Trail Training Baby Pack Goats
Trail training baby pack goats is one of the topics I get a lot of questions for. The first common question I get all the time is how do I keep my babies back and that IS a struggle with little babies. They all want to be out front and all anxious to get going. They’re all fired up.
Single Track Trails
The best way to teach goats especially baby goats to walk behind you is to walk on a single-track trail that has high weeds on each side. So, for them to get around you they have to mess around through the weeds and that’s discouraging for them. But for them to stay behind you it’s easy to keep them at your heels. They are still going to try to get ahead of you in the beginning but again with trekking poles, a walking stick, or a squirt bottle you’re going to teach them through an extended hand to stay back.
Pleasure and Discomfort
I believe when we train goats, there has to be a level of pleasure or pain, discomfort. So, it’s called pleasure or discomfort. Pleasure is getting love; the treats and all those sorts of things and discomfort is getting a stick pushed in their face or being uncomfortable or being squirted or having something thrown at them.
Reprimanding A Baby Goat
There 3 things you can use to reprimand a goat. You can throw something at them like rock, stick or whatever and again we are not looking to create pain. Nobody likes something thrown at them. As far as reprimand goes, water bottle squirted at them, rock or stick thrown or a separate thing from you is your walking stick or trekking pole. Your trekking pole is what you will use most the time. So, I teach those little babies to stay back off me by discouraging them back. When they come to go around I kinda lightly touch the end of their nose with the walking stick and they don’t like it. They start to learn they need to stay back.
Why Baby Goats Run in Front of You
The safest place and the reason they’re doing it is because they’re trying to figure out their herd dynamics. They know if they get you between them and goats that keep pounding them, you will protect them. So, the timid goat will keep trying to get in front of you because he doesn’t want to be beat up on by the other goats. He will learn his place is at the end if he’s not strong enough. You’re going to have to teach him especially if you are just starting out with 3 and 4 baby goats. That’s the dynamic you’re going to deal with a lot.
Getting a Baby Goat to Follow You
The other question I get a lot with babies is “hey they are not following me; how do I get them to follow me?” The fastest and the best way to get a goat to follow along is two things. First, get them on strange territory so somewhere they aren’t used to, somewhere they don’t know. They become very reliant on you. It is very hard to have a goat come out of your property and jump on a trail. After a while they know where they are going, what they are doing. They become super familiar with that trail. They are very smart so you may battle it as it goes along. Trying to trek off your property and onto a trail. You may have to load them every time and take them somewhere. Once they are on foreign ground, they are going to become glued to you. Because they don’t know where they are at. They are going to be eating more and want to go back home if you are on a trail across the street versus being somewhere foreign.
A Great Strategy
If you have goats getting hung up or hard to move, just start running. So you get the goats attention and my command is always “goats” and I start running. They all look at me and they know. If I say “goats”, they know it’s time to go. It’s one of the best strategies I use. So if you’re having struggles to get them to follow you, just run and they will follow.
I hope this is helpful in your journey with goat packing. I highly encourage you to get our Baby Goat and Pack Goats 101 Course Bundle as this has all the tips and tricks to teach your baby goats into being packers.