Owning a pygmy goat can be a lot of fun in that you’re able to do many of the activities typically associated with pets like dogs. One of those activities is walking.
So can you walk them on a leash? Yes. When properly trained and put on a leash, pygmy goats are able to be led along the sidewalk or trail just like any other kind of pet.
You just need to be sure that you’re aware of your goat reacts to certain stimuli. How do they feel about passing strangers and cars, for example? While goats are typically friendly towards strangers, if not a little shy, they may have an adverse reaction to loud cars.
Loud sounds and fast-moving objects may startle them. This might make them fight against their leash or buck. If you’re by the goat and it starts bucking, then you could become injured. It’s always a good idea to first try and introduce your goat to loud noises and other triggers that might scare them gradually.
As they become used to it, they’re less likely to buck or kick.
To show just how fun walking your goat can be, Tori Spelling recently took a walk with her son and pet pygmy goat. Looking quite chic in its leash, the goat was well-behaved and looked quite happy walking beside her and her son.
You can enjoy walking your goat along the sidewalk or on a path as well provided that your state or city allows it.
States And Cities Where Walking A Pygmy Goat Is Illegal
Goats are still relatively new to cities. Because of that, some cities may not have a law specifically attributed to goats. However, they do likely have regulations regarding livestock and agricultural animals in general. If the city decides it doesn’t want your goat on your property, then it might cite one of these regulations.
The key thing to note is zoning. A city has several different zoning parameters like livestock, agricultural, domestic animal, and husbandry. If your goat is deemed to fit under ‘livestock,’ then it may not be able to live in a ‘residential zone.’
Or, if you’re selling the cheese or milk from your goat, then it may run into a problem with agricultural selling in a residential zone. Yet this regulation becomes even hazier if the milk or cheese being produced is used for your own personal consumption.
Besides zoning, you also want to check the regulations your city has for animal control. In some cities, for example, goats are actually labeled as a nuisance and aren’t allowed.
Yet there are ways around these regulations sometimes as well. Pygmy goats are often used as care animals. Those who are dealing with PTSD or anxiety can register or a care animal. A pygmy goat may just be your care animal. In this regard, the government can’t take it away.
Yet owning a goat can become even more complicated if you live in a condo or are part of a home owner’s association. Sometimes these regulations prohibit having goats as pets.
To ensure that your goat can live happily with you, you should first start by looking into your city. They may allow goats but may also have conditions. For example, make goats may need to be neutered.
Such is the case with San Diego. They allow the ownership of miniature goats like pygmy goats but require that they are dewormed and that the males are neutered. They also have several other regulations that need to be adhered to.
St. Petersburg FL also allows goats but requires that owners have at least a half-acre to keep them in.
Rio Rancho NM allows goats in their city.
Other cities that allow goats are:
- San Francisco
- Berkeley CA
Is It Difficult To Walk A Pygmy Goat On A Leash?
Just like any animal that you want to lead around with a leash, pygmy goats require training. This means it is possible to leash and walk them around. Because goats are typically sweet-natured, training them isn’t always hard. It requires a lot of patience and dedication.
Goats have a tendency to become scared of certain things like cars or other loud noises. They’re similar to dogs in that if they’re startled, they’ll fight the leash in order to run away to safety. With goats, however, it’s incredibly easy for them to choke themselves with their collar and leash because their instincts to run are extremely high.
Once trained, however, you can easily walk your goat beside you on the sidewalk, in their pen, or on a trail.
How To Train Your Pygmy Goat To Walk On A Leash
Here are a few steps you should follow to train your goat how to walk beside you on a leash.
1. Introduce Them to a Halter
There are a few different ways to leash your goat. Some of the most popular are halter, collar, and harness. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. A halter can control their head and keep them going in the direction that you want to. But it isn’t always the most secure way to move your goat or for them to wear.
A collar can be a bit more comfortable for them to wear. Yet it can also potentially choke them if you’re using the leash to quickly steer them away from trouble.
Finally, a harness can be a comfortable way to guide your goat. Yet it is also extremely difficult to steer your goat if they’re panicking.
As such, the best thing to start training your goat with is a halter.
2. Leave the Halter and Collar On
First, they need to become used to the halter and collar. Leave it on them but never leave them unsupervised. They may get tangled and end up choking themselves.
3. Start to Gently Lead Them Around the Pen
With the collar and harness, gently guide them and call their name sweetly. You want them to come to you and stick close by as you walk around. As they get used to feeling you gently steer them, they’ll become used to walking beside you with the leash.
4. Graduate Outdoors
Once your goat is able to walk comfortably by your side, you can take them out on the sidewalk. Start slowly to see how they handle passing cars and other people. Bring treats to encourage good behavior. With persistent training and patience, your goat will be a walking pro.