Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This week I have been working with Donald, and two other LaMancha weathers. They are all three months old, and so full of energy and love. I am always amazed at how smart they are. They have been walking on the leash with me every night, and are doing wonderful. We take different trails all the time, and the new sounds, sites, and smells don't bother them at all.

Teaching them to walk on the leash is very easy. First let me say, NEVER LET A GOAT DRAG A LEASH IF YOU ARE NOT RIGHT WITH THEM, AND NEVER TETHER A GOAT UNLESS YOU ARE RIGHT WITH THEM. Having said that, every time we feed the babies are let out. They follow us around and munch on weeds. For us the first part of teaching them to walk on a leash is to let them drag one for two or three feedings. We NEVER leave them unattended. When they realize that the leash is not evil I pick it up. They usually balk at the pressure of the leash. That's where the treat comes in. I hold the treat out a bit in front of them so they have to walk to get it. Then I turn and walk again, when they balk I give another taste of treat. It only takes a couple times and they figure out that if they follow you they get something good. After they are following for several yards, I offer them a treat and a love. From there, it's just practice several times a week for a few minutes, or take walks.

Donald acts like walking on the leash is wonderful, he gets to taste things that aren't common in our yard. The other two weathers wait to see what Donald is eating before they sample it.
They are all following me or walking beside me, and don't make any effort to be in front of me. I really like for them to stay behind me, and am very pleased with how well they walk on the leash. The reason I like them behind me is simple, I don't want to trip over them and one or both of us getting hurt. That's why I teach them to stay behind me.

All three of the boys are jumping onto a platform to get a treat, and I've been working with them to get up when their name is called. I hope that by the end of the week they will be jumping up as soon as I tell them too. When they are proficient at jumping on the platform I will ask them to jump on something higher until they are jumping in the truck with ease. I'll write more on that over the weekend, along with how I teach them to do the trick.
I have discovered that by teaching one of the boys the new task the others learn much faster. I have been taking turns teaching either Donald or the slowest learner the new task. It works so wonderfully!!!! The others see what he just did, and are happy to do the same for the treat. I also work individually with them during the day to help reinforce the trick, as well as working with them in a group

I am having so much fun working with these guys, it is turning out to be really good exercise for me as well as the goats.

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