Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clicker Training a Goat

I love clicker training.  I use it to train all my dogs and puppies.  It's an amazing tool, but I have to admit I've never considered using it to train my goats.   At least not until I saw this video.  

Hang in there with this video until 2 min.  If you've ever trained a dog you'll appreciate this.

I've had such amazing success with dogs using a  clicker that I don't have to be sold on it's value as a training tool.  It's what they use at places like Sea World to train the marine animals and was introduced to dog trainers by a  former Sea World trainer, Karen Pryor.   She has a number of books out on the subject and I've seen her speak at an Association of Pet Dog Trainers conference.   Most dog trainers are using clicker or some variation of positive reinforcement training  methods these days and I've heard it said a good dog trainer should be able to train another species other than dogs using clicker if their worth their salt.   But it just never entered my mind to try training the goats.

I can see this being a great tool to teach proper milk stand behavior or to teach a young goat to walk on  lead.   With puppies, they get it so quickly.  I would imagine it would be the same with a kid.  They're like little sponges.  I've wanted to do some packing with my goats and this could be a wonderful tool for that as well.  

I can't wait to try it.   So what did you think?



  1. Great post. I don't know anything about clicker training. I need to do some research on the idea. We need to teach our puppy sme things. She wants to please.

  2. I found the video fascinating but then I also have a kennel and another blog on my Tibetan Terriers. Training dogs is a big part of my life. I've even taught obedience classes at my local veterinarian's office for a while so wasn't sure if it was because of my involvement already with training or if others would also think it was pretty cool and a feat to be able to train a goat.

  3. I LOVE clicker training. One of my dogs is clicker trained and it really helped with his training. Unfortunately, our other dog is TERRIFIED of the clicker. We've tried working with her, but no go. She hears it and completely shuts down and rolls into a ball in the corner or behind/under whatever furniture she can get to the quickest. Our trainer thought that maybe her previous owner used a shock collar on her that clicks before it shocks her and that's why she acts that way. She's incredibly sensitive, so it makes sense.

  4. Some dogs are incredibly sensitive to sounds like the clicker. When I'm working with one like that I just substitute the word yes where ever I would have clicked. I normally use yes along with the click anyway so I can reinforce a behavior even if I don't have a clicker with me.

  5. Our goats are leash trained and Sara does a great job of herding them. They are such attention hounds that I don't think I would ever be able to get one off by itself long enough for training.

  6. My goats are great on the milkstand and walk on a lead as well. And they don't like being apart from each epecially when they aren't the one on the recieving end of the attention either.

    Still I embrace any tool that makes communicating better with the animals. I have found with the dogs and puppies, when I begin any kind of training with them at all there is a bonding that happens that otherwise wouldn't have regardless of what it is you train them to do. Or maybe it's better described as a depth of bonding.

    When our buck kid arrives next spring I will be using it with him for sure though. He will weigh between 160 - 200 lbs as an adult so training while young and small seems prudent.

  7. Love the clicker training video. I've used clicker training with my dog but don't know how to go about it with my goats. I'm aving trouble separating the goats for training. They bleat and are disturbed because of being separated from the herd. Can you train them as a group? I would think that multiple behaviors and clicks could get pretty mixed up...


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