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Do Goats and Dogs Get Along? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Visnja Radosavljevic

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

Do Goats and Dogs Get Along? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Dogs can be great companions for people living in the countryside who have livestock, including goats. While some keep them as pets, others use them as guardians, which is why it’s essential that they get along with other animals around them. If you have goats and are thinking about getting a dog, you’re probably wondering how they’ll get along.

The truth is that goats are typically afraid of dogs because they’re prey animals in the wilderness, whereas dogs are predatory animals. However, if you introduce the animals properly at a young age, they should get along quite well.

Keep reading to learn more about how goats react to dogs and how you can get your goat and dog to get along.

Do Goats Get Along With Dogs?

Goats and dogs are entirely distinct animals with different temperaments, natures, and reactions. Goats are prey animals, while dogs are predatory animals.

Because of this, a goat’s first reaction to a dog would probably be fear. On the contrary, some dogs would probably chase after the goat, which could scare it even more. Before introducing your dog to your goat, you should know more about their nature and possible reactions.

How Dogs See Goats

As predatory animals, dogs have the instinct to chase and hunt. They’re always looking for something interesting to chase, and a goat running around could be the perfect target. Knowing how your dog will react will help you with the proper training and introduction between the two animals.

saint bernard and a little goat
Image Credit: pangrea, Pixabay

How Goats See Dogs

As prey animals, goats will typically get scared of dogs and get an urge to flee. Because of their nature, goats are always on alert for possible threats. If they consider the dog dangerous, they’ll likely run away. Since goats are afraid of dogs, you need to help your goat understand that the dog doesn’t represent a threat.

How To Train Your Dog and Goat To Get Along

Training your dog and goat to get along takes a lot of patience and time. Instead of rushing things, allow the introduction to flow naturally.

Here are some helpful tips that will help your goat and dog to learn how to be near each other:

  • If possible, introduce the animals at a young age
  • For the first introduction, it’s best to keep your dog on a leash; this will prevent possible chasing and accidents
  • You could also make the first introduction through a fence to ensure safety
  • Make a routine to allow the animals to meet every day at the same time with you there until the animals are comfortable when together
  • Reward your dog when it behaves properly around your goat

Can Dogs Hurt Goats?

While most dogs are typically smaller than goats, they can still take a goat down, so you should ensure they’re properly protected. That means they should have adequate fencing to increase safety and prevent predators from reaching them.

dog in a fence
Image By: birgl, Pixabay

Are There Any Dog Breeds You Should Keep Away From Goats?

Any dog is a potential threat to goats. However, some breeds may pose an increased risk:

  • Hunting dogs (Bloodhound, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Foxhound, etc.)
  • Herding dogs (Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Bearded Collie, etc.)

Hunting Dogs

Dog breeds designed for hunting are probably not the best option for people with goats. These dogs may not be able to see the goats as anything else but prey animals. While that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be aggressive toward your goats, it’s still a possibility.

Herding Dogs

Dog breeds that herd livestock typically have the instinct to chase the livestock around, and while they may be great for cows, it’s great not for goats. These dogs may not hurt your goats, but they could easily become frightened if a dog chases them.

Regardless of the breed, try to observe how your dog behaves around your goats to determine if it represents a possible threat. If you notice strange behavior, it’s best to separate the animals to ensure their safety.

bloodhound dog lying on the ground
Image By: Degtyaryov Andrey, Shutterstock

Can Goats Hurt Dogs?

Goats commonly try to run away when they face predators, including dogs. However, not all goats are the same, and if your goat has a feisty temperament, it might charge at the dog. If this happens, the best thing you can do is separate the animals to prevent them from getting injured.

Can Dogs Be Livestock Guardians for Your Goats?

While chasing is commonly the first instinct when dogs see goats, they could also become livestock protectors if you properly train them. Adequate training can help your dogs see goats as one of their own and therefore do anything to protect them and keep them safe.

miniature schnauzer sniffing dwarf nigerian goat
Image By: Debra Anderson, Shutterstock

Conclusion

Dogs and goats can become great friends. However, it’s all about how you introduce them. Remember that the process might take time, and don’t rush things. Being patient will allow the animals to get comfortable with each other at their own pace.


Featured Image Credit: Ginner_Q, Pixabay

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