Leash walking advice needed

Discussion in 'Pack Goat Training' started by thekibblegoddess, May 20, 2015.

  1. thekibblegoddess

    thekibblegoddess Member

    49
    Dec 13, 2014
    Sylvania, GA
    There is no browse on our property, so I take my new-to-me Nubian goats, 3 yr-old doe and 6 mo. wether, on a daily 'browse walk' down the dirt road across the street from us. They are pretty good heading out, but when Derby (doe) decides it's time to go home, she just about pulls me off my feet. Not good as I already have bad knees and ankles and am terrified of falling and making them worse. I usually pass the leashes behind my waist to use my weight to keep her from taking off, but the pulling is awful. I 'whoa' her and make her stop, take a good breath, and start again, usually with a good grip on her collar. But I'm afraid she'll get away from me and dash out into the street which doesn't have a speed limit and does have some crazy drivers. How do i train her to be calm heading home?
     
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  2. canyontrailgoats

    canyontrailgoats New Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    western montana
    When they're out grazing you can tie her to a tree or stake..I recommend only doing this if you have a stretchy rope, so there's less strain on her neck if she quick runs. Then just stand nearby and make sure she doesn't tangle. I usually just let my goats free at the end of the day and they run home, but that's not a good idea in your case...one option is to carry a stick, and every time she tries to pull tap her nose and push back a little...some people use water bottles but I've never tried that...
     
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  3. Tapestry

    Tapestry New Member

    329
    Feb 4, 2015
    I started tethering mine to eat and they learned that fighting the leash is useless. They kind of taught themselves how to walk on a leash from that experience.

    If you don't have a stretchy rope, there are bungie cord horse ties that can be added in to a length of rope and do the same thing.
     
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  4. CritterCarnival

    CritterCarnival Yes Dear Goat Farm

    Sep 17, 2013
    Western Kentucky
    Instead of eating on the walk out, take then out a ways and let them browse on the way home. Maybe let them have a nibble or two on the way out, but save most of the eating for on the way home.

    You may also look into using a halter instead of a collar. With more control of her head she won't be able to use her whole body weight to pull you.
     
  5. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I always use a halter when training my goats to lead. Llama halters generally fit better than goat halters in my opinion. As suggested, I also like to tether my goats when teaching them to respect the rope. I don't bother with a bungee. Unless the rope is really long (and it shouldn't be when first teaching to lead and tie), there's no reason why your goat should be able to get up enough speed to hurt themselves on a static rope. I worry that a bungee may teach them to pull harder since there's no definite boundary, and you definitely don't want to lead with a bungee since it's harder to keep control.

    A good trick is to bring some treats in your pocket. If your goat starts to pull, tug firmly on the leash a few times and bring them back next to you. Use a verbal command such as "Heel" while tugging. When they come back to your side, praise and reward with a treat. Also give a treat if your goat leads well for a short period of time, then gradually lengthen the time between rewards (in other words, don't just reward after you've had to correct). Your goat will soon learn to stay next to you instead of charging ahead or dragging behind.

    And once again, I want to emphasize the importance of using a halter. Not only will it give you more control, but it will prevent damage to the goat's windpipe. I once had a goat that pulled so hard he gave himself a nasty cough for a while (not to mention what that huge animal did to my arms and shoulders as I skied behind him!). I learned to use a halter after that. ;)

    Good luck with your adventures!
     
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  6. snubbie

    snubbie Member

    +1 on the halter. A leash they can just lean into and pull. A halter will turn the head. That's why halters are so effective in leading any beast be it goat, llama, or horse. They simply cannot effectively pull against a halter.
     
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  7. Riverside Fainters

    Riverside Fainters Active Member

    774
    Feb 6, 2013
    I also use halters and love them. Easy enough to teach a goat to walk with one.
     
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  8. Trollmor

    Trollmor Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Goatless in Sweden
    I prefer the "treat halter" - always make them believe that all kinds of goodies are in my pocket or in my hand. No line needed.

    Unless your "dirt road" carries traffic?
     
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  9. thekibblegoddess

    thekibblegoddess Member

    49
    Dec 13, 2014
    Sylvania, GA
    Yes, there is traffic on the dirt road and it opens onto the county road we have to cross to get back to the barn, so when Derby bolts she generally heads right for the no-speed-limit county road. Folks around here have never seen anyone walk their goat before, and they have certainly never seen such beautiful goats. This results in folks driving up at 55 MPH then slamming on the brakes, hanging out of the window and making comments. All of which freaks Derby out. Derby is getting calmer, but i will never trust her completely. And I am getting much better at holding onto collars with one hand and holding my walking stick out onto the road to slow the cars down. But i would like the greater control a well fitting halter would provide. I've tried the x-cross goat halters, but they wouldn't allow Derby to open her mouth to browse - its that Nubian Roman Nose Syndrome. :) And the mini-horse halter's side pieces come too close to her eyes. Damfino suggested a llama halter, and I'm looking into that as they do look as if they would fit better, but who knew there were so many styles to choose from? If anyone could recomment a size/style it would be a big help. This is the one at which I'm looking: https://www.llamaproducts.com/index.php?page=ProductDetails&rowid=7852 Advice anyone?
     
