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After owning goats for many years now, I get asked “do goats make good pets?” on a regular basis. The answer to this question is a big “It Depends.” Keeping goats as pets can be a great experience, but having a pet goat could also end up disastrous. You need to consider many factors to raising goats as pets. If you are not set up correct, you may end up being miserable. With the right knowledge and understanding your pet goat can be very enjoyable, and extremely rewarding.
Raising Goats As Pets
I have seen too many people just decide one day, they are going to get a goat. With no preparation and no understanding of what is going on, this can end up very bad. One of the most common mistakes, getting a pygmy goat as a house pet. While entirely possible to make a pygmy goat happy in a house, you will most likely, not enjoy this situation. Now I know someone out there is saying “yes, pygmy goats make great house pets.” I know that there is a possibility of training a goat to live in a house with you, but the odds of most people enjoying that are slim.
If you want to keep a goat as a pet, keep them outside. We keep lots of livestock so the concept of keeping an animal outside is normal to us. Apparently there are some people who think that you must keep all animals inside. To keep a pet goat happy and healthy their enclosure should have a perimeter fence that is strong enough for them to push on and not fall down. As well as keep anything that may want to hurt your goat out. The goat enclosure should also have a goat shed so your goats have a dry place that will keep out the wind.
I keep saying “goats” like everyone knows already that you should really have more than one. Let me explain to you why you should have more than one goat. Goats are herd animals, so naturally they want to be with others. If you are not going to keep more than one goat consider getting some kind of companion for your goat, it will make you goat much happier. Now that we know goats need to have a companion let’s look at other things I have learned from keeping goats as pets.
Do Goats Make Good Pets?
When I think of a pet, I think of the family dog. If you were to ask me if “goats make good pets” I would instinctively reply with, Maybe. Goats can make good pets, but not for all people. You need to be a person that understands what the pet goat needs, as well as knowing what goats are going to do naturally.
If you are new to keeping goats I recommend that you head over to amazon and grab a book or two on raising goats. I like to storey’s line of animal books they are very helpful for new pet goat owners and good to have as reference for us seasoned folks also.
Most of the goats we keep are not considered pets. We breed goats to sell, and milk. All the animals on our property have some purpose. While we do consider one of our goats a pet, her name is Lilo. My pet goat is amazing, she love human contact and really enjoys being in the middle of whatever you are doing.
Goats can be good pets as long as you remember your goat is still a goat. Training goats is very possible and if you take the time and effort really fun when you get results. The biggest problem with keeping goats as pets is the fact that goats do not have the drive to please you like a dog dose. This makes training much harder, but not impossible.
While training goats I use positive reinforcement, and reward based training. Never try to get your goats to do anything using punishments to enforce your training. It does not work and is will not create the type of relationship you want with your animal.
Should I get a goat as a pet
In my case the answer is yes, do you think you have what it takes to keep a goat as a pet? If so go for it, just remember that you need to be willing to adapt and change your routine as well as you enclosure for the goat. Sometimes my goat will break down a fence, or just figure a way to climb out. It is not personal, they are just goats being goats.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about goats or what to expect when bringing one into your family.