Leash Training: Yes! Goats can be leash trained! Just like dogs, it is best to start them out when they are young. And just like dogs, we get scared and don’t know what is happening.
So, NEVER pull us by our necks! It is terrifying and dangerous! Be PATIENT and always use POSITIVE reinforcement! Make it a fun thing and we will be happy to go for a walk! See our tips below!
Tips on Leash Training Goats:
1) Purchase a halter, collar or harness. Some people use halters for their head so that you aren’t pulling on their necks. Some use a harness, but it is really hard to control their direction until they are well trained. Others use collars, but don’t ever pull it so tight you are choking them!
2) In our video, you will see we have both a collar and a halter. We use the collar for walking, but have the harness on in case of emergency need to grab and pull them safely to us. We also own a halter for when the vet comes or they need to have their hooves trimmed. This allows us to keep them still, without them being choked as a collar would.
3) Just start out by introducing them to the idea of wearing the halter, harness or collar when you are around. Put it on them and let them wear it while you are playing, visiting or doing chores.
4) Do not leave the halter, harness or collar on them when you are not supervising, because they can get caught on things and choke. If you want them to wear collars when you are not around, be sure to get the break-away kind.
5) Once they are accustomed to wearing the halter, harness or collar, walk around with them with the leash. Encourage to follow you and do not pull at them, but allow them to go wherever they want. This is just to get them used to the feeling of the leash, but to learn it is safe. Do this in a smaller area, like a corral and have brief sessions.
6) Once they are used to having it on and wearing it while they are walking with you and the leash, you can begin to start leading them where you want to go. Gently tug them in the direction you want to go for just a few feet, calling their names in a sweet voice and encouraging them to come with you. Then stop and let the leash be loose and praise them. Do this for short walks around the corral for a few weeks or so or until they stop fighting you. It is important never to drag them or scare them. Just gently lead them. Again, do this in a smaller area in brief sessions.
Note: Some people like to keep alfalfa pellets or carrots in their pockets for encouragement. This is certainly helpful in training! However, we did not choose to use food for training, so that our goats aren’t always begging us for treats … and they don’t. They get their treats to encourage them to go inside and during the day after cuddle time.
7) When they seem comfortable with having the halter, collar or harness put on and walking around with you in the smaller area, you can take them out into a larger area, ring or pasture. If you have two goats, it is best to have two people (one for each goat). Otherwise, the goat not on the leash can be distracting in their larger area.
8) Don’t force them, have patience, be consistent and always praise them! Have fun!
DISCLAIMER: We are not goat experts, trainers or veterinarians. Please seek advice from a professional.