If you are homesteading or simply keeping goats for pets or a food source, you want to keep them protected as you would any other animal on your property. Maybe you live in the country and have neighbors who have goats. Either way, training your dog to be kind and respectful of other animals as well as property is imperative, especially if you are in an area where your dog is often off leash and free roaming. Having a dog who can safely be around other animals is extremely important if you are in an area where leash walking or open range living is something your dog will experience every day. Many city dwellers teach their dogs to walk on leashes and keep the dogs under their control. A dog who lives on acres of land is not an ideal candidate for regular leash walking.
If you have a dog in an open environment, to keep him protected from vehicles and dangers such as other animals and to keep other animals protected from the natural instinct of chase and hunt from your dog, you will need to train him to stay in areas where he and animals around are safe. Goats are easy prey for dogs; even dogs who are not trained to hunt can quickly attack goats because goats become easily winded. They are easy to tire out and run down, making the chase fun and short for a dog. Spending some time teaching your dog to heel off leash and stay with you while you are walking together can help keep him away from goats. You can also teach your dog to respect the boundaries between him and the goats he will see on your property or a neighboring property. To help your dog comprehend your needs for respecting the goats, expose him to goats every day, if not several times a day, for several weeks before you set him free near the goats.
Keeping your dogs from attacking goats will require obedience training, time, and patience. Be prepared to teach your dog basic obedience commands such as 'sit', 'stay', 'wait', and 'heel' first. Initially, as you introduce your dog to goats and train him not to attack, you might want to consider putting him on a leash so you can have better control his reactions. Prepare yourself with some of your dog’s favorite treats. With obedience training, teaching him to stay with you off leash and respect the goats may take several weeks. If your dog does not understand basic obedience commands, train those first and add a few more weeks to your timeline before leaving your dog near goats unattended.
I have two German shepherd pups, as well as 4 goats. They leave three of the goats alone, but love to chase and harass one goat. They are usually free and mostly leave the goats alone, but the puppies also love to chase Zebra (the goat). They know “leave it” in low pressure situations, but don’t want to interrupt their chase to obey. Yesterday, they caught the goat and scratched it up a bit before I was able to stop them (it was 1 am). I need to be able to trust my dogs unsupervised around all the livestock.
Hello, Check out the video series I have linked below. That trainer specializes in off leash obedience and livestock chasing behaviors. https://www.youtube.com/c/JamiePenrithDogTraining/search?query=livestock%20chasing I would definitely work on recall, and access to the goats when you aren't around needs to be limited until pups are trained not to bother them in order to make progress. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My two dogs have mailed my pet goats, any suggestions on how to move forward with training. Are they likely to continue to attack livestock. Is it likely that they could bite people
Hello Jude, Without you doing something to teach them otherwise they are extremely likely to attack livestock again. Whether they are a danger to people or not usually doesn't have anything to do with the livestock attacking. It is extremely rare for a dog to be prey driven toward people - which is usually the type of aggression that causes harm to livestock. The dogs may or may not be dangerous to people but it would have nothing to do with thr goats unless a person was trying to pull them off the goats and the dog redirected aggression onto that person during their highly aroused state. Watch for signs of aggression around people, like staring intensely, stalking, growling, stiffening, mounting, bring pushy, lunging, ect...and evaluate based on how they do not the livestock issue. For th livestock issue you will need to teach an e-collar avoidance of goats probably and keep the dogs and goats where they do not have to get close to each other but can choose to avoid the goats. Example: Day 1: https://youtu.be/lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2: https://youtu.be/ZvmgfnF1vmk Day 3: https://youtu.be/xj3nMvvHhwQ The trainer from the videos above has a bunch of other instructional and informational videos on their YouTube channel also, including more livestock chasing ones. Always be careful when dealing with aggression, some dogs will redirect aggression to whoever is closest when highly aroused so safety measures should be put in place as needed - things like leashes, e-collar, distance between you and the dog, basket muzzle, back tie leash, or crate (depending on the dog and how they are responding to things and the level of aggression and intensity). I would work with one dog on his own before practicing with both together because they will add to each other's arousal and predatory aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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