Training goats

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by New2nigerians, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. New2nigerians

    New2nigerians New Member

    Mar 25, 2019
    Ukiah, Ca

    I have 3 nigerian dwarf baby does. They are just over 3 weeks old. Seriously...cutest things I've ever owned (besides my own children). I'm wondering how you train goats though. A lot of their behaviors they currently do can be cute, or just a little annoying. However, I know when they're full grown, these behaviors would be dangerous. A couple things I'd like to train them on is not rushing out of the gate when I open it. I thought I saw somewhere a spray bottle works, but it doesn't seem to bother them too much. I know part of the issue currently is consistency. Ie: When we let them out of their pen in our garage, it leads straight to the backyard so we let them run out. However, when their in the enclosure outside, then the gate leads to the whole property and I worry about them running off.

    Another thing is jumping up, or on us. This usually happens during bottle time. I know they're so excited and hungry but they'll jump up on my shoulders, back, etc.

    I also just came across something that said if they rub their head on you or head butt it, they're asserting dominance? Is this always true? They even head butt their bottles and I just took that as what baby animals do to their mothers to get milk. Even newborn humans do this to some extent.

    It's hard because at this age I just want to let them get away with everything. They're small and cute...but I know I need to start thinking about training. Appreciate any tips and tricks that has worked for you and your herd.
  2. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    I would try to shape the desired behavior. Don't want them rushing out the gate? Give them a treat or reward they expect while the gate is open still in their pen, them calmly walk them out with another treat. They will learn to stay beside you waiting for that. Head butting my body or climbing on me, definitely gets the squirt bottle (with lemon juice) or a firm no with a shove on the shoulder. Not attention, no pets. If you don't want it in an adult, don't allow it in a kid. Butting the bottle is a behavior that mimics nudging the udder to make the milk let down. If they are doing that to the bottle, not really a problem. Just let them understand your boundaries.
    mslaugh13 and GoofyGoat like this.

  3. friesian49

    friesian49 Active Member

    Jul 2, 2018
    My girls were quick to learn things with repetition. I'd recommend putting a halter on them soon so they get used to it - as soon as you can, I got mine at 4 months, so that's the age my experience starts! I'd also recommend touching them all over, especially their feet, so when you do have to trim hooves, they won't freak out. And getting them used to being tied, again, for feet and other stuff you need to do. Mine started learning to be tied to fence closer to a year - I didn't realize that they'd soon outgrow me straddling them to hold them for stuff!

    I like the squirt bottle idea, never thought of that for the goats, for my kittens, yes! Will keep that in mind in case they are being bad in the future.