There are about 200 goat breeds in the world, varying in size and temperament. But have you ever wondered what friendliest goat breeds are perfect for farms and pets?
I would’ve loved to play with our goats as a child if they weren’t aloof or aggressive. They delivered in the milk and meat department but weren’t friendly, so I never felt comfortable near them.
If you have kids or simply want sociable and affectionate goats who can accompany you, then you have come to the right place.
In this article, we compiled a list of the most friendly goats you can have. And we’re not just going to talk about the popular pet goats such as Nigerian dwarves and Pygmies.
We’ll give you 15 goat breeds, so you’ll have a wide variety of options.
So, which breed of goat is the friendliest?
15 Friendliest Goat Breeds You Can Find
Here are the 15 most friendly goat breeds your kids can play with and provide you with your basic dairy and meat needs.
1. Nigerian Dwarf
Our top pick for the friendliest goat breeds is the Nigerian Dwarf goat breed. American Dairy Goats Association recognized this breed as an official in 2005 after living in the zoo for many years.
Though they only weigh 75 pounds and are only 22 to 24 inches tall, they became popular in milk and meat production.
They have the tastier and richer milk because, according to American Dairy Goat Association, their Nigerian dwarves’ milk has a butterfat content of 6.1–6.5%, which is much more significant than that of full-sized goats.
They’re considered the friendliest goat breed because of their gentle and calm nature. When raised with people around as a kid, they become even more friendly and affectionate.
Because of their small size, they fit in different spaces, even in confinement. They also adapt to the climates and situations very well.
Next on the list are the Pygmy goats. They are one of the most popular dairy breeds all over the world.
This American breed was first discovered in 1950 but was developed by Americans and Europeans in Cameroon Valley in Africa.
Pygmy goats are calm, friendly, active, and good-natured. They love playing and free-ranging in your backyard.
However, same as Nigerian Dwarfs, Pygmy are small breeds that weigh only from 55 to 85 pounds and grow only from 40 to 59 centimeters.
Because of their muscular body, their feet often look shorter or smaller, which makes them not proportionate for their body.
3. Nubian or Mini Nubian
Mini Nubian and Nubian are two different size breeds. But they have the same ancestors. The Mini Nubian originally developed from a Nubian and Nigerian Dwarf.
Both breeds are excellent at producing large volumes of dairy products. And they are “long-eared goats” and are both friendly, outgoing, and vocal personalities.
The only difference between them is their size. Nubians are a large breed weighing up to 200 pounds, while Mini Nubians are half or less. But, the difference in their height is not that far.
It belongs to the friendliest goat breeds because of its amicable nature. They are easy to handle and can easily grow interaction between their adopted parents.
4. Lamancha and Mini Lamancha
Lamancha and its miniature are unique breeds of goats because of their two kinds of ears, the gopher and elf ears.
The gopher-type ears are only 1 inch long or less. It’s like a folded skin with tiny tips pointing down or up. On the other hand, the elf type was a bit longer than the gopher, which could grow up to 2 inches.
These breeds are both well-known for milk production. And what’s good about this breed is they are quiet, patient, and friendly, which makes them good pets, even if you have children.
The Lamanchas are gentle giants that weigh up to 130 to 160 pounds, while their miniature, the mini Lamanchas, are smaller.
5. Alpine and Mini Alpine
Alpines are one of the breeds with a wide variety of colors. These varieties are named in French.
Some of them are Cou Blanc or Coo Blanc, which means “white neck,” the Cou Clair, meaning “clear neck,” the Pied, meaning mottled or spotted, and many more.
The Alpine is from the name of the place where they originated, in the Alps mountain in Europe.
They are easy to raise, don’t need much time in caretaking, and have waterproof coats that can withstand rain and snow.
Aside from that, they are a great companion even with your kids because of their friendly and curious personality.
6. Boer Goats
The Boer goat breed is one of the largest in the world that can grow from 190 to 340 pounds. That’s why their meat and milk are in demand in the market.
But can they be great pets? Definitely, yes. Despite their large size, they are gentle giants who have a placid, fun, sociable, and playful personality, which makes them the best companions.
Even though they are big, they don’t need so much feed. In fact, they are easy to raise since they also enjoy free-ranging.