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  10. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    The Sopris X is my favorite goat halter: http://www.soprisgoats.com/goatx.html

    This fellow started out making just llama products but expanded into goats. I have a bunch of these in all different sizes and I've never had a problem with fitting, even on Nubian-type heads. The ring on the side of the noseband keeps it from doing weird things, and the x is well under the jaw behind the mouth so the goats can still browse while wearing it. Just make sure to measure so you get the right size. It sounds like your current goat halter may be too small if it's preventing her from eating. A well-fitting halter should not clamp the mouth shut.
     
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  11. thekibblegoddess

    thekibblegoddess Member

    49
    Dec 13, 2014
    Sylvania, GA
    Thank you for the lead. The side pieces on the Sopris Halter are much shorter than the ones on my current halter and I think it will fit much better. I especially liked this quote from the website:

    "Strong enough to withstand restraint and sudden surprises."
     
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  12. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I generally find that adult does take a size 3 or 4. Nubians, with their big, regal noses, usually take a 4, but make sure to measure around her nose to be sure. Measure across the bridge of the nose half-way between the eyes and the end of the muzzle.

    This is what a well-fitted halter should look like and where it should sit:
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. Leslie

    Leslie New Member

    35
    Jul 12, 2012
    Marengo, Ohio
    Control the direction

    i have a horse that used to rush like that, and the technique I used with him turns out to work well with my Nubian wether. I agree that the halter is essential. Then you decide that if you can't control his speed, you can at least control his direction. Every time my wether puts his head down to drag me toward the barn, I don't try to slow him down, I just make him change direction and walk in a circle around me. Then we try again, and if he pulls, we circle again. At whatever speed he chooses. In the beginning, you're doing more circling than moving forward, but after awhile, they figure out that it's a lot more work to pull on you than to walk quietly next to you. The smarter they are, the longer it seems to take. No punishment, no fighting, no person falling down; has worked well with me for horses and goats.
     
  14. thekibblegoddess

    thekibblegoddess Member

    49
    Dec 13, 2014
    Sylvania, GA
    Leslie, thanks for reminding me of that circling trick. I used to use that when dog training and forgot all about it. I got the Sopris Halter too, and its awesome! Fits like a dream. She learned quickly that she can't pull effectively, and it has her so frustrated that she rears up and hops along on her back legs - too funny looking! But i don't care as long as we're going in the proper direction at my rate of speed.
     
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  15. greal

    greal New Member

    19
    Jul 16, 2013
    Well I have a 4yr old wither who had been doing great leading haltering etc. then he started to put his head straight out and pull away from me before I could get the halter on. Then when I got the halter on he would put his noise out and lock his neck an off he went. So now I am using the collar and he pulls but have more control, and tie him up and am now working on getting him to stand and let me put the halter on. Anyone had to deal with this?
     
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  16. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I avoid haltering problems by giving a treat after haltering. My goats soon start looking forward to having their halters put on since they know they will be rewarded.

    When your goat locks his neck, give a hard tug and pull him sideways. Use your body weight if you have to, and give him a verbal reprimand. When he comes back to you, tell him "good boy" and give him a pat and maybe a treat. I've encountered this problem a few times, but none of my goats has been allowed to turn it into a habit because none of them got away with it. If a big, strong goat doesn't turn his head when I tug on the leash, I'll shove his hindquarters over with my hand or foot and physically MAKE him turn to face me. He's not allowed to ignore the halter when I pull on it. A few repetitions should convince your goat that he can't get his way even by locking his neck.
     
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  17. greal

    greal New Member

    19
    Jul 16, 2013
    I have done the treats, an pulling him side ways too. Today was the best day. I have been leaving the collar on him an he comes up to me fine up takes a treat an turns an heads off if I have the lead. So today when he headed off I made him go way he turned and faced me and I stopped and he got a treat. I was able to get him to stand after a bit of this then lead him out with the collar an was able to put the halter on an gave him a treat then hooked the lead to the halter and worked with him not turning his butt and going off. Thanks for the input he is no light weight and very smart, we will come together on this.
     
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  18. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Glad you had a better time today. Once your goat learns he can't get away with rude behavior he'll stop trying. Sometimes when working with a rude goat I'll carry a dressage riding whip. If he puts his head down and tries to rush off, I'll smack the side of his hip with the whip while pulling on the halter. If I don't have a whip I may pop him with the end of the leash. This makes a bigger statement than using my hand or knee to shove him over and it really grabs his attention. The main objective here is to disengage the hindquarters so he has no ability to pull away from you. We do this with horses who are chargey and disrespectful. When he comes back to you tell him, "Good boy" and rub him. He needs to learn that his "happy place" is by your side--not charging around taking no notice of the hapless human dragging around at the end of his leash.
     
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  19. catharina

    catharina Catharina

    Mar 16, 2016
    Northern California
    For my herd (who also walk down public roads) it matters who has the leash on--it has to be the goat that nobody wants to be without. In our case it's the herd queen. The buck may think he's the boss, but the ladies are more than happy to see me lead him away from them, the further the better apparently! :p
     
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  20. Oreosmom

    Oreosmom mom of 2 little goats and 2 wonderful dogs / indoo

    227
    Nov 18, 2016
    So. Oregon
    Sounds like the halter will work for you, might add to it by going different routes home. Mix things up.
     
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