Many people believe that goats were domesticated even before the dog. Why? Goats are naturally very social and affectionate and respond well to human attention. They are herd animals and with my goats since I spend so much time out in the fields with them I am considered part of the herd. They will lay down next to me to take a nap in the sun and most of the time will follow me wherever I go.
There is the stigma of a bad odor where goats are concerned. This cannot be further from the truth. Goats are very clean animals and do not smell, even when wet.
Intact male goats are the only ones that have an odor. And this is when it is breeding time and they are trying to impress the girls. I put my boys in with the girls from October to January and from July to September I separate them to avoid having winter babies. When they are separate from the girls they do not smell at all.
In my experience neutered males make the best pets. They tend to be calmer than intact males and even the females. When someone tells me they are buying goats for pets, I usually recommend a neutered male. Especially if the goats are for a child. Our sweetest, best pets have been neutered males. When I had just one breeding male I kept a neutered male in with him for company.
When you get a goat for a pet, it is ideal to get them young. I wean ours at about 8 weeks of age. When someone takes the baby at that age, they usually attach very quickly to the person caring for them since they have just been separated from their momma.
You can teach your goat to do many different tricks. We teach most of ours to walk on leashes before they are sold. They can also learn to jump through a hoop (a hoola hoop is great for this). Shaking hands, standing on their back legs and walking (or dancing), playing a child size toy piano, bowing or even pulling a cart or carrying your pack are all things that goats have been taught.
Too Cute!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Goats are adorable especially when they are babies. When they grow up they make great, loving pets. It is best to have at least two since they are herd animals. There are exceptions of course as in all pets. Some goats I have are not very fond of attention but most are like a pet dog. They will follow you everywhere and will beg for treats. The more time you spend with them the more rewards you will get. Shelters can be as simple as a dog house. I use dog houses, wooden shelters and a small barn for my goats. They will always begin talking when a car pulls in the driveway. No one can sneak into our yard! They are like watchdogs when it comes to letting us know company is here.
They are very good with children. We have people that bring their kids over to play with our goat kids. We have a bottle baby that lived in our house for several months who gets so excited when my grandson comes in the field to play with him. As soon as he sees him he comes running over and they start running and chasing each other around, just kids playing.
Cute Babies That Grow Into Great PetsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Baby goats are adorable, but adult goats are just as cute and fun. When they get excited they will run and hop down the hill with us and act just like babies. When grown their personalities are very well defined. We have quite a few characters in the herd. Of course we have the lead female. She is the boss of the herd, eats first and keeps all the others in line. There is a second lead girl that will help her with the herd. Then you of course have the class clown, the serious one, the quiet one, etc. They have their own hierarchy in the herd and everyone has their place. They are fascinating to watch. There are many days I will sit in one of the lawn chairs I keep in their pen (if they are not occupied by a goat) and just watch them for hours. They are a joy to be around.