How to start?

Discussion in 'Pack Goat Training' started by mariella, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    I have a three month old buckling that I bought he was bottle raised and follows me every where. How do I get him use to pulling things? And is it okay to keep him a buck?
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    He is too young to pull things now. Is he going to be a pet or used for breeding?

    If he doesn't have a buddy, he needs one.
     

  3. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    should I make him a harness so he gets used to the feel of it?
    I am going to use him as a breeder but I wanted him to do some thing when he's not breeding

    A buddy? He lives with other goats but nun of them like him because he's new.
     
  4. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    You can keep him as a buck but he might be stinky. Also as he gets older he may get some attitude. Hopefully the others will accept him soon.
     
  5. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    So how do I start his training? And when?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  6. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    US
    Rachael likes this.
  7. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Hello, I saw the thread! At three months old I wouldn't even be thinking about driving just yet. Right now is the time for leash training with a collar and getting him used to being handled and brushed and having his feet picked up. Play with him, love him, and teach him respect. He should not be allowed to jump on you, put his head/horns on you, shove into you, nip, paw, or step on your feet. Introduce him to some kind of treat so you can reward him for things done right. Animal crackers, peanuts in the shell, Cherios, raisins are a few good treat options. You might teach him a few tricks like shake hands, spin, kneel (although be careful about the shake hands trick with a buck--they are prone to pawing without encouragement!).

    When he's about six months old you can fit him in a halter and start teaching him to lead and stand tied by it (never leave him unattended while tied!). Continue with the training already done. Introduce him to things like traffic, dogs, people, etc. (although if he is a buck you will be far more limited in the places you can take him once he matures!). As he grows he's going to go through phases of testing to see if he has to still do things like allow you to trim his feet without a stanchion, or stand still for being brushed. Teach him voice commands like "whoa", "walk", and "trot".

    He won't be ready to pull anything until he is at least 18 months old, and then make sure it is not anything too heavy. An adult goat (three years and up) can pull 1.5 times his own body weight, but a youngster should not pull more than his own body weight (and he should be built up to that). You don't need to introduce the harness until he's actually ready to start pulling. If you've done your work of gentling him, he won't be nervous.

    You can keep him a buck, but I don't particularly recommend it. Bucks are difficult to work with because their hormones distract them, they smell bad and make your equipment smell bad, they spray pee when excited so you really can't take them anywhere public or show them off to your friends, and you have to be a lot more careful around them in general because they are less predictable. They are also incredibly strong so it can be difficult to control them when they get excited or spooked. I have one driving/pack goat who was a buck for just one season. He was wethered at 10 months, but it took him another year to stop spraying pee when he got excited. It made my harness yuck! He has come into "rut" twice now as a wether, which means we've had trouble keeping his attention when there are female goats in the area. So yeah, you can use a buck for work but be aware that it has quite a few drawbacks, and be prepared to do a lot of training so he stays gentle and manageable. I estimate a buck would be at least twice as much work to train as a wether.
     
  8. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    Damfino
    Thank you that is all very helpful. He already knows how to walk on leash and is very respectful of my space. He already has a favorite treat that I give him when working with his feet. He also knows a few voice commands like AATT and NO lol. He does some times chew my hair but I pop his nose every time and he hasn't in a week or so. Any suggestions on how to teach him kneel? Are they like dogs or should I be more careful with him? He seems to think i.m his mother and will run to me if he gets scared. And one last question (for this reply) Can he have alfalfa cubes(broken of course)?
     
  9. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Sounds like he's on the right track. I'm glad he's respectful of you now and that he runs to you when scared. Trust and respect are both so important and they go hand-in-hand. As your goat matures, expect him to start testing in small ways (bumping you accidentally-on-purpose in narrow places, putting hackles up or whacking other goats in your presence, giving you the stink-eye when you tell him to move back, etc.). I do not let these minor offenses go unnoticed. If you keep on top of it, you may never have to do anything more dramatic than shout "NO!" and clap your hands at him or give him a bump in the ribs when he brushes by you.

    Goats are not like dogs and shouldn't be treated the same. You can't roughhouse, tease, and play with a goat like you can a dog. Dogs, being a predator species like us, speak similar "play" language to humans. Goat play language is very different. Goat playing leads to head-butting and "dominance" games that we have no way to reciprocate appropriately. For our goats, play time with me means doing fun tricks that they enjoy. My goats can have all the "goat play" they want with the other goats (far away from me!). It's very important that your boy have goat companionship as he matures. He is attached to you because he's a bottle kid, but he also needs to bond with other goats. We had an "only goat" for a long time who was very bonded to me, but his lack of goat friends eventually messed with his mental and emotional development and caused some pretty big behavior issues when he was mature. You don't want that for your boy. It's no fun!

    I teach a goat goat to shake hands, walk on their hinds legs (no feet on me!), and spin both directions before teaching them to kneel. You want to progress from easy to hard so they "learn how to learn". When asking them to kneel I use the command "Repent!" and I put my hands together like I'm praying as a visual cue. To get them started, I tug downward on their collar and hold a treat below their nose until they sink down onto both knees. Then I praise and reward. Eventually they learn to go down on just the voice command and hand signal.

    And yes, he can have broken-up alfalfa cubes. Alfalfa pellets can also be a good reward treat. :) Best of luck to you!
     
  10. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    Should I be letting him lay next to me like this?
     

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  11. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Absolutely! You want him to be friendly with you--just not pushy about it. If he's leaning on you and shoving then you need to push him off you, stop petting, and tell him no. But if he's just snuggling then by all means let him be as much of a sweetheart as he wants to be. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  12. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    He's been really good with respecting my space and not being pushy. When he comes over to lay next to me he kneels and gently lay his but down then starts chewing his cud.