Goats are interesting and loveable animals that make excellent pets in addition to being useful farm animals in terms of milk and meat production.
Goats are wild animals, however, and can be a handful to manage, especially if you are inexperienced.
The best thing to do if you are getting new goats for your farm or are thinking of getting a goat as a pet would be to train it/have it trained.
But can goats even be house trained?
Keeping goats is an exciting and fulfilling experience and, training your goats to exhibit the behaviors that you want, makes the goat owning experience more positive, enjoyable, and allows it to go much smoother.
But how exactly do you house train goats, what are some things you can teach them to do, and is training goats dangerous?
We are going to explore all of these questions and more in this article as we dive deeper into the topic of can goats be house trained.
Let’s get started!
Why should you house train goats?
While goats can be lovable and silly animals, they also have some natural behaviors and tendencies which can make it difficult to raise/ keep them.
Some of these include head butting (which can become dangerous if left unchecked), urinating and defecating indoors, jumping on counters and tables, chewing on your furniture, clothes, hair, and anything else they can get their teeth on (goats can be destructive!), and goats tend to be excessively noisy.
What are some things you can train goats to do?
Goats are very smart animals and, as a result, can be trained to do a lot of things.
Other than the basics of potty training, goats can be trained to get rid of, or at least limit, some of their destructive and dangerous tendencies.
They can be trained to stop chewing on and biting everything they come in contact with, to limit their access to certain parts of the house/ property and can be trained not to jump on tables and counters. Goats can also be trained to do tricks, remember their names, and go for walks with a leash.
Is house training goats difficult?
House training goats is generally easy for most goats.
It does require a lot of patience though and can get frustrating depending on how long it takes your goat to pick up the training.
It is also easier to train goats when they are kids.
This is because they are more receptive to the training and don’t have any bad habits that need to be broken.
Older goats have ingrained habits that are difficult to adjust and, as a result, it can take longer to train them.
How to house train goats
When training goats, and any animal for that matter, there are certain techniques/ things you need to keep in mind and implement.
Housebreaking refers to teaching an animal to urinate or defecate outside rather than in the house and is an essential part of housebreaking.
Housebreaking goats is probably the most difficult part of house-training goats due to their natural tendencies.
Goats are constantly foraging and seeking out food and, unlike dogs and cats, they are unable to hold in their waste and defecate frequently, usually exactly where they are standing.
It is very important, therefore, to properly housebreak your goats if you are planning to keep them inside.
It is definitely easier to simply create a dedicated space for them outside.
This will eliminate a lot of issues.
When training goats it is essential to incentivize them with things they love.
The easiest way to do this is to reward them with their favorite foods.
You should, therefore, figure out what their favorite treats are and give them when they successfully complete a task or follow a command.
Some common goat treats include apples, banana peels, carrots, peaches, raisins, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Repetition is key.
This is true when learning any skill, whether for a goat, a dog, or a human.
Practice makes perfect and you should take this approach when training your goat.
Lead your goat where you want them to go or give them the command you want them to follow, and when they complete it successfully, reward them with their preferred treat.
Repeat this process consistently so that your goats can learn the areas you want them and the things you want them doing (don’t worry, goats are smart so it shouldn’t take more than a few times for your goat to pick it up).
Never force your goat to do anything he or she is not comfortable with.
This is the quickest and easiest way to lose the trust of your goats and ensure that the training process will be difficult.
Trust is the most important thing when it comes to training your goats.
If your goats feel like they can trust you, they will be more receptive to your instructions and training methods.
By constantly rewarding behavior that you want your goat to exhibit and responding quickly to negative behaviors is an excellent way to train your goat on which behaviors are acceptable and which are not.
The most effective way to do this is to train your goats when they are very young as they are more receptive to you.
Water bottle method
If your goat is exhibiting dangerous behavior that you are trying to train out of them, such as head butting, it is ok to discipline them to disincentivize this type of behavior.
When disciplining your goat, it is important to not use physical means of discipline, however, such as pushing or hitting your goat.
This will result in your goat perceiving you as a threat and will become aggressive with you.
Instead, you can use a squirt bottle as a training tool/ technique.
Goats hate water and a squirt bottle, therefore, works as an extremely effective training tool that you can use.
When your goat is doing something that you do not approve of, use an assertive command and, if they do not listen then implement the spray bottle.
It is very important to have patience when training your goat. It will take a while for your goat to trust you fully and it is vital that your goat trusts you in order for your training to be effective.
Take your time and take things slowly during the training process.
It is essential that you don’t lose patience when dealing with your goat as this could undo all of the good work you have done and will lead to frustration and anger.
Can you train a goat like a dog?
Goats are actually smarter than your average dog and, as a result, can be trained to do a lot of things that dogs are able to do.
Goats can follow instructions, take direction, and can even learn to do tricks.
What are the easiest goats to house train?
The easiest goats to train are goats that have a docile and tame personality and are comfortable around humans.
These goats also make the best pets as they are easy to be around and are able to take direction.
Goats that are difficult to train are goats that are generally of larger size.
The larger goat breeds have a more aggressive nature and personality, such as Boer goats and Mudurai goats.
Can pygmy goats be house trained?
Yes, pygmy goats can be house trained.
Pygmy goats are actually one of the most popular breeds of goats that are taken as pets.
This means that they are trained very often, and it is actually pretty easy to train them.
This is due to their loving and docile personality and their small size.
Can Nigerian dwarf goats be house trained?
Similar to pygmy goats, Nigerian dwarf goats are some of the most popular goats that are taken as pets and, as a result, are quite easy to train as well.
They also possess a loving and tame personality and get on quite well with humans.
Goats are very useful farm animals, can make great pets, and are extremely curious and intelligent animals.
Despite being domesticated, they are still animals and possess behaviours and tendencies that can make it difficult or frustrating to keep/ raise them.
Luckily, goats are surprisingly simple to train and they pick up the teachings very quickly.
The most important thing when training goats is to establish trust with them and remain patient.
This will allow the training process to go quickly and run smoothly.
Never force your goat to do anything that they don’t want to do and take your time when training them.
Every goat is different and will respond to your training techniques and methods differently.