year ago. He fast became the most dominant one as he has horns and they don’t. Long store short: without my knowledge (the other goat owners deal mostly with the goats) he has become a bully towards both the other goats and now people! Only during certain triggers such as pen rearrangement, feeding, fence fixing and such. Yesterday he nailed one of the owner of the property’s hand and then came after him and nailed it twice more. He now might have to get stitches.

I’m in shock that it’s gotten to this point and I never seem him aggressive towards people before.

I read online about advice and it mentioned throwing him on the ground, which would have worked when he was one but now he is way to large and heavy for that.

Any other ideas for what can be done? Would a shock collar potentially work?? Buckets of water is hard as everybody going into the pen would have to carry a bucket of water around with them.

Any ideas would help. Don’t want to have to get rid of him but unless I can figure it out it’s way too much of a liability to keep him...

Thanks
 

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Once an animal gets aggressive with horns and goes after people, it is very difficult to break and he could never be trusted again. This may not be a popular suggestion, but I think the kindest thing would to be to send him to freezer camp.

Unless everyone is consistent with the same type of correction, every time, the goat will continue to be a danger. You could try squirt guns, cattle prods, etc. but I'm doubtful that any of that will do much other than anger him. Hopefully, no child ever gets in the pen.

So sorry you have to deal with this type of problem. I wish there was an easy answer.
Oh, and welcome to The Goat Spot!
 

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@Damfino and @goathiker may have some training ideas.

Frankly, this answer below would be the answer on my farm. There are too many goats in the world for me to deal with this one.
This may not be a popular suggestion, but I think the kindest thing would to be to send him to freezer camp.
 

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The problem is that it sounds like many different people have to interact with him. No one should have to worry about going into a pen. Especially when they have other things to do and probably don't have time for training. You can try a cattle prod if one can be easily reached when going into the pen. Or freezer camp. He shouldn't be sold or given away to anyone else.
 

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I would start with a spray bottle of water hanging on the gate that is carried with everyone. Watch for the signs leading up to the aggression - prancing sideways in front of you, putting hair up on the back, rearing ten feet away and give a strong firm short verbal correction "NO!" and a spray of water directly to the face. Get the good spray bottles like in the garden section at the hardware store, not a wimpy dollar store one.

He has a pushy personality and he needs humans to be aware of his cues and correct him immediately. Age 3 is a typical time for these behaviors to begin, it will only worsen with age. If he doesn't respond to correction well now, then, as others have said, he will not be a safe pet.

Was this goat bottle raised?

Does he have a beard at all?

If someone is in his pen and he begins challenging them - NEVER EVER grab or push the horns. Grab the beard, even if it is just a few strands! and lead him to the gate to get away to safety.
 

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I'm with SalteyLove. Keep that spray bottle handy by the gate so anyone can use it! If he's a Nubian cross he may not have any beard, in which case it may be helpful to put a halter on him (llama halters work best) and put a 6-8 inch catch rope on it. You can use the catch rope in place of a beard to control his head. If you control the head you control the horns.

When it comes to his treatment of the other goats, chances are he'll eventually settle down when he realizes he has absolutely no friends. Some goats are permanent bullies, but from what I've seen, most bullyish wethers get over the worst of it once they reach full maturity.

Do your goats have access to plenty of browse and entertainment such as things to climb on and rub against? It seems like bored goats are the ones most likely to develop behavior problems.

It's difficult when there are multiple people caring for your animals. My first goat, Cuzco, became aggressive because of a similar situation during his formative years. He was alright with other goats but not good with people, and he was especially dangerous around children. We kept him until he died at 15, but for most of his life we had to make sure he was closely managed. When he had his halter on he was very well behaved because he knew who was in charge and we were able to take him to a lot of picnics and public events where he would pull children around in his cart, but we never let him loose around kids. When visitors came over, Cuzco got locked in the electrified goat pen.

Be assured that it is OK to send a bad goat to the meat factory if you cannot correct or manage his behavior. There are a lot of great goats in the world who won't give you grief. But I also understand the desire to work things out with a difficult animal if you have a special bond. Best of luck!
 

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I'm with SalteyLove. Keep that spray bottle handy by the gate so anyone can use it! If he's a Nubian cross he may not have any beard, in which case it may be helpful to put a halter on him (llama halters work best) and put a 6-8 inch catch rope on it. You can use the catch rope in place of a beard to control his head. If you control the head you control the horns.

When it comes to his treatment of the other goats, chances are he'll eventually settle down when he realizes he has absolutely no friends. Some goats are permanent bullies, but from what I've seen, most bullyish wethers get over the worst of it once they reach full maturity.

