Loading a Pack Goat

Training your goats to jump in a pickup or trailer is one of the easiest things to teach. It can usually be accomplished in one session. Start with a goat big enough to make the jump. Most goats over a year old are big enough.

Start by backing your truck up to a dirt bank or hump that allows for a level or light step up into the truck. Assuming your goat leads well, lead it around the back of the truck and give it the command to load. You can use whatever command you want. I usually pat the tailgate and tell the goat to “get in”.

Next, lead (or drag) the goat into the truck. Once in the truck, give the goat a handful of grain and lots of praise. Lead the goat out, go once around the area and back in again. Repeat the command each time and reward the goat with a handful of grain. In no time, the goat will figure out that by getting in the truck, it gets grain, and it will pull you to the truck to get in.

Once you reach this point, lead the goat beside the truck and do not let it get in until you give the load command. Never reward the goat for loading unless you have given the command. When the goat is loading every time on command it’s time to pull the truck up, increasing the distance the goat has to step up to get in. It should readily jump the small increase in distance with no problem. Load at this distance a few times and then move the truck up again. Increase the distance by about a foot each time you move the truck. Don’t forget the load command each time and lots of praise with the grain. If the goat stalls at a certain height, back the truck up and start where it will load reliably and start increasing the distance more slowly between moves. You are teaching the goat not only a new command, but also that it is able to jump the distance into the truck.

Your goat should be loading in less that an hour. Repeat this lesson every day for a few minutes in different places so the goat gets used to loading wherever the truck is parked. Any goats that balk at loading at the trail head usually change their mind when they see the other goats getting their grain in the truck.

Other training tips:

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