If you are getting goats of your own or if you are visiting goats, you want to be friends with them!
The best thing to do is take them food. Then quietly sit down close to them and put the food down next to you. Wait patiently. Keep chatting to them. The sound of your voice helps them get to know you.
Goats are inquisitive.
They will watch you closely and then sneak up to see what you are offering. If you know what their favourite food is, they will smell it and sneak up to take it. Don’t be tempted to try & touch them yet.
Put down another bit & wait again. This time when they approach, place your hand close to the food but still refrain from trying to touch them. Let them take the food. They may sniff your hand and even your face. Keep still.
The third time you can try to tickle them.
Goats love to be tickled along their backs and up their necks. Once they let you give them a good tickle all over their bodies, you are friends! Not close friends yet, you will need to keep sitting quietly and allowing them to approach you until they learn to trust you.
If you are getting your own goats. Place them in a fairly small enclosure initially. When you feed them, place the food bowl right next to you. Sit and wait. They will soon realise that you are their source of food and if you make no sudden moves, they will quickly learn to trust you. It is tempting to reach out to them, but let them set the pace.
Goats are prey animals and humans are hunters.
If you chase a goat it will go into prey mode and run! Then you will have to start again with befriending them.
Patting a goat is not really a good thing. This is also related to them being prey animals. A pat is a bit like the thump of something attacking. It is best to scritch, scratch, tickle & stroke. They especially like having hard to reach places scratched, such as their necks and between the shoulder blades.
Goats really don’t like their ears being played with. You know that they really, really trust you when they let you fiddle with their ears.
The next time you go to meet a goat, sit down quietly and let them come to you.