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We have a couple Boer does that may be getting shown in 4H this coming year. That being said, we haven’t worked with them hardly ever. What is the best way to halter train them so that they walk nice and stand posed?
 

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Are you going to be using a halter or a chain? Either way it’s still pretty much the same basic idea.
Practicing is going to be the biggest thing. Every day keep up working with the kids, even if only for 10 minutes.
You want the goat to walk with you, not dragging you or you him. Stand at his shoulders and pull the rope or collar forward. As soon as you get a step stop and let up. Once they figure out a step try two steps. Eventually they will figure it out. We have had one that just would not figure this out and my daughters arms were so short that we did start out dragging. But once they get the concept of going when they should then work on keeping their head up as they walk.
Keep setting up their legs how you want them. They will learn how you want them. Do you know if at the fair they want them to just stand and look pretty or brace? Bracing is easy and usually they will set their back legs up on their own. A lot of times they will freak if you touch their legs. Don’t just reach down out of the blue and grab the bottom of their leg. Start at the shoulder or hip and keep your hand on them until you get to the leg and then move it. They will still probably fight at first, but seriously the more practice, time you spend doing these things the faster they will except it.
 

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Hey...its alot of work..but fun also. When I was a 4H leader..we had sheep,goats, & pigs. It takes practice and alot of it. We would line up with the halter on the goats. The first child would pull upward & forward on the nose piece of the halter. At that time i would stand at the back of the goat and push its tail area. The next in line would do the same . Once the first goat would walk the others would follow. So everyday we switched leaders. It really took about a week. Some of the kids would halter walk to feed. And goats are nosey. If you put a halter on..you get to go outside the fence! That helps too.
The stance..we would turn towards the goat. Hold the nose upwards..and put our knee into the front of the shoulder and push. The goats natural responce is to push back...and you have show stance. Once that both were happy with that ..they would slide the hand down the legs to place them. Or use your foot to push the foot to the proper place.
Its just takes time..
 

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Moers kiko boars comment on the foot reminded me, look at the rules for your fair/ show. Different places have different rules. Using a foot to place the animals foot is a no no at our fair. I know this because my son got in trouble for doing that after we saw someone else do it at a different show lol
Some have rules about their front feet on your feet when bracing, and also about what collars you can or can not use. So read those first.
 

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How will it work in shows if you teach the goats to follow your pocket with treats, and add the leash afterwards?
 

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We tried the treats before and that really didn’t work. They were more concerned about their treat then actually putting 2 and 2 together. They would be in the kids space, try to cut them off not even worry about anything to do with standing right and would put up even more of a fight when we tried to get them to stand properly because all they knew was they wanted a treat and we were keeping it from them. That’s as far as their thought process went. We gave that up really fast.
 

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We have a couple Boer does that may be getting shown in 4H this coming year. That being said, we haven't worked with them hardly ever. What is the best way to halter train them so that they walk nice and stand posed?
That is exciting! I hope you get into showing and enjoy it :) How old are the does now? Are they used to being handled?
What kind of shows are you wanting to do? Breeding/Registered Breeding/ABGA or Commercial doe classes? It's so different from state to state or counties and the different programs. If your not sure, you should find out, and find out rules and especially any age/weight requirements for market/commercial does.

My kids show registered Breeding goats in our county fairs, and attend some ABGA shows. So our first thing is checking ABGA standards.
We set up breeding goats, we don't brace them like market/commercial goats.

You'll find preference for halters. We like this kind:
https://www.jefferspet.com/products/52-poly-rope-sheep-halter-lead-w-snap-color-purple-yellow

We use those on all ages, big and small even the 300lbs+ buck my son had.
We don't put them on correctly though, the part you hold goes up around the head vs. going under the chin - like this:

1. Never ever leave them unattended
2. make sure they don't choke themselves
3. It's always best to work in pairs vs. working with one by themselves.

When my kids start a goat, if they are babies/young kids they hold them, and if they fight too much, they keep them close and try to find ways to calm them - finding a favorite spot to scratch is a plus. Praise goes a long way most of the time, always end on a positive note.

