Goats as Pets (Part 2)
by Gary Pfalzbot
About the Author
More On The Subject of House Training - while it certainly may not be practical to let a goat in the house, many people do. It basically depends upon your lifestyle. A goat has to use the bathroom perhaps more frequently than other pets. Whether or not they can be trained to do so according to your needs is debatable. However, training a goat is not entirely out of the question. I refer here to the case of Pavlov's Salivating Dogs. The dogs knew that if the bell rang they were about to be fed and salivated in anticipation. The same holds true for goats (minus the salivation); they know and anticipate if you are going to feed them goat treats. They will respond to food. They will also negatively respond to commotion and loud noise by bolting and running (minus the Fainting Goat breed). If a person were to work consistently one on one with a goat, perhaps it can be trained to a point to use the bathroom in a specific area rather than at will. However, it must be stressed that taking time to do so might greatly reduce the pleasure factor you will dervie from having a goat as an indoor pet.
"So my pet goat is not going to be a house pet. What does that mean?" Well actually it means quite a few things. You certainly will want to have a place to keep your goat that will be his or her home. Having a goat outdoors is easier as it sounds as goats tend to wander around a bit. Not to say that a goat will run away from home. But a goat (or herd of goats) will tend to always be on the hunt for new and tastier food. They rarely stay in the same place for more than a minute or two as food dominates their movements. While it is true that goats eat "alot" of things, they won't eat everything. Goats too have limitations on what they can and cannot eat. Your neighbors garden as well as yours is certainly not excluded!
This being said, it's a good idea to have an area fenced where your goat or goats can freely travel. Fencing for goats is not an easy task either. Just about any goat owner you talk to will tell you. There's a definite trial and tribulation period one must endure to keep a goat sectioned to one area. Perhaps the best and most reliable fence is the chain link fence arrangement (certainly a very expensive arrangement as well). Many persons who raise goats not only for pets, but as a business have elected to use electric fencing, cattle panel, or hog wire fencing. Erected properly, these arrangements will keep your goat out of your neighbor's gardens and you in good standing with the city social club.
I'd like to point out as well to potential goat owners that while a goat can be easily trained to be led by a leash, tying a goat on leash and leaving it unattended is just asking for trouble. Every goat that I have ever owned or dealt with reacted negatively to being tied and either managed to wrap themselves in the rope, or let their dislike for being tied known by loudly bleating until they were let loose. So for all intents and purposes, let the goat roam free within the boundaries you set. While others may have had some amount of success with tying out a goat, my experience has led to tradgedy more often than not.