Herding Goats with dogs ?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by GoatyRose, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. GoatyRose

    GoatyRose New Member

    Dec 9, 2013
    Hi- does anyone out there use any dogs for herding their goats ? Seems that sheep are used much more for dog herding trials etc. I was wondering if anyone has any herding experiences of goats vs sheep.

    I have a small farm and teach dog training and have dabbled in some herding. I would like to get some goats (since I prefer them so much more than sheep) that I could use for dog training as well....

    any thoughts or suggestions. I'm looking for naturally polled types of goats (which do you think would be best)

    with my previous horned goats, I have seen the goats use their horns to try to gut the dogs when they are threatened- so horns are out of sure ! they would try to put their heads underneath the dogs and thrust up....

    Thanks for your thoughts ! btw i have working German Shepherds...
  2. smshooter515

    smshooter515 Member

    Jan 20, 2013
    I have a border collie and australian cattle dog both are good with cattle and the border collie has worked sheep some. I dont really use them on my goats too much because i dont need to. But these are the reasons i know sheep are used instead. Sheep stick together better and are more submissive to dogs. Goats challenge dogs more and will ruin a timid dog. But you can herd them its just harder and you need a good slow dog.

  3. WarPony

    WarPony New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    I have been looking in to this recently quite a bit after someone here brought up the subject. There are actually quite a few videos on youtube of herding dogs working goats.
  4. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I have worked my heelers on goats. Goats are really terrible when it comes to being herded though. They scatter, they turn around and butt at the dogs, they are really just a pain. It's easier and quicker for everyone to just get a bucket of grain and shake it and have them follow you wherever needed.

    If I were training herding dogs, i'd definitely use sheep, not goats. At least when you're starting them. Sheep stay together and don't challenge the dogs.
  5. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    A lady friend of mine has great cattle dogs and she does use goats but I believe once they know the basic and are ready for a bit more of a challenge. I don't really know from experience the only time my goats meet the dogs are when they escape or refuse to go into the pen but they are smart enough that when they see the dogs they do what they should be doing.
  6. GoatieGranny

    GoatieGranny Member

    Jul 26, 2013
    We've tried to use our Border Collie for herding the goats. He does his job well, but the goats are not good with him. Well, I should say, one or two goats are not good with him. They will turn on him and use their horns. We have stopped using him to herd the goats and like KW Farms said, it's much easier to shake a bucket of grain. They will follow me anywhere when I have one in my hands. LOL. The little piggies!
  7. The goats follow my Sarplaninac pup 104 lbs now everywhere, goats usually go where you want them to...........just get a bucket with or woith grain and come a ruuning
  8. thestockdogcompany

    thestockdogcompany New Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    working goats




    I've moved up to 1400 head of does with over 2,000 kids with a single dog.

    You can't bucket rattle babies hiding in the grass in large pastures. Below is an excellent dog moving wet babies into new 3' tall grass......they didn't want to wade in but Ellie is an awesome bitch.

  9. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I see sheep in with the goats. Do you have video of moving only goats? I'm sure it can be done, but I know if you mix sheep in with the group, that makes things a whole lot easier. Looks like you've got some great dogs there. :thumb:
  10. thestockdogcompany

    thestockdogcompany New Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    You've gotta be kidding.............

    Thank you for the nice comment on our dogs.

    Putting sheep with the goats does not make it easier. They have different social order, walk at a different rate, get warm or cold at different levels of exertion, and in general are little segregationists that will split up into separate flocks when given an opportunity. It's like mixing oil and water, but we get it done!

    Having a good dog and an able shepherd makes it easier.

    Watch the video of us moving the wet goat babies. Dog does it with a few minutes of patience and persistence, it'd take hours for a dozen volunteers to run them all down, and then I'd have kids with pneumonia from all the stress.

    Goats are pie. Easier than sheep once they are broke. I've crossed 500 goats over a river single file on a 10" hewn beam 15 feet above the water and rocks with nary a one in the drink, it'd be hard to do that with sheep.


    Wet sows with babies in the woods would just about rather eat you than look at you. This was the dog's second time on pigs......we still get it done way faster than a dozen people on foot could have. Piglets scatter to the winds at 20 mph and sows charge and bite!

    My point is it can be done. If you want to do it, you can. Get a well bred dog, and go for it! Don't listen to the it can't be done crowd. If we did we wouldn't have soap, vaccine or dogs that work livestock.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  11. smshooter515

    smshooter515 Member

    Jan 20, 2013
    I dont think anyone said it CANT be done. We all agree sheep are easier. And most people dont have over 1000 head of goats they have small herds which are alot easier to move with a bucket of grain. If i had 1000s of acres and tons of goats i would want a good dog too.
  12. MsScamp

    MsScamp New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    No, but I've read a number of articles about people who use guard dogs to push their goats - usually 300 to 500 head - through brush and brambles to clear them. I don't know how they train them, but I know it can be done.
  13. Hollowdweller

    Hollowdweller Member

    May 5, 2011
    I've only had 1 border collie that worked well with goats.

    Normally I have no need for a herding dog on goats anyway.

    I have trouble with border collies wanting to face the goats and also instinctively wanting to get on the other side of the goats from you.

    The one Border collie I could teach to drive to stand beside me and push the goats from behind was a huge help. But this seems to be hard to teach them. They want to run in front of the stock. Then if you can get them to move them at all you have to walk backwards to get them to go in the right direction.
  14. mjs500doo

    mjs500doo Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Boyd, Wisconsin
    I have two heelers as well. They're doing fantastic in their training.