fainting goats

Ninapearl(2aIL)May 13, 2011

i've had goats in the past but never these. i recently decided to add a few goats to the farm, more for pets than anything else. there is a breeder not far from me who has several youngsters for sale.

i have 3 great danes. they are all very gentle. however, they are also extremely playful. until recently, i had 2 miniature horses. the dogs and horses played tag constantly, horses INside the fence, dogs running up and down OUTside. most often, the little horses started these games of tag and their enjoyment was obvious. the dogs were NEVER allowed inside the dry lot with the horses.

my question is this...i know these goats "faint" due to being startled. would they get used to the dogs running and barking or would this sort of thing be too stressful for them?

i don't want it to sound like i want to put little goats out there for my dogs to terrorize, quite the contrary. i know my dogs would never hurt them...i just don't know if it would be too much for the goats.


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Depends on the goats, depends on the dogs.

Don't assume your dogs will not harm the goats, pack mentality can set in, and remember peoples FiFi's kill more livestock than any wolf ever did.

Having said that, does the current owner run LGD's (livestock guardian dogs) with their herd? Are the goats acclimated to dogs?

Every new lgd owner goes through the exposure/introductory period. Not every goat has had a guardian and the first is always stressful until they know the guardian will not harm them and they are there to protect them. So if all goes as planned it won't be an issue.

Now, great danes are NOT livestock guardians. They will not know how to posture themselves to seem less of a threat, so the introduction period will take longer.

If your danes do not harrass and chase the goats, ever, they should be fine after a week or so introductory period. Just like any other farm dog they should basically ignore the goats. If they harrass/chase/nip the goats, then yes the goats can be chased right to their death, and it has nothing to do with fainting. Where the fainting would come into play is if one faints, and a dane decides to gut the goat alive while they are down (pack mentality).

It would be better if you got adult goats who will teach the danes (hopefully) that goats are not play toys, a good solid butt in the head *should* stop any irrational behavior on a single dog.

Depends on the goats, depends on the dogs.

p.s. a dog that harrasses stock has no business being on a farm. There WILL be deaths sooner or later. The exception is a puppy in training to curb/cease that urge.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:05PM
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thanks for your reply, brendasue. i don't know if these goats are used to dogs and of course, that will be on my list of questions, right at the top.

my dogs have been around other livestock (little horses, big horses, cattle) and while they are playful, they know "leave it!" and i never have to tell them more than once. their interactions with my horses were strictly play, never harassment. that is something that i simply would not allow.

i do not intend for my dogs to interact with the goats unless i am right there. they are not allowed inside the fence, period, under any circumstances.

if i do end up with young goats, intros will be done with dogs on leash for as long as it takes for the dogs to "get used" to the idea of new residents. :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:09AM
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Good thinking. Introduce them outside the pasture, let the dogs see those goats are "yours" and hopefully they will understand.

Good luck

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 8:09PM
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