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Can a goat actually be "trained" or is it the Handler that gets "trained"

1464 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sanhestar
I find myself up early, the outside temp is less than the teens and I know nothing about "training" goats. But I wanna learn.

My experience is two years of raising goats and packing. I started with a couple of Saanan weanlings and traded, swapped and scrounged around until I have 4 goats. Three of which are mature enough to pack.

Also I'm older than most of you by at least twist. Don't know if that is good or bad.:worried:

I don't think that a goat is actually "trained." I think ya simply get goats "used" to stuff. The "handler" is the one that gets trained by the goat. Novel tho't, huh?

I'm used to horses and cattle. Goat's simple ain't the same.

I attempted to "load" the goats in the truck. What a fiasco! Treated 'em like horses. Wrong!

3 goats in, one hanging back. 3 goats in and the "hanger" in. Several iterations of that and the afternoon's enjoyment was pretty much erased. This experience was in the mountains after a great afternoon of shooting.

Solution: Rebuild the stock rack with swinging doors. Build in a feeding trough. Park pickup in pasture. Put oats in trough. One goat quickly catches on. Other goats observe. All goats in truck.

Leave truck in pasture for several days. Repeat above.

Goats load almost automatically.

Oh, when goats escape, which they will, and roam the neighborhood :blue: goats follow truck home. Actually I simply stick a couple of fingers in my mouth and whistle loudly resulting in a stampede of goats in my direction.

You see, they've trained me to get them used to "oats after whistle".

What am I gonna do about streams, ponds, etc? :mrgreen:

I find I'm so trainable that I'm thinkin' of getting a mammoth jack to haul me around the mountains and let the goats do the packin'. :worried:
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Roy you've got it. Now just throw the oats across the stream. That's what I did. I had a feed bowl, filled it up with oats and walked across the stream with the goat eating while he walked. Now they are older I just walk across and they follow along finding their own path through the rocks, fallen logs, and gravel.
See my Oberhasli goats crossing a creek on you tube.

IdahoNancy and the Oberpackers
He he he! I love it Roy! That's how I and the kids "train" our goats too!
My Peggy Sue knows a number of voice commands and does them all without treats - neener neener neener. :p

Of course my herd trains me in a similar fashion to yours, but mostly they do what I want because I am herd queen and if they don't Peggy Sue beats them up (she's my second in command and takes her post seriously! ) ;)
isn't all training of animals a two way street?

Yes, "back in the day" the consensus was that an animal had to obey without questions, no matter what was asked and if not, it often would have been beaten/worked into submission.

Thankfully today we understand more about how learning works and also thankfully goats aren't the type of animals that takes that kind of treatment lying down. First thing almost every older person I meet with the packgoats tells me is how he/she remembers this or that buck or goat that would butt people whenever it got a chance to. I wonder how often this was a result of abuse.....

When you train today you can't not be affected by the animal you train if/when you pay attention to behaviourial clues.

I switched over to goats from horses as well and the first year had a steep learning curve. I always tell people that you have to have tons of humor when working with goats because without they will drive you crazy. They also understand much more complex things than horses and if they trust a human they will accept almost anything from the start.

In regard to water training... John Mionczynski wrote that it's easy to train the kids when they are younger than 3 or 4 months because apparently the fear for water sets in later and if they learn that water isn't killing them as youngsters they will cross without fussing.
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