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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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