Do your goats have access to plenty of browse and entertainment such as things to climb on and rub against? It seems like bored goats are the ones most likely to develop behavior problems.

It's difficult when there are multiple people caring for your animals. My first goat, Cuzco, became aggressive because of a similar situation during his formative years. He was alright with other goats but not good with people, and he was especially dangerous around children. We kept him until he died at 15, but for most of his life we had to make sure he was closely managed. When he had his halter on he was very well behaved because he knew who was in charge and we were able to take him to a lot of picnics and public events where he would pull children around in his cart, but we never let him loose around kids. When visitors came over, Cuzco got locked in the electrified goat pen.

Be assured that it is OK to send a bad goat to the meat factory if you cannot correct or manage his behavior. There are a lot of great goats in the world who won't give you grief. But I also understand the desire to work things out with a difficult animal if you have a special bond. Best of luck!
I'd asked this question elsewhere and got a partial answer so I'll ask again :) I'm pretty familiar with dogs and body language. How to be dominant or passive how to approach an aggressive dog without being threatening, holding or breaking eye contact, holding them on their back etc.

But I dont know the rules for goats. I've heard about picking them up, or flipping them on their side if you really need to establish dominance. But what other body language techniques are there for goats?
 

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I don't generally recommend flipping goats. It seems to have mixed results and if the goat is big you could get hurt.

Reading goats' body language is the first step toward preventing aggressive behavior. Look for a stiff posture, slightly cocked head, hair raised, side-eye, walking across your path, and "accidentally-on-purpose" brushing you with a horn or shoulder. This behavior can be discouraged with a squirt bottle or stick, or I will sometimes shout, clap my hands and stomp toward the goat to scare it out of my space, or if one keeps cutting me off I'll give him a swift kick to the ribs or hindquarters. If I'm dealing with aggressive goats at feeding time, I carry a riding crop with me. I prefer one with a leather popper so it makes a nice cracking sound when it makes contact. If a goat is particularly aggressive, such as a young buck in rut, I'm not afraid to really lay into him with that whip and let him know that challenging me is totally out of line. As soon as he backs off or runs away I ignore him.

My own body language should be confident. If I tiptoe around like I'm invading the goat's territory or avoiding a fight, he's going to take charge and bring the fight to me. Aggressive goats pick up on submissive, unsure body language very quickly. We need to walk around like we own the goat pen, not like we're trespassing on the goats' territory. I don't move aside for goats standing in my way. I walk right through them, even if that means delivering a few kicks to move them aside. If my goats are crowding the gate, I make them move back before I come in. A water gun works great for this, but sometimes I'll pick up a stick and bang the gate until they get down and back away.

One of the things I've realized we should NOT do with a disciplined goat is go after it to make friends after the punishment is over. I think I made this mistake with our first goat because at the time I didn't have a herd so I didn't understand goat behavior. When a young upstart challenges the top goat, he gets whacked really hard and is forced to run away. But then the head goat doesn't go after him either aggressively or to make friends. He ignores the whippersnapper and everyone goes their merry way. When we humans make the mistake of going after a disciplined goat to try to "make up," the goat doesn't understand what we're doing. He's still in "fight or flight" mode, and if you keep coming after him he'll feel cornered and fight back, leading to another bout of discipline. This totally confuses him. Punish the goat, then as soon as he runs from you (and I mean runs from you with tail tucked down and no stiffness in his posture or tilt to his head), you go about your business like nothing happened. You can keep an eye on him to make sure he's not coming back for another round, but don't go up and try to make friends. He can make friends with you later when his emotions calm down. Only allow him to approach if he has a gentle demeanor.

With a really aggressive goat, I won't let him come to the feed trough as long as I'm still standing there. He can eat after I walk away, or maybe I'll let him eat off the opposite side of the feed trough as long as he's not too aggressive with the other goats when he does it. I don't let goats bully each other in my presence. With an established aggressor, I'm not afraid to put my whole arm into whacking him with my riding crop. I know that a riding crop can't injure him, but it delivers a very painful sting when applied with force. I don't stop whacking until the goat turns his tail toward me and runs out of reach. Then I ignore him. If he's a little afraid of me, that's ok. It's much easier (and safer!) to win over a timid animal than deal with one that's aggressive.
 

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The problem is that it sounds like many different people have to interact with him. No one should have to worry about going into a pen. Especially when they have other things to do and probably don't have time for training. You can try a cattle prod if one can be easily reached when going into the pen. Or freezer camp. He shouldn't be sold or given away to anyone else.
This is what I'd do.
 
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