For older kids/adults we might tie them to a post or the fence if they are fussing and fighting and let them figure it out. Rub them and encourage them to relax, talk to them, etc. Once any fit throwing is over, we just encourage them to take steps forward, reward with praise. We've only done the treat thing very randomly with super, super stubborn goats, or goats that just need a little help.
Usually for super stubborn as mentioned above, someone walks behind them and pushed them forward, might grab the tail and give it a little pull to encourage them to walk. We've even used a squirt bottle (that's what they do with horses for the big horse sales here).
Make the goats take turns walking in front, walk them in a large circle as if you were in a show ring.
Stop and set them up. Chances are they will bulk, and throw fits near any gates, so anticipate that to be a trouble spot (even in the show ring).

Watch videos of shows on youtube or other websites so your not only teaching your goat, but teaching yourselves. My biggest thing over the years is showmanship. I want my kids to do well in showmanship class above all, as I want them to be good showmen, and thankfully they have done very well. When my youngest daughter is game on, she is tough to beat which I love, and the same with my son who just aged out of 4-H.

My son starting a 2 month old buck kid:


He was a wild little guy, but loved to be scratched behind is front legs, and responded well - relaxed, and was willing to set up and stand without going crazy (lol)


Once they are walking good on the halter, then my kids add a show collar. For breeding goats we use prong collars - preference of course - but we find they show better, walk better, and can relax easier on a prong collar. Our goats dislike chains.
My kids walk them using both halter and collar, once they get used to the feel of the collar, they use it more and the halter is a backup. This process usually takes a day or two at most, then they are walking solely on the prong collar.



This might be the first time my daughter walked this 2 month old guy on a prong collar by itself. He was always spunky, but ended up being one of the best homebred show bucks we've ever had.
Notice... she was working with him alone, and with lots of distractions by the gate that he wanted to be a part of.

My daughter's bad habit is letting them turn their head to look around, but she has very soft, kind hands. Notice how far she is standing from him - space is the key especially with breeding stock.


That bucks sister never wanted to walk well, she is a spoiled rotten nut! lol! She has too much personality, should have been a triplet lol!


You'll find some won't be showring 'perfect' no matter what. But I feel as long as they walk half way decent despite your every effort, if they at least set up and present themselves well, head up, and showing off their conformation, then you are doing okay :)


Your goat might even go out and surprise you and walk like a pro! Or might be naughty at home but a totally different goat in the show ring. First shows I will warn are usually the hardest and most stressful, especially a goats first show.

I could write a book on this, I think I have already? haha. I am no pro, but have worked with my kids and helped others with showmanship skills especially with breeding stock over the years and enjoy it very much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Really great advice! I think I should also mention that it’s not us that is doing the showing but our neighbors young daughter. The does are also yearlings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is exciting! I hope you get into showing and enjoy it :) How old are the does now? Are they used to being handled?
What kind of shows are you wanting to do? Breeding/Registered Breeding/ABGA or Commercial doe classes? It's so different from state to state or counties and the different programs. If your not sure, you should find out, and find out rules and especially any age/weight requirements for market/commercial does.

My kids show registered Breeding goats in our county fairs, and attend some ABGA shows. So our first thing is checking ABGA standards.
We set up breeding goats, we don't brace them like market/commercial goats.

You'll find preference for halters. We like this kind:
https://www.jefferspet.com/products/52-poly-rope-sheep-halter-lead-w-snap-color-purple-yellow

We use those on all ages, big and small even the 300lbs+ buck my son had.
We don't put them on correctly though, the part you hold goes up around the head vs. going under the chin - like this:

1. Never ever leave them unattended
2. make sure they don't choke themselves
3. It's always best to work in pairs vs. working with one by themselves.

When my kids start a goat, if they are babies/young kids they hold them, and if they fight too much, they keep them close and try to find ways to calm them - finding a favorite spot to scratch is a plus. Praise goes a long way most of the time, always end on a positive note.

