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I just purchased six wethers from a breeder yesterday and all six were bottle babies (they are now about three months old). Of the six, two are very friendly (will come over when I call them, follow me around in the pasture, will let me walk up and pet them). The other four will approach me on their own sometimes, but tend to move away if I walk up to them. I want to get these four to the point where their first instinct is not to move away from me and ideally, I'd like them to follow me no matter where I go.

My current plan is to work with the goats 1:1, so they don't have the option of seeking asylum with the rest of the herd. I'm thinking of progressing something like this:

Work with each kid one at a time in a location where they can't see their buddies. Start by tying their lead to a post so they can't escape, then sit in a chair next to them. When they approach within touching distance, I click and treat.

Progress to an open pasture where they aren't on a lead. When they walk up to me, I click and treat. When they can all do this individually, then work on it in pairs.

Any other thoughts or ideas?

Thanks.
 

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Sounds like a good plan for using the clicker.

If you want to use their instinct, take them for a hike after dark. You can do two or three at a time. Make sure there are lots of scary things out there. When they spook hold the lines so they don't run and comfort them.

Chances are that they will be more underfoot the darker it gets. If you can, then camp out all night with them. Make sure you're off the ground, and keep them tied close. You won't get any sleep but it will go far in developing their herd instincts with you.

It won't make them friendlier but it makes them a herd with you at the head. The more you can do this early, the better.

My Moe is so bonded to his brother Larry that he is not affectionate at all. But he will stay with me wherever I go.
 

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Sounds like a good plan. I have found that treats are very effective in getting goats to come to you. Orange peels are a favorite, as are apple cores. One thing you might try is to tie up both a friendly goat and one that's stand-offish, nearby. Then offer the friendly goat a treat, and pet him, scratch his butt, and show him how great a friend you are. The other goat will see his rival getting treats and will get jealous and excited and want the treats too. Then go over and repeat with the stuck up goat. Once he learns that you are the treat guy, who knows just how to scratch that spot he just loves, he will warm right up to you. I have found that greed and selfishness are strong goat traits that you can take advantage of.
 

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Training bonding/newbie goats and trainer

I have 3 wethers (Boer) on order and expect to be here in another 6 weeks (they will be 8 wks old at time of arrival) I'm experienced in clicker training with my dogs and planned on using the clicker when the goat babies arrive. I'm wondering if I should be ordering halters now, or start them out with collars and lead rope? If I do order halters, what size would be appropriate. I've been looking on equipment websites and noticed there are regular halters and "pull back" halters that can be used to give in to pressure as part of the training process. Any advice would be most welcomed
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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I really like this thread. I am going to have to tame down a few myself due to the massive amount of hours I had to spend working. Ones that are nearly weening age are the ones Ill have to work with. I like the night idea and will most likey try that tonight :) if it doesnt rain.
 

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Dave I hate to break it to you but you can't work all day and all night.
My favorite halter is the rope halter. Check it out on Northwest Packgoat supply. They work great and fit better than strap webbing halters.
 
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