Do Pygmy Goats Get Along With Dogs?

Do Pygmy Goats Get Along With Dogs

As a dog owner who also keeps pygmy goats, your concern as to whether your pygmy goats get along with dogs is well-placed. Goats need to be kept separate from dogs. Probably with a sturdy fencing being installed and checked regularly. Wild dogs, generally, and coyotes are a danger to keep around a pygmy goat.

Of course, there have been stories of goats and dogs raised in amicable harmony. However, even the best-behaved and raised dog needs constant supervision whenever a goat is around or involved. Moreso when we are talking about a goat as morsel-sized as the pygmy goat.

Despite the danger that dogs pose to goats, there are exceptions. Not all dogs pose a grave danger to your pygmy goats. This post will open your eyes to a few dog breeds that will bond beautifully with your pygmy goat

Note: Goats are naturally prey animals

It is very important to know that a goat is naturally a prey animal, being situated toward the bottom of the food chain. Goats are ruminants and their body is adapted to collect and store a lot of food quickly. They also regurgitate especially when they’ve found a safe place to rest.

Survival is encoded into her genes just like in every other animal. A pygmy goat faced with a predator will always choose to “run for dear life” than to stand and “fight” In the wild especially, canines (dogs inclusive) are a goat’s primary predator. This feral predator/prey relationship can always resurface, even in the most domesticated pairing of dogs and goats.

Dogs to Consider Having Along With Pygmy Goats                                                     

Guardian dogs

Despite the danger that dogs pose to goats, an exception exists: A properly-trained guardian dog such as a Great Pyrenees or Anatolian shepherd has been found to serve as a protector rather than a threat to pygmy goats.

These breeds have had the predator-prey connection bred out of them. This is replaced with an instinct to protect the animal nature made by their prey. These breeds are trained to fight off anything and are suggested for pygmy goat owners if compulsory you must own a dog along with your pygmy goat.

The Two Breeds

Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is said to have been bred to be independent and forceful, being responsible for guarding its master’s flocks without human assistance or direction. However, these traits make it challenging as a pet. So, owners of dogs of this breed must socialize the dogs very well to turn them into appropriate companions. They are of high quick cognitive capacity and can learn quickly, but might choose not to obey, sometimes.

Great Pyrenees

In nature, the Great Pyrenees is confident, gentle (especially with children) and affectionate. While raised for home defense, it is also defensive of its flock or family when necessary. Its general non-verbal behavior is of composure, patience and loyalty. It can be a strong-willed, independent and reserved breed.

It can also be very attentive, quite fearless and loyal to its duties. The Great Pyrenees protects its flock by barking and, being nocturnal, tends to bark at night unless trained against such behavior.

Yes! Pygmy Goats Get Along With Dogs: 5 Steps to Introducing a Dog to Your Goats

  • Use a fenced enclosure to separate your dog from the goats. The pygmy goats are to be allowed to adapt to the environment first. The dogs should be able to see the goats through the fence and also observe the goats’ behavior.
  • Pay close attention to know which of the dogs growl(s) at the goats, which one seems afraid of the goats, and anyone that would want to chase the goats even while separated by the fence. Deliberately reprove your dogs for any objective behavior they display towards the pygmy goats.
  • When you observe the animals now don’t pay attention to each other, then allow your dogs to enter the goat enclosure under your supervision. Put your dog kennels inside the goat enclosure and guide the dogs into the kennels. The both animals will interact with each other while being separated by the kennel. Do this for several hours each day until the both animals have comfortably accepted one another.
  • Walk your dogs through the goat enclosure on a leash, one at a time. Restrict any of the dogs you think might act aggressively towards the goats with a muzzle. Don’t release the dog(s) from the leash until you’re certified they will behave in an acceptable manner towards the goats.
  • Keep a close supervision on the dogs and if the dog does not adapt, kennel him and move on to the next dog. You’ll obviously know which dog to separate from the pygmy goats completely.

A Very Brief Origin of Pygmy Goats

The breed originated from the Cameron Valley, West Africa. It is one of the (if not the) most productive and hardiest goat breeds in existence.

They are good for meat and milk production, they serve as great pet as they are responsive, cooperative, and lovely companions, they are also good grazing animals.

Hence, pygmy goats are highly suitable for commercial purposes and as pets.

The Two Main Pygmy Goat Breeds

There are two miniature goat breeds in existence; the Nigerian Dwarf Goat breed, and the Australian Miniature Goat breed.

Nigerian Dwarf Goat

The Nigerian Dwarf Goat breed is the best choice breed for dairy. They produce more milk and have a high butterfat percentage which makes their milk very sweet.

Because of their dairy abilities, they usually can be more expensive than other Pygmies.

Australian Miniature Goat

The Australian Miniature Goat breed is considered a “designer breed” with a great temperament and a larger range of coat colors. There are three breeds here. All three breeds can make fantastic family pets.

