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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm currently "renting" some goats from a friend to clear my back yard of all sorts of plants that happened before I moved in. I've tried to weed whack, prune, poison... to no avail. So my friend Terry said "use goats"! I drove two of his little ladies down this morning and got them set up in the back yard. They have their own little pen for night time but have the run of the yard while I'm off at work. Of course, I'd never leave them unattended with my dogs, but I had to see what my kids would do with them. I have two that passed their Herding Instinct Test with flying colors and two that worked on a sport horse farm with me, but none of them had ever seen goats without a fence between them. The results were intriguing and hilarious. I figured I'd share!

Miah (GSD) was spayed on Wednesday, so she wasn't allowed to have too much fun. She trotted into the back yard and saw the goats munching away. She did her herding duty and circled around them until they bolted, at which time she gallivanted after them. She didn't touch them, but wagged after them and kept getting them to move. I was impressed.

It's Red's (labradoodle) 5th birthday, so he got to have most of the fun. He's not to be trusted with small livestock, so I was out there with my herding cane. He had way too much fun with the poor ladies. Lucky they're familiar with dogs. He kept wanting to lick them and he loved it when they bolted. He seemed very upset that he wasn't allowed to bowl them over.

Lexi (GSD) was the star by a long-shot. She noticed them from afar and went into a very impressive crouch. She circled as well, and for a dog that has only seen a few sheep and never been H.I.T. she certainly channeled her breed all right. She moved them slowly and efficiently, and always towards me. Neither goat ever bolted. I was extremely impressed. I'll definitely get her in the herding paddock next time we're at a show that offers it. She came off them easily when called but stayed alert to them. She got to be in the yard while I was arranging their little pen and doing some yard cleaning.

Zach (GSD)... well, he has prey drive like you wouldn't believe and he's still unreliable with his recall so he got to meet the goats once they were safely in their pen. The pen is pretty far back in the yard, so he made his sniff and pee rounds for a while before he noticed the new fence. He crept over, saw the goats, and lost his mind. Bounce, bark, paw, dance, stare, dance, paw... how embarrassing! The goats just looked at him like he was crazy. He went around the pen trying to find a way in.

They've since been in the yard all together and they all sure do spend a lot of time around the goat pen. I'll be interested to see how long it takes before they normalize and become 'another part of the yard'. I know horses were 'novel' for about three days when I worked at the sport horse farm, then they were boring. But goats are so much more fun, I'm sure it will take longer.

It's surprising to me to see just how encoded their jobs are. Lexi grew up in suburban Savannah, GA and didn't see a single livestock animal until she was 10 months old. She's never been to training, never tried 'herding' kids or anything like that. I was just very impressed. I'm reminded often why I'm driven to this breed, even though I have had some difficulties recently.

Anyway, just wanted to share our day. I'm sure we'll have more goat-related hilarity as time passes. I'm scheduled to keep the goats 'until they've done their job' (according to Terry) so they may be here a week, a month, or six months... that all depends on them! In the meantime I just have to remember to put up their little Goat Block when they're back in their pen. I don't figure dogs should go licking it, even though it is berry flavored. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #3
are the goats eating the weeds that you sprayed with poison?
Oh my gosh, really? I post a light-hearted story and this forum manages to pick out the only criticism? That's so ill of you, what a downer.

NO, of course not. This was months and months ago, when I first moved in. It's rained many times. I wouldn't even let my dogs out in the yard while I was treating it.

OK, what else you got? Come on, I'll play with you. Let go.
 

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Goats! What a great idea. Practice for herding and getting rid of weeds at the same time. I find it interesting that the one with no experience herded automatically - GSD's are so great! Have fun. I wish I had room for an experiment like that. I have to admit I know nothing about goats though - was raised with horses.
 

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Oh my gosh, really? I post a light-hearted story and this forum manages to pick out the only criticism? That's so ill of you, what a downer.

NO, of course not. This was months and months ago, when I first moved in. It's rained many times. I wouldn't even let my dogs out in the yard while I was treating it.

OK, what else you got? Come on, I'll play with you. Let go.
I wouldn't get too worked up, it is a great story. The poison part caught my attention too, i think its safe to give some the benefit of the doubt though. Lexi sounds impressive and you have to appreciate the humor in Zachs behavior, i love it when my dog clown it up.
 

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That sounds great. I'd love a chance to see if Lisl could do that without being trained.

Goats and sheep are hard to come by around these parts and I don't think any farmers would let her at their cattle.
 

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Don't take doggie dad to seriously, he is tongue in cheek. He tries to be no nonsense, but I know better.

What an awesome story. How cool for your pack. I love the labradoddle that wants to bowl them over. Fiona has a friend at training that is a labradoddle and that is how she plays with Fiona.


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