Has anyone clicker trained a goat? Wait, is CosMonster actually posting pictures?
So, I'm looking for something relaxing and fun to do with my critters, and I've decided it would be fun to teach my goat crew tricks. Or anyway, it would be fun to teach Ollie and Lucky tricks, Pumbaa is still just in the "making friends" stage with me.
So, has anyone ever done something like that? What did you teach them and how? I'm leaning towards clicker training because it seems like it would be perfect for their little attitudes, but I'm open to other suggestions.
Kind of a weird thread I guess, but it gets too dark to ride early still but I have good yard lights around the goat pen.
edited to add: pictures are linked in post 11
Last edited by CosMonster; Jan. 17, 2012 at 12:39 AM.
There is a Yahoo group on teaching goat tricks. It's not very active but the other day someone was talking about teaching their goats to jump up on things on command. I have not tried teaching my goats anything but walking nicely on a lead. I should try some tricks.
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Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
We had a goat for a mascot at polo club I was in in college. One of the girls in the club's family raised dairy goats and seeing as how he wouldn't be good for that, he came to us.
He was pretty awesome and knew all kinds of stupid tricks. He'd sit, shake, jump up on things, come when called (to some people...the ones who were known to either feed or play with him). He knew how to "count" (if you tapped your foot, he'd paw). He played this headbutting game with one of the guys in the club. He'd put on a polo helmet and headbutt the goat. Bob was not a particularly small goat either. His head was about waist high.
We did a fundraiser where we stood out on one of the golf courses and directed parking for the football games. It got boring after a while...so we taught Bob tricks.
I've never taught the goats anything more then how to knock the feed bucket out of my hands :P.
But, goats can definitely be taught to pull little carts around, just don't put anything edible in it or you won't get far .
According to everyone that's met him one of our boys, Diego, gets accolades for just being a well behaved and very friendly goat while he's out visiting (a.k.a. the vet's office). He'd make a great therapy goat .
My cousin's wife clicker-trained their two dairy goats. From talking to her, it sounds like she basically just treated them like dogs for the purposes of training them. It worked, and they don't mug her for treats (instead they do tricks to beg :P).
I have a couple of goats who would probably do real well, if I picked that kind of thing back up. They are very intelligent. That's goats for you, you get some dumb ones, some smart ones, some motivated ones, some lazy ones. Just like dogs.
Now I'm just contented with teaching them to walk on the lead and get on the stand when I ask.
Although my herd queen has learned to drink soda from the can.
Ok, I started today with just "charging" the clicker and doing a "touch" command. I'm kind of combining horse and dog training here. Big Ollie picked it up right away. Lucky was a bit more distracted, and kept deciding to head butt me rather than touch the object I was holding out.
It's funny, my ranch hand and I were talking last night about how much more aware and observant Ollie seems to be. The hand lives here in a studio above my garage, and he was talking about how when the goats are out in the yard and he goes out onto his balcony, Ollie always looks right at him then looks around for other things that might be above him. The other two (who are siblings) are totally oblivious. I've also noticed Ollie looking at the dogs through the windows when I'm inside with the dogs and the goats are loose in the yard (otherwise the dogs are confined to windowless rooms and/or crates since the Hector incident some of you may remember).
OTOH though Lucky is the instigator in the myriad escapes we have suffered. The goat pen is a solid wall into the yard, but sort of cobbled together out of chicken wire and mesh fencing on the horse pasture side, and frequently I've found them out in the pasture. When I put them back in their pen Lucky is the first to start nosing at her previous escape, plus Ollie was never any trouble and frequently I find poor Pumbaa still stuck in the pen when Ollie and Lucky have escaped (Pumbaa has full horns, Ollie is disbudded and Lucky's are much smaller which is why I think Pumbaa sometimes has trouble escaping). Because of that and the fact that we never had escapes when it was just the Olivers, I think she's the troublemaker.
It's interesting. I don't really think Lucky and Pumbaa are less intelligent than Ollie, but it seems to manifest in different ways.
FWIW if anyone has any insight breed-wise, Ollie is a registered Nigerian Dwarf and Pumbaa and Lucky are both generic pygmies, white with black lines on their faces and big curving horns if that means anything. I still need to post pictures....
Oh wait...can it be...pictures!
Lucky's Close Up (Pumbaa was never far from her at this point; his horns and part of his face is in the corner, Lucky is unfortunately blurry because I was still getting the hang of a new camera)