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I have a saanen wether named Marshall, he's about 2 years old now. I've been training him to pull a cart and, when he is ready, I will be teaching him to pack. I've been having some dominance issues with him lately, but I'm not quite sure it's related.

He is completely indifferent to being petted. I was wondering... Are all wethers like this? I've met several other wethers, and at least within my experience, they all seem to not respond the way does do. All the does I've ever met turn to putty when petted. :?:

Also, I'm not talking about petting on the top of the head. I've noticed that goats only touch each other on the forehead when they are trying to instigate a fight, and Marshall always took it that way. He enjoys it when I scratch his forehead, if only because it is reminiscent of butting to him. :(

I've spent a lot of time observing his behavior. I adore training him (working with animals is my calling! :D ), but I really miss having the solid connection petting brings, you know?

Thanks!
 

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Hello,

some are that way. It's like with children or people. Some are more affectionate and/or like to hug or be hugged than others.

It doesn't mean that you don't have a connection with him. This connection can exist without you - a primate and therefore oriented to touch with the hand - pet him - goats very seldom show affection between other goats with more than lying side by side when chewing cud or being together all the time.

Does he enjoy spending time with you? Stands besides you? Lays down to chew cud beside you?

Than you have a connection.
 

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When bottle feeding Pig, I would scratch between his horns and on his face. He is 'buddied' with me, so he prefers to be with me than with the other goats.

In fact, I crawled under the truck to see where I might mount another gas tank, and Pig was right there under the truck with me.

But part of our greeting ritual, is that when I call him, he comes and I hold out my hand. He walks into it for a brief scratch on the head between the horns and on the face.

Then I give him a good scratching on the side and chest.

Hannah and I built a yurt for our rabbits out of the old trampoline frame, and Pig had to be right in the middle of it, practically climbing in our laps.

The older goats enjoy a scratch between the horns and on the face as well. The yearlings were so closely bonded to each other as twins that they don't act like they care if they get attention at all. Some of that might be deference to the older goats in the vicinity.
 

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My wether, Cuzco, is not very keen on being petted either, although he generally does enjoy a good scratch. He sometimes enjoys being scratched on the forehead, around the horn, and under the jaw, but more often he prefers being scratched on the back and especially the rump. He turns into a doughnut when I scratch his butt, leaning hard toward the side I'm scratching, sometimes until he almost falls over. But he rarely enjoys proper petting or stroking unless he's in a really mellow mood (which is rare). He also does not like anyone but Phil or I to handle him, and will tend to walk away if anyone else tries to pet or scratch him.
 
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