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Hello everyone!

I have 3 three month old Nigerian Dwarf wethers that I would really like to train to go hiking with us. I'm wondering what types of hikes you would recommend with goats, especially to start? What about city parks?

I'm paranoid about getting pulled over by the ranger and being told I cannot have my goats on the trail. I'm assuming that any trails that are dog and/or horse friendly are okay for goats? What are your recommendations? Has anyone ever had any issues with other people or dogs? I am in the Portland, Oregon area if anyone is in the area and has recommended hikes!

Thanks!
 

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I don't live in Oregon, but the only places you really need to worry about are certain wilderness areas where bighorn sheep live. I can't remember if Oregon has one or two places where goats are prohibited, but I don't think it's a lot of area. Loads of goat packers live in Oregon and they go all over the place. I always assume that unless there is a sign posted that says "NO GOATS ALLOWED!" then it's ok for them to be there. If someone tells me it's not, I ask to see where it's posted. If someone shows me where a rule is posted, I'll leave. But so far no one has ever bothered me about my goats anywhere I've hiked. Rangers tend to think goats are pretty awesome. I take my goats into city parts and haven't been yelled at. I like to say, "It's better to ask forgiveness than ask permission" and then walk in like I own the place. Because as a tax paying citizen, I kinda do own the place. ;-)

Don't be paranoid about rangers. The worst anyone can do is ask you to leave. If an official tells you to take your goats somewhere else, ask them for suggestions. Park rangers can actually be very helpful in that regard.

Also, be careful of dogs on the trail. Loose dogs are much more of a problem than park rangers. If you see a dog, get your goats leashed and get the owner's attention and tell them you have goats. If the dog is loose, ask them to leash it. If both species are under control there shouldn't be a problem. I don't allow anyone to let their dog sniff my goats even if the dog is leashed and seems friendly. Many dog owners will ask you if they can let their dog sniff. I always give them a friendly but firm no. There is too much potential for something to go horribly wrong, and even if the dog were 200% friendly, how do I explain that to my goat?

If you encounter horses, get off the trail (horses always have the right of way!), leash your goats, and holler at the riders to get their attention and tell them you have goats. Most horses are ok with goats, but some are not and riders always appreciate being alerted.

Have fun!
 
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