For most people, the word “goat” brings to mind images of a bearded billy goat baaing away at the top of his lungs as he chases some hapless soul up a hill. However, there is much more to goats than their sometimes-aggressive reputation would suggest.
Many breeds do make decent livestock animals, while others can make great pets.
House Training Your Goat
Goats are often times a great asset to the household.
Goats are intelligent animals that should ideally make excellent pets, but domestic goats need more space than most people realize – at least if you plan on keeping them indoors!
For starters their presence could wreak havoc with your plumbing by causing pipes burst or clogging up bathtubs and sinks; they also have sharply pointed hooves which can easily damage wooden floors in homes like mine where we keep our carpets thick (we’ve got three children).
Also, goats are not particularly large animals but they are animals nonetheless- which means that if you have small children or pets you’ll want to be extra careful in order to avoid them accidentally getting hurt.
If you’re interested in keeping your goat indoors, then provide it with a dedicated space confined in an area like an empty room (turn off any breakers and be extra careful when it comes to electrical outlets), and invest in some good quality goat training pads; they make plastic ‘doggy’ pads which can withstand the weight of adult goats easily.
Oftentimes there is confusion when it comes to whether goats can be house trained or not. This is usually because most people assume that since their ancestors were domesticated, all goats must be trainable. However, this is not true; goats can be just as stubborn and recalcitrant as any other farm animal.
It’s important to keep in mind that unlike dogs, even domesticated goats were meant for the wild and will often exhibit their natural behaviors such as eating your garden or chewing your furniture if they feel like it.
If you really want a pet goat, you should consider getting a dwarf Nigerian instead of an ordinary dairy breed; they are more social and much easier to train, plus it’s much less work taking care of them than full-sized goats.
Tips for successfully training a goat in the home environment
So how exactly can one house train a goat? Here we’ll go over the best ways to accomplish just that:
1. Use humane training techniques: it might be easier to bribe your goat with treats but it’s not the healthiest way for a long term relationship.
2. Anticipate when the goat will need to go: understand their natural schedule and mimic that in a human environment.
3. Use a crate/fenced pen: they will often feel more secure in a confined space and won’t be tempted to chew on what is in reach if they can’t move around much.
4. Introduce them gradually to indoor spaces: goats are quite intelligent creatures, given they’ve been domesticated by humans for thousands of years, but you still have to demonstrate from time-to-time they’re expected to stay off the couch or away from your favorite plant! This might take months so patience is key here.
Common Mistakes made when Training Goats in the Home Environment
One of the most common mistakes made by people who attempt to train goats in the home environment is not establishing a clear and consistent routine.
Training your goat to follow specific routines will help them learn what they should do in any given situation, and can make it easier for you to predict their behavior.
For instance, if they eat their dinner at 5 pm every night, and you do not let them in the house until after 7 pm when they will be sleeping in their crate, they will learn to wait by the door for when you bring them inside.
Not sticking to a routine can result in your goat becoming confused and anxious and this may lead to negative behaviors such as chewing on things that are not theirs or nipping at people.
Another common mistake is expecting too much too soon from your goat.
Goats develop skills at different rates, just like all other animals and humans, so don’t assume that because another goat is doing something well that yours should be able to do it straight away too.
Goats can be taught to go to the toilet in an area of your yard and it is recommended that they are taken out every hour for a little while.
This way you will know when they need to go and there won’t be any surprises!