Although, no matter which of the miniature goat breeds you choose, you can be certain that you’ll be getting a sweet and entertaining pet.

Pygmy Goats Characteristics

Pygmy goats exhibit a wide range of characteristics, including their adaptability. They are considered as an asset in various aspects.

  • This breed shows maximum adaptation especially when it comes to the environmental and climatic conditions.
  • They are one of the smallest goat species and they range between 15 to 20 inches in their height.
  • Their physical structure is compact and is less refined in appearance.
  • Pygmy goats come in different colors, patterns, and shades depending on your choice.
  • The density of their coats depends on the weather and climate.
  • Pygmy goats make wonderful pets and are also known for their highly meat and nutritious milk production.
  • Pygmy goats continue to produce milk till about 4 to 6 months after giving birth to a baby.
  • These goats are non-seasonal breeders, and so, they can give birth to their young ones at any time of the year.
  • They start attaining maturity within 4 to 5 months of their birth. However, it is best recommended to breed them after they have reached the ages of 9 to 10 months.
  • The average lifespan of a pygmy goat is 10-15 years.

How to Care for Your Pygmy Goats to Keep Them Healthy

Pygmy goats need to be shown a level of care and attention to keep them healthy. This includes the following:

  • Trim their hoofs regularly, in about every 4 to 8 weeks. This will need to be done to keep the animal from going lame. Hoof growth varies, so check hoofs regularly and trim with a trimming tool or sharp pruning shears.
  • Test your Pygmies for worms every year. This is done via a Fecal Egg Count and should be done minimum of two times in a year.
  • Routine lice treatment, regular check-ups, and vaccinations are all very vital if you need to keep your goats healthy.
  • Also, get a Veterinary Doctor to check your pygmy goats very often, since their services are paramount.

Common Diseases or Health Issues

Goats are extremely hardy animals, so diseases are not very common with them, but they can occur. It’s always a good idea to talk to your breeder about any past health issues.

Major diseases that can affect all goat breeds are Caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE) and Johne’s Disease.

Udder infection, or mastitis, is a threat to any lactating doe. A doe’s teat openings do not close immediately after being milked, and so bacteria can migrate into her udder.

Always keep your goat’s housing neat as it can be a good means to prevent infection.

Keeping your goats properly housed and well fed as this goes a long way to keeping your pygmy goats healthy.

Goats are much less likely to suffer from pneumonia if they’re kept in a well-ventilated, draft-free house. Vaccinations and controlled feeding will also avoid enterotoxemia (overeating disease).

Keeping Pygmy Goats with Chickens

Goats and chickens typically get along very well and are happy to share the backyard unlike goats and dogs or chicken and dogs.

Although, you have to be careful when it gets to their feeding since the goats may want to share the chickens’ feed.

Chook feed can give goats diarrhea and boat, and in severe cases, this could be fatal.

The easy way to avoid this is to keep your chook feed in a separate area from the goats, such as inside their coop.

Make sure that the coop has an opening small enough that your Pygmy goats can’t get into. A great option is to use an automatic chook feeder.

There are feeders on the market that are specially designed for only chooks to open, so as to minimize food spillage.

Another thing to be mindful of is that your chooks and goats both need a separate area to sleep.

Having a designated chicken coop and a separate sleeping area for goats will keep your animals happy.

This will also help your miniature goats stay disease free, as salmonella bacteria can be spread by chicken droppings.

Keeping goats and chickens together is a rewarding experience, as both animals provide companionship and can form strong bonds.

Chickens will also help keep things clean by picking up dropped grains from your goats and eating any bugs and parasites around.

Things to Pay Attention to When Raising a Pygmy Goat

Pygmy Goat Shed

Consider a well-ventilated and spacious area where the goat can sit and sleep as well. The place should have a heat facility especially during winter

Keep them as safe as you can. Fence their habitation against predators of any kind. Keep their sheds clean as well, to prevent diseases. This can be done by making a space for the goats’ urine to drop down.

Proper Feeding Of Your Pygmy Goats

Natural diet provides the best nutritional value for your pygmy goat. Hay can also serve as a supplement when the fresh fonder is not available.

You should also include grains in their everyday meal, likewise fruits and vegetables, as this will supply them with essential vitamins and minerals. Their feeding requirements is lower compared to some other goats. You have to be very conscious not to over feed them.

Maintaining your Pygmy’s Health

Get a Veterinary Doctor who will check your pygmy goats very often. They can also put you through on the best vitamins to give to your pygmy goats for maximum productivity and safety. They also help out with the pygmy goats regular vaccinations.


Generally, dogs and goats aren’t good companions. You’ve seen from this article that dogs are natural predators while goats are natural preys.

Even a playful dog can kill a goat. This is because the goat could prefer to run and might end up running herself to death.

As a pygmy owner, if you choose to get a dog that will socialize with your pygmy goats, then a proper introduction with adequate training will be necessary to keep all of both animals safe during the acclimation process.

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