Other Goat Behavior Problems

You may have a goat that knows that it is not allowed to do something, but insists on doing it anyway. Examples might be:

  • A goat that charges out of the gate every time you leave it unattended for a split second.
  • A goat that stands on the fence or feeder, despite getting squirted with the squirt gun.
  • A goat that insists on snooping in the pannier bags at camp.
  • A goat that horns the fence.

The list goes on and on. I call these goats, ‘nonconformist goats.’ They are the human equivalent of criminals. They know right from wrong, and willfully choose to do wrong. They are the goats, that if we had started with them first, we would now be packing llamas.

What can be done with these reprobate animals? The first suggestion, would be to cull them from your herd, or at least, in the case of a doe, remove it from your breeding program, so you are not expanding the problem. A problem animal is almost always a problem animal. They will give you grief as long as you own them. Since you are reading this page to figure out how to deal with the offender, then you have probably already decided to keep it, and some other options are needed.

In the case of the problem goat, the desire to do these actions overrides the fear of punishment. Whatever the offense, the answer to stopping it, is to make the fear of punishment outweigh the reward. Be creative. Remove the temptation, if at all possible. If you can’t remove the motivating force, then take whatever action necessary, to make the goat fearful to repeat the offense. Some suggestions may be considered severe by a few people, and if you are one of them, then resign yourself to living with the goat’s behavior.

A strand of electric fence, inside the field fence, will keep the goats from standing on it, and stop goats from pushing and horning it. If you have a goat that ignores the squirt gun, then spray the goat with the water hose, instead. A goat that charges past you, to get out of the gate, will stop dead in its tracks when given a shot of pepper spray in the face. It does not have any lasting physical affects, but I guarantee, the goat will think twice before risking another shot of it. Use an electronic dog training collar for a goat that does things out of your reach. The collar is doubly effective because the goat associates the shock with whatever action it was doing at the time. If the shock was sufficient, the goat will not want to risk getting another one by doing it again. The shock collar also works on the goat that beats up on the other goats in the back of the truck or trailer. The same, with the goat snooping in the panniers at camp. A strong shock will have the goat afraid of whatever lurks inside the bags, and it won’t be likely to do it again.

Like I said, some people may view shocking their goat or spraying it with pepper spray extreme, and I do not advocate this type of correction as the norm. But, if you want to stop the problem, then you have to make the crime not worth the time.

Other problem goat issues:

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