New to packing

Discussion in 'Pack Goat Training' started by tikkamike, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. tikkamike

    tikkamike New Member

    Oct 21, 2016
    I have a LaMancha doe who has experience packing, however shes new to me and I dont know a thing about it. I am trying to build a bond with her and i just ordered some tack. what is my first step? my plan has been take her on walks with a lead rope then when shes used to that take the lead rope off and see how that goes then throw the saddle on and work into paniers and then a load... any suggestions?
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  3. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Bumping this up for you.. I have no clue about anything to do with packing ;)

    Good luck!
  4. Taffy

    Taffy New Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    Washington State
    The more time spent with your goat the better. Developing a stong bond is paramount for packing. Check the North American Packgoat Association site for a list of resources.
    GoofyGoat likes this.
  5. catharina

    catharina Catharina

    Mar 16, 2016
    Northern California
    You don't have just the one goat, right? She probably wouldn't be happy without other goats. When I walk my goats I just have the leash on one (the herd queen) & the rest follow due to the herd instinct. At first I was nervous that I'd lose one so I always carried treats & made sure they knew it. I've never goat-packed though, but it sounds fun! Good luck!
  6. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I second Catharina's comment about more than one goat. They get pretty lonely by themselves and get into more trouble I think than if there are two of them to keep each other occupied.

    How old is your doe and how big is she? What type of saddle did you buy? What type of packing are you planning to do?

    You're right to start taking her out for daily walks (especially if she is an "only goat"!). She needs to bond to you, to learn to follow you everywhere, and to come when you call her. Her previous owners may have desensitized her to things like traffic, water, and dogs, but it's best to make sure before you let her off the leash. Have fun!
  7. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you Staff Member Supporting Member

    Another good activity is grooming her. Brushing and cleaning her not only makes her skin and coat healthier, it also teaches her to let you handle her body in a fun gentle way.
  8. wyomingtrapper

    wyomingtrapper Member

    Mar 26, 2014
    Western Wyoming
    You say she has experience packing. What did her previous owner do with her? As stated, handle her a lot. Be affectionate. Brush her, work with her hooves, bolus her if needed, etc... My training with tack has amounted to putting it on the goat and going. After some initial mouthing of the new stuff, they seem to pretty much ignore it.
  9. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Member

    Aug 21, 2009
    I don't know nuthin

    I used the philosophy that if they are nervous and scared and I am the one to protect and comfort, then they bond easier. When I first got my young goats I stayed in the shed with the the first night in their new location. The slept all over me. Later when I got my youngest, named Pig, he slept under my hammock at the rendezvous where I purchased him.

    When I got the older goats, I would walk them up the canyon that was heavily traveled by dogs. When dogs would approach I would pull the goats toward me, and protect them with a rod and a Dog Dazer. They learned to face dogs rather than run. But also, I hold the illusion that they bonded to me faster.

    The older, experienced goat (Diego) always thought he was the herd leader... and he was when I was not there. So he was the challenge when hiking. He would try to pull the herd back to the parking lot. Either I would lead him, or I would entice the herd with peanuts. He never won. He eventually would just give in to me.

    He is no longer the herd leader.. Pig, (I think he is 350 pounds or better now) eventually took over when Diego cowered at a dog and he stood his ground.

    If they start back.. don't ever chase them.. they just run faster. You have to hold your ground and call to them.. did I forget that part? I have a whistle that I use to communicate with them if I turn a corner on the trail and they call out to me. I always answer them. I have one whistle pattern to just answer, one to call them.. trained with snacks.. and I sneeze if I want them to be nervous.. they think there is danger. Even the senior goat would stop if I sneezed, and look around, giving me a chance to call the rest back. I re-enforced this instinct when around dogs.. I would sneeze to warn them as I pulled them in. He would then have to follow.

    Only on the first hikes did I have to go back to get them when they would follow another group we passed on the trail. Now I can call them out of another herd. And as big as they are.. I might be able to steal your goats that way. ;) That would be a good game at a rendezvous.

    We lost Mikey this week. We don't know exactly how old he was, but he was at least 14 years old. Probably older. He didn't have any teeth which made it hard for us to keep him well fed. He ate a lot of grain lately since he couldn't eat hay.
  10. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    Lamacha's are great people goats you will not have much trouble bonding just give her treats and brush her. my choice of treats are animal crackers.
    once you are at the trailhead your goat will be in new territory and will not want to get lost and will stick close to you.
    the biggest help I can give is make sure your packs weigh the same. 8 ounces different is not weighing the same.
    do not let your packs weigh over 20% of the goats weight
    take a gun with you the loud bang of a gun will stop a dog attack don't aim at the dog aim it in a safe direction . It is amazing how the report of a gun wakes up the dogs owner and stops the attack.
    If I didn't live in bear country I would just carry blanks in my gun.
    I never had a goat follow a stranger on the trail.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016