Goat Won't Lead?

If you have exhausted all options (usually with adult goats) and they just plain will not lead, without half dragging them, then there is one left. Some may think it cruel, but if your goat will not lead in required areas, then it is worthless. Also ,you should be aware that most goats that require this method of teaching have almost always been sluggards on the trail too. If you have an exception to this rule and it packs great, but will not lead, then this is what you can do.

First, beg, borrow or buy an electronic training collar. The kind that emits an electrical shock when you push a button on the controller. You should test the collar to make sure it works before you put it on the goat. Next, wet the hair on the neck of the goat, so the probes on the collar can make contact with the skin of the goat. This is important for the collar to work properly.

Once you have a working collar on the goat, attach the lead and pull it tight and give the goat your command to heel. When the lead gets tight, press the button on the controller and hang on. The goat will immediately react, usually by moving in some direction at full speed. Don’t let it get away from you. The IMPORTANT thing to do here, is to let off of the button as soon as the goat moves. As soon as the goat calms, pull the lead and give the heel command again. When the lead gets tight, hit the button again and let off as soon as the goat moves. NEVER shock the goat with a slack lead rope. You are associating the shock with the tight lead and the goat WILL figure this out in only a few minutes. Once the goat starts to give to the lead to keep it from getting tight, shower it with praise. Start again by walking forward and telling the goat to heel and only administer the shock if the goat lets the lead get tight. Most goats are leading with a slack lead in about five minutes.

After the goat has figured out the general principles of this setup, I usually give a bump or two on the lead before I give a shock. After a few warnings and then a shock, it only takes a bump on the rope to make the goat step into the rope and give you slack. Repeat this lesson several times over a three day period or until the goat is leading reliably.

Goats can be surprisingly stubborn, so be prepared for the goat to test it a few times. If you have a goat that rears back against the lead when the shock is administered then hold the button until the goat gives and moves forward. Some goats are also very pain tolerant (they butt their heads together for fun) and may require a fairly high setting on the amount of shock it takes to get their attention. Once done correctly, however I have never found a goat that was able to resist this method. Even weeks later, a bump on the lead will have the goat giving immediate slack in the lead.

Other problem goat issues:

**Please feel free to print out these tips.**