Can Boer Goats Be Herded?

LEOtheLion

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We are getting a few Boer goats, approx. 5-7, and we have a Shetland Sheep dog (a.k.a Sheltie) who is approx. 30 lbs. My wife used to have goats and said hers would die or fainting too much or having a heart attack if dogs tried to herd them but I have talked to friends who have other goats and they said their sheepdogs don't bother with their goats or their goats just run to where their dog is trying to herd them, without dying of course.

My question is this, will Boer goats have a heart attack, faint, and/or die if my dog attempts to herd them?
 

goatgurl

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no they won't. perhaps did your wife have mytonic goats which stiffen and appear to "faint" if they are afraid.
 

OneFineAcre

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Not an expert on herding dogs or boer goats for that matter.

But, I do know one thing. Even though your Sheltie is a herding breed if it is not trained, then there is a fine line between herding and chasing.

Goats don't need to herded, just for the sake of being herded.

A herding dog is required in a large area to move the herd from point A to point B.
 

madcow

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Goats can't be herded, but they can be led. If the dog could learn to single out the herd queen and teach her to follow the dog all the rest of the herd will follow her wherever you need. Not certain if that can be done, however. I agree with OneFineAcre, there is a fine line between herding and chasing.
 

goatgurl

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many, many years ago i had a herd of French alpines and an Australian shepherd dog. he would try to herd the goats and they would turn around and fight him. they were upset at his audacity to try to tell them what to do and he was very frustrated that they wouldn't listen to him. it took me a while to teach him to leave them alone. i gave him his own rooster to herd instead. way funny to watch and he never once hurt the rooster. totally agree with madcow and onefineacre, there really is a fine line between herding and chasing. your sheltie needs to be trained not to chase or herd the goats without your express command. give him another job. they have that base instinct that needs to be worked
 

Queen Mum

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Goats are followers. They will follow the leader. I walk and my goats follow. All of them in a line. That's what pack goats do. It is very simple. They follow the leader of the pack string. Ask any pack goat leader.

My goats also, on the other hand, also follow my dog everywhere.

BUT, goat herders also use dogs for their herds to bring up the stragglers in the rear.

People who use goats for clearing use dogs as well. Not sure how they trailer them but I think they use a lead goat.
 

bcnewe2

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My dogs will work anything, from quinea's to cattle but goats are not always easy to keep in a group. Sometimes it's hard to keep them together. It also takes a stronger dog to work most goats. Not all but most.
And One fine acre is spot on. Chasing any livestock can eventually lead to some sort of death. Either stress or running into a fence or mauling, whatever. If you aren't planning on working and training your dog I wouldn't just do it for the sake of trying it.
It also takes dog breaking your goats, which means getting the goats or whatever livestock you are planning on moving with a dog to move off and respect a dog. If you just throw a dog in with animals that have never seen a working dog it will cause everything much stress. They could go after the dog or the dog could bite them out of frustration of them not repecting the dog.
It takes a trained dog to dog break anything. Using much control on the dogs part, hence the need for a trained dog.
I have never heard of any goat unless it's not ever been worked by a dog that would just fall over dead. Maybe fainting goats would give that impression and I'm not sure if you can work fainting goats as I don't see how you'd dog break them without having a bunch of fainted goats laying around confusing the dog.
 
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