For older kids/adults we might tie them to a post or the fence if they are fussing and fighting and let them figure it out. Rub them and encourage them to relax, talk to them, etc. Once any fit throwing is over, we just encourage them to take steps forward, reward with praise. We've only done the treat thing very randomly with super, super stubborn goats, or goats that just need a little help.
Usually for super stubborn as mentioned above, someone walks behind them and pushed them forward, might grab the tail and give it a little pull to encourage them to walk. We've even used a squirt bottle (that's what they do with horses for the big horse sales here).
Make the goats take turns walking in front, walk them in a large circle as if you were in a show ring.
Stop and set them up. Chances are they will bulk, and throw fits near any gates, so anticipate that to be a trouble spot (even in the show ring).

Watch videos of shows on youtube or other websites so your not only teaching your goat, but teaching yourselves. My biggest thing over the years is showmanship. I want my kids to do well in showmanship class above all, as I want them to be good showmen, and thankfully they have done very well. When my youngest daughter is game on, she is tough to beat which I love, and the same with my son who just aged out of 4-H.

My son starting a 2 month old buck kid:


He was a wild little guy, but loved to be scratched behind is front legs, and responded well - relaxed, and was willing to set up and stand without going crazy (lol)


Once they are walking good on the halter, then my kids add a show collar. For breeding goats we use prong collars - preference of course - but we find they show better, walk better, and can relax easier on a prong collar. Our goats dislike chains.
My kids walk them using both halter and collar, once they get used to the feel of the collar, they use it more and the halter is a backup. This process usually takes a day or two at most, then they are walking solely on the prong collar.



This might be the first time my daughter walked this 2 month old guy on a prong collar by itself. He was always spunky, but ended up being one of the best homebred show bucks we've ever had.
Notice... she was working with him alone, and with lots of distractions by the gate that he wanted to be a part of.

My daughter's bad habit is letting them turn their head to look around, but she has very soft, kind hands. Notice how far she is standing from him - space is the key especially with breeding stock.


That bucks sister never wanted to walk well, she is a spoiled rotten nut! lol! She has too much personality, should have been a triplet lol!


You'll find some won't be showring 'perfect' no matter what. But I feel as long as they walk half way decent despite your every effort, if they at least set up and present themselves well, head up, and showing off their conformation, then you are doing okay :)


Your goat might even go out and surprise you and walk like a pro! Or might be naughty at home but a totally different goat in the show ring. First shows I will warn are usually the hardest and most stressful, especially a goats first show.

I could write a book on this, I think I have already? haha. I am no pro, but have worked with my kids and helped others with showmanship skills especially with breeding stock over the years and enjoy it very much.
Thank you! Pictures were very helpful! Our neighbors daughter is showing in 4H but we might start getting into abga as well with them.
 

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We tried the treats before and that really didn't work. They were more concerned about their treat then actually putting 2 and 2 together. They would be in the kids space, try to cut them off not even worry about anything to do with standing right and would put up even more of a fight when we tried to get them to stand properly because all they knew was they wanted a treat and we were keeping it from them. That's as far as their thought process went. We gave that up really fast.
Interesting!

By the way - where should I seek for a thread with people training their goats in agility? I feel this is neither show nor packing.
 

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I’m not sure if there is a thread on here. I’ll look though and see if maybe someone posted something on here. I’ll bump it up so it is newer on the feed but I can’t copy and past link because I use the app on my phone
 

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If I do not find it - being busy with "life" for the moment - perhaps someone will be so kind and alert me? Thanks!
 

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If I do not find it - being busy with "life" for the moment - perhaps someone will be so kind and alert me? Thanks!
I do not know if there is a thread here, but I used to do that years ago with my unregistered goats, if you are looking for info about it, feel free to message me and I might be able to give you some. Depends on how complicated it is! We only did things like bowing, pivoting on their back legs, (walking on them too,) jumping, climbing, playing with a ball, carrying things, picking up hooves on command, etc..
 
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