Goats and dogs together?

PotterWatch

My Patronus is a Chicken
11 Years
Apr 22, 2008
5,470
33
288
Virginia
So we have been looking into getting a couple goats and until now I have overlooked a potential problem...our two dogs. Can you keep dogs and goats together or is that just asking for a dead goat? If my dogs do well with my chickens, should they do well with my goats? Is there any way I can tell if this will work before I get goats? I don't want to get them and then find out my dogs will kill them. I don't really have a way for each to have their own area (the goats will have their own shelter area that is gated so the dogs can't get in and goats can't get out, but not enough room for them to be day in and day out). This may end up being a deal-breaker, but I hope not. I really, really want some goats.
 

unclejoe

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
46
1
21
Dillsburg, Pa
We have 3 dogs that run with our 4 goats. We have never had a problem. One dog is a border collie that wants to herd them. The other two are blue heelers. They all like to get the goats running around but have never "attacked" them. Maybe it would depend on the type of dog you have.
This is just our experience.
 

tressiah

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
73
0
29
Beecher, Il
I have a large dumb lab mix, who wants to chase and harrass our nubian girls. Finally, Lucy, the goat, turned and head-butted the dog ! It was so funny !
. Now, It's hard for us to get the goats back into the barn after a romp if Trace ( the dog) is out !
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
239
421
SW Arkansas
Many told me I'd have to have two goats so that they wouldn't get lonely, but a second goat wasn't an option for me. My SO regularly threatens the one we have with barbeque.
The goat does just fine with our border collie for company and he plays equally well with our inside dog, a wolfhound mix.
 

Akane

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
4,654
51
251
Depends on your dogs and depends on your training ability. Some dogs would ignore goats. Some dogs might play nicely with them. Some dogs chase livestock. Usually it's partially from poor handling and definitely from lack of training. Any dog could be trained to leave livestock alone if you know how and put in the time.
 

mizauntcathy'shenhouse

Songster
11 Years
Sep 18, 2008
148
3
109
Huntsville, TX
We have two livestock guard dogs (one guards the goats the other us) and two small dogs that think they are "big" farm dogs. They all get along, but there's no guarantee that all dogs will take to goats. Good luck.
 

toddntiff

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 10, 2008
68
1
41
New Mexico
I am struggling with this right now. My shepherd/lab mix actually chased one of the babies and had her neck in her mouth. It terrified me and I nearly sent the dog to the pound that instant. We aren't really sure what to do. We don't live on "land" where we can separate the animals so this is a real dilema moving forward. We haven't let them be together without a fence between them since, but the dog will bark at the goats and when we first open the back door she bolts to the fence and barks at them...I'm really concerned about it. Do you think this is a sign that I might not have peace around here and need to choose between the animals?
 

MagsC

Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
4,616
12
231
Minnesota
When we lived in Texas and had goats, our dogs were with them with no problems. As stated though, it depends on the dog and your training ability. I guess the goat as well!
 

Akane

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
4,654
51
251
Whenever adding new animals you should keep the dog on a leash until they learn proper manners. When I first got my puppy I had her leashed 24/7 and tied to me. I'd just loop the leash over my leg, arm, or tie it around my waist. She was always within reach and under control until she learned not to chase things and to handle the smaller animals nicely. That is what I would suggest be your first move if your having trouble with a dog and other animals on your property. The trick is not to let bad behavior start. If you don't want your dog to chase something then don't ever let them chase it. Not even while on opposite sides of a fence. The second they show a desire to get them under control, turn their attention off the animal, and keep them that way until they have proven they will behave. Eventually you will have a dog that will just freeze every time they see something they want to chase and wait for you to tell them what to do. You can also teach a sit or down every time they get interested in something and you will have a dog that puts themselves in a sit/down when they get excited.

If all else fails an electric collar used properly will get through to even the most prey driven stubborn dogs. I kept one on my akita while transitioning from leash to running loose with the wildlife, horses, barn cats, and now chickens around. It makes a good backup or warning. All I have to do is tap the tone button which only makes a beeping sound and she immediately turns off of whatever animal and comes to my side. The only time I have to use the shock on the collar is when I fail to get her attention before she zones in on something. I've been debating some way to put a beeper on her instead but for now I'm trying to train the beep to coincide with a silent whistle.
 

Chickerdoodle13

The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
6,820
382
331
Phoenix, AZ
Our dog is a red heeler and he's always wanted to chase the goats. When he was little, we would let him "play" with the goats all the time. He would get tired quickly and sometimes the goats would even try to play back and herd HIM. However, after awhile he started actually trying to bite the goats' legs and one time when we weren't watching he bit one hard and drew some blood (The goat wasn't injured and the one little puncture wound healed within a couple of days). While we definitely did not accept biting of the ankles, we didn't want to discourage him from chasing the goats, as he is great at herding them to and from their pen. It's almost impossible to move them without the dog around.

Anyways, after a little bit of training he realized he can nip at them, but NOT bite. He is not allowed inside the goats' pen unless we give him permission and he knows this. He's usually very good at listening to us when we tell him to stop herding them. However, I don't think I would trust him in the pen with them alone.

As the others have said, it depends on the dog, the dog's breed, and how much training you are willing to put into them. If you have any doubt in your mind about the dog's trustworthiness, I would take the road of caution and just keep them separate.
 

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