Raising Goats For Dummies
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Lead training your goats is essential if you're planning to show your goats. A jumping, fighting, or obstinate goat doesn't fare well in the show ring. Even if you don't show goats, teaching them how to walk on a lead makes them easier to manage.

When you lead train, try to recruit a helper to push the goat from behind when it stops walking. To lead train, take the following steps every day for at least 10 minutes:

  1. Put a collar on the goat.

    Make sure it isn't too tight or so loose that it slips over the goat's head.

  2. Attach a lead and position the collar.

    The collar should fit at the top of the goat's jaw area and behind the top of the head.

  3. Walk forward a few steps, pulling slightly on the lead.

    If the goat follows, continue walking. Stop every few steps and reward the goat with a small treat or praise. Then start again. Gradually increase the distance the goat has to go to get the treat.

    Do not drag the goat or pull too hard on the leash because it can block the windpipe and cause the goat to collapse. The goat will drop to his knees, sometimes exhibiting what appears to be a seizure, but will recover quickly.

  4. Stop after a few steps if the goat stops, and then try again.

    Use a treat such as peanuts, apple chunks, or corn chips to encourage the goat to walk.

    Lead the goat; don't let the goat lead you. If the goat is leading well but tries to go past you, say "stop" or "get back," then stop and turn in the opposite direction. When the goat is stopped by the rope, wait a second, and then start to lead in the direction you turned.

  5. When the lesson is complete, lead the goat back to the herd and remove the collar and lead.

After a goat is more comfortable walking on a lead, you can practice less frequently. Use this method to get the goat to the stanchion for routine care or just take her on an occasional walk on a lead. These hooves are made for (lead) walkin'!

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Cheryl K. Smith has raised a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf and Oberian dairy goats under the herd name Mystic Acres since 1998. She is the owner of karmadillo Press and is the author of Goat Health Care, Goat Midwifery, The Best of Ruminations Goat Milk and Cheese Recipes, and Raising Goats: Some Essentials.

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