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Hi goat people!
This is probably just another one of my silly questions but I have been wondering this for a while. I haven’t asked anybody in 4-H because I didn’t want them to suspect that I may have been cheating. (I’m not cheating. Never have. Probably (definitely) never will. ;))
Anyway, is it illegal in ADGA or 4-H rules to bring raisins, small pellets of goat feed or some other small treat to reward your goat/lure her when she walks in the ring. I know the scorecard says to try to make yourself as unnoticeable as possible but I think with lots of practice my goat and I could commit the perfect crime..as invisibly as possible...:devil:
If anybody knows the answer, I really appreciate the help!
Thanks in advance!
 

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Hi goat people!
This is probably just another one of my silly questions but I have been wondering this for a while. I haven't asked anybody in 4-H because I didn't want them to suspect that I may have been cheating. (I'm not cheating. Never have. Probably (definitely) never will. ;))
Anyway, is it illegal in ADGA or 4-H rules to bring raisins, small pellets of goat feed or some other small treat to reward your goat/lure her when she walks in the ring. I know the scorecard says to try to make yourself as unnoticeable as possible but I think with lots of practice my goat and I could commit the perfect crime..as invisibly as possible...:devil:
If anybody knows the answer, I really appreciate the help!
Thanks in advance!
I wouldn't try it. While adga doesn't say much about it, most shows have their own rules that say absolutely no baiting , treats or any enhancements permitted in the arena. State fairs in particular are firm about it and most small clubs are too.

Also, if you do that, the goat is going to be constantly looking at you for treats and nibbling all over you, maybe even jumping and acting up if she thinks you aren't giving her enough. They are very smart and will quickly realize if they stop walking and then start again, they will get a treat.

Rather than practice with treats, wouldn't it be easier to train your goats to walk with you? And, if they are really nice, unless it's showmanship, even a misbehaving goat can win. I once saw a doe walk to the head of a large class, (where she was placed by the judge,) on her knees! Of course, that's not what you want, but I would just work on walking with them and save the reward for after the class is over.
 

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Huh... I often keep treats in my pocket to reward in the show ring. A long-time goat show guru is actually the one who advised me to keep treats in my pocket. It works! I have not yet been to a show (including our state fair) that had any rules regarding treats. Obviously you can't bring a bucket or a bottle into the ring to entice a goat, but no one has ever said anything about treats in the pocket. I think the key is discretion--not because it's cheating but because no one wants disruption or distraction in the show ring. It's much less disruptive for someone to give a few treats to calm a nervous goat than to see them dragging their goat by the collar or to see goats dancing, jumping, balking, and pulling their owner's arms out of the sockets.

I personally use treats in regular shows, but at packgoat shows where I judge, I actually order the competitors to bring treats. As a judge, I'd much rather see positive reinforcement or even flat-out bribery than any kind of coercion. No one likes to see goats being dragged, getting their tails pulled, whacked on the bottom, etc. Goats don't learn well by force or intimidation, but most will do almost anything for cookies.

If you're unsure, the people to ask would be the ring stewards. Standards may be different around the country.
 

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We’ve seen a few people use treats to encourage good behavior. It worked incredibly well for some (rather like at a dog show) and for some it was a disaster!

You can tell those practice a lot with treats and those that don’t. Of course I strongly recommend practice, practice, and more practice.

Here it’s left up to judges discretion. If they have a judges meeting beforehand ask then. I’ve seen judges that allowed treats in breed/market classes but not showmanship
 

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Personally we dont use treats in the show ring, it tends to encourage the goats to be nosing around you and looking for treats instead of standing still and listening to you.
 

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^ That is where practice comes in. Treats work well either for goats that are on the wild side and seldom offered them (so they don't know enough to mob and beg), and they work well for goats that are trained regularly with them so they understand that mobbing and begging produces exactly nothing. Like any other type of training, treat training requires practice with proper technique and timing.
 

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I wouldn't use treats. Give them treats in their pen or on the goat stand when you are done prepping or done showing.
I also don't think it looks good showmanship wise no matter if your in a showmanship class or a dairy/boer/meat class. It will also keep other showman from getting upset or making a fuss about it. Show them you are the best showman out there, then when you get them back to their pen, give them treats and lots of praise no matter win/lose/being naughty :)
 

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Train your goat to delay gratification - treat after 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, etc......that way he/she will not be expecting something right NOW - and yes, no treats in the ring - looks bad and makes the judge think you haven't spent enough time in order to be able to take your goat out there without it.
 

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A judge scolded my daughter when she caught her giving a doe a treat in the ring. She had the doe initially lined up in 1st place in her age group but then moved her to 2nd. Coincidence?
She then scolded us after the show. :-( We didn't know any better at the time.
This was an ADGA sanctioned youth show. The judge was the late Evin Evans who was a really highly regarded dairy goat judge. We showed under her several times after that. Never gave treats again. :)
 

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I’ve never used treats before, but in the unfamiliar surroundings of a show, our goats always behave better than when we train them at home. It’s like whichever family member is handling the goat becomes their security.

Now we have had a few that were just plain silly-standing on hind legs, flinging themselves on the shavings, etc. A firm, calm hand usually remedies that or at least gets you through the class. I’ve found that judges are usually understanding too.

Several years ago, our then young son was handling a buckling. The buckling slipped his collar and ran around the ring disrupting everything. Our son was mortified, but the buckling was caught and took first in his class:)
 
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