Introducing goats and dogs

AndreaS

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Hello everyone!

Yesterday we got our first goats. They are Nigerian Dwarf X Pygmy. Very cute. The Momma is 5 years old and the little buckling is 2 months. They came from a farm that has Corgis. Before we even went out to see them, I asked the girl who was selling them how they do with dogs and she said they were fine. When we went out, their dogs were inside the house so I did not get to witness this myself.

We have 2 dogs, an older Beagle (Sammy, 20lbs) and a 40lb Mutt, Ellen. They are both extremely well behaved dogs. They leave our cats and chickens alone, and they are afraid of our neighbors cows. We've never even had them kill a squirrel or possum, and they aren't into chasing. The beagle is mainly interested in eating the poop of whatever new animal comes around ;)

We got the goats settled in last night in the little gated shelter my husband built for them and hand fed them for awhile to help them get used to us. This morning I brought the dogs out, one at a time so they could smell the goats and see each other through the gate. The dogs both did fine, they didn't even bark- but- Star (Momma goat) was not pleased. She kept head butting the gate when I would bring the dogs by.

Of course I understand that there is a natural predator/prey dynamic at play here, and she will be protective of her baby. I am not worried in the slightest about my dogs causing any harm to the goats, or even bothering them or harassing them like some other dogs might do....I am more worried about Star head butting my dogs and actually hurting them. She is not polled.

I do not intend to just throw them together haphazardly or anything like that. With all of our animals, we always go for very gradual introduction processes with lots of praise and treats involved. I was just wondering if you guys have any tips to help ease the process. Being new to the whole goat thing, I don't have a good handle on what makes them feel safe.

I'll attach a picture below, since I know how we all love pics! it's not very good- this was taken last night when we got them settled in. It was dark, and the little guy was moving around a lot.
Thanks in advance for any helpful advice you can give! - Andrea

IMG_20140602_202525_180 (1).jpg
 

bcnewe2

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Corgis' are a working breed. They people might have used the dogs to move the goats. I would be very careful about letting your dogs in with the goats. She really could hurt them or even kill them easily if the dogs are caught off guard.
Just take your time, keep the dogs outside the gate for now and eventually they will get accustomed to the dogs. Once you see that you can try taking a dog into the pen with you but don't let it go up sniffing till you see the goat relaxed.
Patience is what it will take on all parties part.
It will also help as the younger goat grows. The nanny will get less protective.
 

AndreaS

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Thanks, Kristen! I think we were being a little naive in thinking that because our dogs are so good with other animals everything would be copacetic. Hopefully in time we can have them together, but I am definitely feeling cautious about it right now.
 

bcnewe2

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All Momma's are super protective, even at 2 months if the baby is still nursing. It will work out, just remember patience! :)
To give you an idea of timing and this is without a kid
I brought a single nanny home. I tied her in the barn on a long line casue I wasn't sure if she'd try to escape. My LGD fell in love with her. It took her many weeks of belly crawling and just laying next to the nanny before she'd even think about letting her come in close. I let her roam after the 1st week and she stayed nervous for a few more weeks.
We've had her a couple of month now and she will tolerate that dog but that dog only, with weeks of that dog working on getting herself accepted. Each dog are individual so they have to get to know each one. They might never be friends but they will be comfortable or that's your goal anyways.
 

Pioneer Chicken

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Your new doe and kid could very well have been used to dogs- the dogs that lived on the previous owner's property. They don't know your dogs that well and will just need time to see that it's all good. I bought two does recently; the owner had dogs of different sizes and breeds in and out of both goat pens and they were all quite comfortable with each other. However, when I brought them home, they were (and still are a little ) skittish of my two dogs because they're 'strangers'. I'm sure that with time, they will see my dogs are fine and won't mess with them. Just give it some time. : )
 

AndreaS

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Thank you both for the reassurance! We really were hoping to eventually be able to let the goats and dogs be together in the fence, but of course I am not comfortable risking my dog's safety. We'll give it some time and see how they do. Hopefully the goats will get used to my dogs...they really are such good pups. Ellen, our bigger dog, came over to the gate to the goat pen and when Star got upset she kept making herself small and rolling over on her back yesterday. Star did seems much calmer by the end of the day when she saw the pups through the fence, and the little buckling just looks curious about them :)
 

Fullhousefarm

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Our dogs had learned not to mess with the goats- especially the moms. They have also learned which goats run, and which goats give them the "evil goat eye." Our herd queen most certainly rules the roost and none of the dogs will cross her. Our one Rottie is afraid of the Nigerian Dwarf and won't go around her to come in the back door. Our other Rottie/Lab mix loves baby goats. She soaks them with kisses when they aren't with their mom. LOL. Granted, our goats are all polled or disbudded, so that helps. But, if you let them get used to each other through the fence, then keep them out of tight confined spaces they will develop their own order of things.
 
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