The only downside is it’s risky if they are with little children because they might step on them. So, if you want to raise them, put them in a well-fenced area.
7. Toggenburg and Mini Toggenburg
The Toggenburg goats are one of the best breeds for milk from the Swiss mountain. They are known for their calm, friendly, gentle, and good personality, which we seek when adopting.
They always love interacting with people around them, especially those caring for them. This breed can even live peacefully with other livestock without causing any harm.
Toggenburgs are the oldest breeds registered in the American Dairy Goat Association.
What’s good about this breed is they are very hardy that can withstand any extreme climate.
The only thing you need to remember is to spend time with them and give them more attention to help them thrive and feel love.
8. Saanen and Mini Saanen
The Saanen and its miniature have only one shade of color, the white to creamy coat. This color portrays innocence and purity, which is appropriate for Saanen’s demeanor.
Although they are small to medium in size, they also do well in producing milk.
These breeds are very hardy, especially in the cold season. However, they need medical care through regular deworming and cleaning.
You can see in their face and eyes how calm, friendly, caring, and sweet they are. They quickly get along well with the people around them, even with children.
9. Oberhasli Goats
The Oberhasli goat breed is not well-known throughout the world. So they are safely bred to preserve the wonderful breed.
In case you don’t know, the Oberhasli breed is from Bern Canton, Switzerland.
Though they’re not famous, they have innate characteristics that make them a perfect pet for your whole family.
Oberhasli goats are not a large breed but can be a good source of meat and fresh milk. What’s good for their milk is that it is low in butter fat, which helps prevent heart diseases.
Because they originate in mountainous areas in Switzerland, they often have a bold, active, and alert disposition.
However, they’ve learned to be more gentle, friendly, and calm after a long time. They easily make good connections with people.
10. Sable Goats
Now we’re down to the 10th placer—the Sable goat. It is well known for its kind disposition, so it definitely deserves a spot on this list of the friendliest goats. Even individuals who have never kept goats before find them wonderful pets.
These animals often survive in most conditions as long as they have nourishing food and shelter.
Sables are renowned for being amiable creatures who enjoy contact with people.
But they enjoy exploring their surroundings, so it’s crucial to provide them with lots of space to run about in, such as a sizable pasture or barnyard.
These animals are ideal for farms and homesteads because they can provide both meat and dairy products.
Kiko goats perform well in the meat and milk department, but their amiable nature makes them even more attractive. However, they have a rapid reproduction rate and require little upkeep.
Even though they do not receive supplemental nutrition in their normal environment, they can withstand high temperatures and put on weight.
They have a unique disposition and are in high demand for their meat.
Kiko goats share traits with other hardy breeds, such as alertness, activity, and disposition. However, they are compliant, amiable, trainable, and peaceful.
They might compete with other breeds in strength and vitality even though they only have medium to large sizes. But can grow close to the people around them.
12. Miniature Silky Fainting
Mini silkies, commonly called miniature silky fainting goats, are undoubtedly one of the cutest goats ever.
This breed has the best of both worlds: prolific beauty and the capacity to form meaningful connections with people.
Though this breed is classified as a meat breed, the main objective is to produce a stunning goat with silky hair for exhibition.
This breed does not seek to produce meat. Although strong confirmation is expected, the silky coat is what this breed is known for most.
Due to their social nature, silkies need other goats to feel at ease and connected to the group. They frequently form bonds with other animals and, most definitely, with people.
13. Mini Guernsey
The small Guernsey dairy goat is a medium-sized animal, with MDGA-registered individuals standing no more than 27 inches for does and 29 inches for bucks.
Their ear tips are slightly raised, and the ears are upright. Mini guernseys have hair that is varying colors of gold.
They have golden tones of skin color ranging from peachy-flesh to orange-gold. They are noted to have a highly gentle and amiable demeanor.
What’s good about this breed is their being quiet and docile. These personalities make them family and kid-friendly.
Kinder was created by crossing a Nubian doe and a Pygmy buck in Washington in 1986. It is mainly bred for milk and meat production.
But more than that, Kinder is known for their gentleness and quiet disposition, like other friendly breeds.
These goats have long ears that reach the end of their muzzles and stick out straight to the sides of the head.
