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Hi folks! It's been awhile since I posted. My boys are 5 months old now, weaned, & getting big fast. They're fully integrated with my working dogs so no longer need to be penned at night or when I'm not home & have my entire fenced property in which to browse & nibble & fertilize. Naturally this means they choose to hang out up on the porch where the dogs are, so I am doing a lot more porch sweeping & mopping than I used to do. :cool:

They're at the age where I'd like to really start their pack goat training so by the time they're old enough to actually carry a pack they'll already have some commands under their belts. What commands or cues do you find most helpful, & how did you teach them? I've taught them to come when called (food is a great reinforcer!) & have begun introducing them to being on a lead & tethered. Anything else you guys can recommend?
 

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I teach all of them the "stay" command. It helps when I'm trying to go through a barn door or gate and I don't want them to follow me. It also helps when one member of a hiking party walks off to scout or pee and you don't want the goats to follow them. I also like to familiarize them with clicks and whistles that I can make while we're hiking just to comfort them and "talk" to them. They seem to like the verbal communication on the trail. Oh yeah, they also know that if I say "let's go" it means we're getting up from a rest to get on the trail again. That's about all I use with them.
 

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Dont look at me. I get mugged every time I go into a pen. But I will say that the command "Get the hell off me!!!" has absolutely no effect on em! :)
I had good intentions of teaching them stuff, but they have been more successful at teaching me.

I always thought that "Get the beer" and "Steal the beer" would be useful whenever you were lost in the wilderness. I figured I could always just follow them to the nearest beer, and it would be likely that civilization would be near.

I did a short bout with them with a clicker and they were very responsive. I have just not been dedicated nor consistent with it's use.

I have a whistle that I used to call them to me, and out of other herds, be they herds of goats or clusters of goat-like people.

When I rattle paper it means that whatever I am holding is free game for the center of a goat scrum.

And of course 'git' means 'git'.
 

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I use a spray bottle and a very strong "Back!" command to get them to not mug me when I have grain or hay or I'm eating my own lunch or whatever. I got lazy over the winter and let things slide a bit, no spray bottle, and I'll tell you they are bigger and stronger now and got pushy again. They also have an idea what "No!" means, and the one who gets the most No's!! knows his name well because I use it before I say no. Spray bottle has been my all around best training tool. Not even I like getting sprayed in the face with water! :)
 

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One of the things I love about goats is that you can actually get away with being lazy with their training. I could leave for a month, come home, and throw a saddle and packs on my goats and take off hiking and be just fine. Try doing that with horses. I need to figure out how to teach them "charge!" Maybe I should start with flanking movements, basic ambush, day/night land navigation...
 

· Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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My dream was to own a old army troop transport truck, dress a few goats up in camo and show up at a goat show. Hop out, drop the tail gate and yell "GO GO GO" and have em all jump out and form a straight line, standing at attention. Then Id wake up and think "pfft! Where would I find goatie camo outfits?" and fall back to sleep" :)
 

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At the risk of digressing further... I had a similar thought, wondering what my goats would have to do to earn jump wings.
 

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Then Id wake up and think "pfft! Where would I find goatie camo outfits?" and fall back to sleep" :)
Dave, learn to sew!

And just to contribute to the topic at hand... I think the "woah" command is one of the best. I don't like it when a goat fidgets and fusses while I'm trying to saddle, harness, clip, bathe, trim feet, or anything else. Lilly is currently learning to "woah" while I milk her because I still don't own a stanchion.
 

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I use "woah" also to get them to stand still when saddling up and such. If unloading gear from your donkey is "un-assing," what would we call it when we unload our goats? Un-capping? (for caprine?) Anyhow, I went for a hike on Sunday, and we dropped a water bottle along the trail. My buddy jogged back to pick it up, and the goats started following him. All I said was "stay," and all of them froze in their tracks.
 

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I recently made a gate with three strands of wire (all hot) and maybe I should have spent some time teaching them " that's gonna bite you". The next day when I came feed them their grain, they came walking right up and ignored me saying " that's gonna bite you" and got zapped. The did seem to learn that with just one session though.
 
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