goat whispering?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by trailhound, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    Okay, so I know how to horse whisper, and we watch The Dog Whisperer, but I have no idea how to 'whisper' to my goats, lol. I have three kids, a doeling and two wethers, that are all about 3-4 months old. My main problem is Elmer. Elmer was raised on the bottle as his mom died when he was three days old and we got him about a month and a half ago. He is very sweet and friendly, but is starting to develop some habits that aren't so bad right now because he is little, but he is an Alpine, so when he is all grown up, we will be singing a different song, so I want to nip them in the bud now. One problem is jumping on us for attention or food- he put his front feet on us to get above the others. The other behavior I would like to discourage is headbutting our other wether when we are trying to pet him instead of Elmer. Elmer is not trying to hurt us, but we get caught up in the mix, and I am worried that we will get really clobbered when he is grown up.

    So, how do I teach my rotten baby some manners and to respect our space.

    Attached should be a picture. Miss Maple (Nubian Alpine cross) is the brown and white goat, Elmer is in the middle and the other goat is the newest wether, whose name keeps changing. We got the second wether because Elmer is super playful and Miss Maple is not, but the new wether is very, very mellow and Elmer beats him up even though the new guy is bigger. Kids! Oh, and the only way to get all three in a picture is to put them in a headlock, so I had to be in the picture too, lol.

    Thanks!
    Andrea
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    oh andrea when you figure it out please let me know! I am in the same boat with my wether Jasper. He gets so jealous of me petting Gigi or the kids.

    What I have found that helps is making sure I give him attention and plenty of it and then letting him know when his time is up.

    When my goats jump on me they get a firm NO and I push them back or I step back and turn my back on them. I don't pet them when they jump on me, that only gives them what they want and you teach them that it is ok to jump on you.

    Carry a spray bottle and give him a squirt in the face when he does soemthing undesirable (this doesn't work for Jasper as he doesn't mind it)
     

  3. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    Ah, the spray bottle is a good idea! I have been doing the same thing of pushing him away- but was a little worried he would interpret it as my wanting to play headbutting. I will try the spraybottle tomorrow- that might even help with my feeding frenzy.

    Andrea
     
  4. eliya

    eliya New Member

    For Elmer's jumping you can use a similar technique that people use for dogs jumping. If he starts to jump up on you, put your knee up so that he smashes his chest into your knee every time he tries to jump. It seems to work best if you do it without appearing to notice that he is doing anything. So it doesn't seem like a challenge for him, it just makes it so that he no longer gets him what he wants and it isn't fun any more.

    For the attention grabbing behavior... Not too much you can do with that. Try petting the new one for a few seconds and then pet Elmer before he has a chance to butt the other one. Gradually make the time longer making him wait for you to pet him. Sometimes pet them both at once so Elmer can see that your petting the other one doesn't mean he doesn't get any attention.

    Hope that helps some!
     
  5. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    Thanks! Your advice does help- I have been doing pretty much like you said, but wasn't sure it it was the right thing to do.
    Andrea
     
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    yah never push him away with your hand on his head.

    Hopefully his behavior improves for you
     
  7. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    You know the knee in the chest sounds like it would work. I sure wish I would of known about that a long time ago. I had this baby that was just the sweetest thing, but when he got big, WOW was he a big boy. I had to start thumping him on the bridge of the nose. That is what helped my boy stop.
     
  8. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    I train my goats the same way I train my dogs...if they jump up, just turn quickly to the right (or left), so they simply miss you. Mine learned pretty fast that they don't get the "treat" until they have all four on the floor. I have one doe that no longer jumps on me, but she will stand on her hind legs to be higher then the others! :slapfloor: really cute.

    Not sure about the head butting, my Pygora buck likes to "push", not really butting, but pushing. Haven't been able to stop that, think I'll try the squirt bottle thing!