The Do's and Don'ts of Gaining a Goat's Trust
It's not always easy to win over a goat, but it can be done with proper knowledge and some patience. Some goats are naturally more curious or accepting of human interaction than others, but with the proper techniques, you can earn their friendship. Here are some tips on how to gain your goat's trust and make them like you!
Be aware of your body language
Goats are naturally wary of new humans. To get them to trust you, you need to show them that you are harmless. Use your body language to show that you're not going to hurt them. Don't approach them too quickly, don't stare at them, don't bend over or crouch down near their face, don't touch their horns or head (which they see as aggressive), and stay in one spot while they walk around you. They will quickly become used to you and come to investigate what you're up to.
Learn their sounds
A herd of goats can communicate with each other through their noises. They do this to warn the herd about potential predators, or when they're feeling threatened by someone or something in their environment. When you approach a goat that doesn't trust you yet, it will make these warning sounds to tell the rest of the herd to stay away from you. If you want to earn a goat's trust, learn what these noises sound like so that you know when the herd is being agitated. The sound might be low pitched, high pitched, repetitive, or something else entirely. You'll want to back off if you hear any of these signals so that your presence doesn't make things worse for the animals.
Understand they are prey animals
Many people have trouble gaining their goats trust. This is because goats are prey animals and as such, they are cautious in nature. Here are some tips on how to gain the trust of your goat.
- Do not stare at them for too long, this will make them uncomfortable.
- Avoid making sudden movements around them.
- Always stay calm around your goat; they can pick up on any nervousness you might feel towards them.
-Try petting them or giving treats like grain or animal crackers. A big way to show a goat you like them is by gently scratching their neck.
Never corner or scare them
If you want to gain a goat's trust, never corner or scare them. They will think you are trying to attack them and think of you as a predator to be avoided. Try approaching your goat from the side slowly, and when they back away or look away, stop moving. Depending on how fearful your goat is, this may take several sessions to get close enough to pet them. There are so many more do's and don'ts when it comes to gaining a goats trust that can only be learned by experience!
Never grab at or try to catch them
When it comes to gaining the trust of a goat, they want to feel like they have some control. This means that you should never grab at or try to catch them. Instead, start by standing very still and waiting for them to come over on their own. If they do not come over willingly, take one step toward them with your hand out, palm facing upwards. Let them smell your hand before you pet them.
Act calm and confident
Gain the trust of your goat by doing these things:
-get down on their level in a relaxed posture (not crouching like you're about to pounce)
-don't move too quickly or make sudden movements or loud sounds
-feed them from your hand as an introduction instead of putting food down for them
-talk in a soft, low voice
-always be gentle with them
-once they allow you to pet them, watch for the goat to scratch itself, and then gently scratch the itchy spot for them
-make chewing sounds to pique their curiosity, they will often come over and sniff your face to figure out what you're eating and decide if they want some too
It's worth the effort
It may take time, but the effort to gain a goat's trust will be worth it. In the end, you'll have an animal that trusts you enough to come when called and be excited and happy to see you. And, once you've bonded with your goat in this way, you'll find them very hard not to love. They're so goofy and charming! Knowing their habits makes anticipating what they want easier. They're smart animals who want the same things we want: food, shelter, companionship. As long as you provide all three and follow my do's and don'ts a good relationship will develop naturally over time.
Blazing Bear Homestead