This goat is more laidback but sociable and docile, so they deserve a spot on the most friendly goat breeds list.
We’re wrapping up this list of the friendliest goat breeds with the charming fluffy Pygora goats.
But did you know what their ancestors were? These goats are basically a mix of Pygmy and Pygora goats.
These goats have lovely fleece and are fiber goats. The goat is the same length from the withers’ peak to the tail’s end.
According to the records, the coat’s colors are caramels, agoutis, and either solid black or white. The bucks and does are neither taller than 27 inches nor shorter than 22 inches.
The fleece of goats recognized by the Pygora Breeders Association can be one of three types: a long fiber with beautiful ringlets, a blend of mohair and cashmere-type fibers, or fine fibers that are less than 18.5 microns in diameter.
Due to their Pygmy roots, they’re good meat producers and a decent quart of milk daily. They are observant, friendly, and easy to raise, not to mention their adorable fluffy look and wools, which you can use for knitting, crocheting, weaving, and tapestries.
Care Tips for The Friendliest Goat Breeds
If you’ve been raising goats for a while, you probably have the know-how to keep a goat in shape. But if you’re new to raising livestock like goats, here are some tips to ensure these friendly goats can stay happy and healthy.
Provide Sufficient Food
Goats aren’t needy. How can we say that? It is because goats are herbivores, so they can independently browse for food in your area.
Unlike other household pets like dogs and cats, you don’t have to purchase food from markets for your goats as long as they are abundant with brushes and grass on your farm.
They are not a hassle to raise and don’t need extra care.
But if the forage in your area is insufficient to feed them, you should get some feeds, like grasses or hay, and supplements when necessary.
Build an Efficient Shelter
Goats are hardy and can withstand any weather, but they still need a well-built shelter, especially at night and in rainy seasons. Remember that goats need a place to run because they don’t like being wet in the rain.
It will also help them avoid exposure to infectious elements from dirty surroundings.
The size of the shelter needs to be enough. However, it doesn’t have to be fancy as long as it has walls and a door or open side, and proper ventilation.
But the open side of the shelter should face in the opposite direction where the wind usually blows.
Build a Secure Fence
A fence is not necessary if your goats won’t run anywhere or they are tied with rope. However, a strong fence is needed if you live in an area where wild animals and predators are present.
The minimum fence height is 4 feet. But remember, your goats can jump more than you think, especially when they mature, so the higher, the better.
Give Them a Company
Since goats are herd animals, they thrive more and are generally happier if accompanied by their fellow goat in a pen.
Even if you’re raising your friendly goat as a pet and you have enough time to bond with him, it’s best to keep at least two on your property.
Frequently Asked Questions About Friendly Goat Breeds
Are goats very friendly?
Although they can be terrific companions and are attentive and affectionate, it is controversial whether goats make friendly pets. But both people and animals can get along well with goats.
What is the easiest goat breed to take care of?
The most manageable goats may vary, but the most popular choices for docile and sociable goats are typically Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, and Pygmy goats due to their laid-back and tranquil demeanor.
How do I make my goat friendly?
The best ways to make your goat friendly are to spend time with them and slowly approach and talk to them. Second is giving them treats to make them feel loved and don’t feel neglected.
The last way is building their trust and having a close bond by bottle feeding when they’re still babies.
Do goats like their owners?
Definitely, yes. Goats always like their owners, especially if they are properly cared for and loved by their owners.
When they get to know you and build interaction with you, they will surely love you as you do.
Friendliest Goat Breeds: Final Thoughts
To sum it up, the friendliest goat breeds are Nigerian Dwarf, Pygmy, Nubian, Mini Nubian, LaMancha, Mini LaMancha, Alpine, Mini Alpine, Boer, Toggenburg, and Saanen.
But Oberhasli, Sable, and Kinder goats can also be a good option.
Many of our top picks are popular, so finding these breeds in your local breeders shouldn’t be hard.
No matter what breed you pick on the list above, you can make a goat more friendly if you’d raise it by yourself at a young age. It’d also help to spend at least 15 minutes petting it and giving it treats occasionally.
As for adults, the easiest way to get into their hearts is through their stomachs.
So be more present and provide them with sufficient food and treats; you may find favor in their eyes soon.