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Hello! I’m wondering what you’re timeline is for halter breaking kids, preferably getting Them to where they walk next to you, relaxed, with slack on the line.

For instance, when you start, what you use, how they should be at 2 months, how often you work them, etc.

I understand that every goat and trainer is very different but I think that this could be helpful.
 

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I never had goats when I got the girls. I bought the rope halters and I may have used them incorrectly, cause they would keep tightening and the girls would be breathing hard, head shaking, and it was causing more stress. I was able to walk them, using animal crackers as the "carrot" to get them to follow me. I soon found nylon halters, more like horse halters, which we both liked - goats got used to them quickly and I didn't have to worry about hurting them. Still used animal crackers and now we go on walks all the time. I do have dog collars that I'll use if it's really hot out or in the winter time, those times when I know they'll stick by and not take off or if we are walking in the woods versus up in the yard, where they could spook and go towards the road or where they tug hard to get to the "good" grass. So I'd highly recommend nylon halters and some kind of treat - I did not know what all healthy foods they were good with then, plus animal crackers are less messy.

I just bought a large one for my one girl at Jeffers, 4.99 - stocked up on some electrolytes and selenium to get free shipping. https://www.jefferspet.com/products...84a29fa2600f00000396/533884a49fa2600f000003b4
 

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Hello! I'm wondering what you're timeline is for halter breaking kids, preferably getting Them to where they walk next to you, relaxed, with slack on the line.

For instance, when you start, what you use, how they should be at 2 months, how often you work them, etc.

I understand that every goat and trainer is very different but I think that this could be helpful.
I raise packgoats and I usually start halter training around weaning age (3-4 months). At that age they are big enough to fit my smallest halters but they are still small enough that I can straddle the goat and clamp his neck between my knees, which is the easiest way to restrain him while he's getting used to having that halter put on. At first they always resist and I don't want them successfully getting away and learning a bad habit right off the bat. I always give a treat after putting on the halter and very soon they learn to anticipate the treat when they see the halter and it's no longer a struggle.

Once they are used to wearing a halter I start using it to tie and lead. Tying a goat by the halter is probably the easiest and most efficient way to teach pressure/release because the instant he stops pulling on the tether, the pressure releases. It's a bit demoralizing to realize that we humans are actually less talented than a wooden post when it comes to timing our release of pressure, but what can I say? Once your goat realizes that moving forward releases pressure on the halter, leading becomes easier and he's soon walking along nicely. If I have one that is particularly balky I may do some practice sessions where I carry a dressage whip (or a lightweight stick about 30 inches long) and I'll tap the goat on the hind leg every time he stops. I use the command "Walk on" while I tap so he learns the verbal cue. Any time he starts dragging on the halter I give him a little reminder tap on the hind leg to make him step forward until there's no pressure. I give a lot of rewards at first so the goat knows when he is doing well and so the lesson can be overall positive (treats!) instead of overall negative (halter tugging and stick). Good luck!
 

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I second the post training. I have dog collars and I will tie them up at morning grain time. They get their bucket and I tie them to the fence. Then I do things, never out of sight obviously, while they eat grain and get used to collar.
Then mine usually learn to lead just by a hand on there neck and that starts early as possible like usually around weaning 3 months. When I want to move the goat then I encircle the goats neck with my hands and pull them forward. They learn that when my hand goes to that spot on their neck and I pull forward they are to move. So when they are bigger they walk nicely with one hand on the neck pressed lightly against my thigh. If that explanation made sense. Grown goats will learn it too if I led them to something yummy consistently.
 

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I learned on here a year or more ago to tie them to the fence. I bought the small foot long dog leads -the ones that have a clip on both ends. I give them a small treat to get them to voluntarily move where I want to tie them and they are fine. The one will almost immediately start chewing her cud. She'll actually start chewing as soon as I put the halter on her, so I know she's not stressed about it. I think it took them maybe two times, short periods, for them to not pull or call out. Now I use it when I need to get the mower or truck in or anything else where I don't need two Nosey Nancies running around!
 
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