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How to Handle Aggressive Goats?

aggressive goats

Are you struggling with how to handle aggressive goats? If your ruminant keeps head-butting you, pushing, and attempting to bite you, you shouldn’t give in and let him think he’s stronger and above you.

But violence is not an option for you either, so how should you deal with goats’ aggressive behavior?

In this article, we’ll help you how to handle goat aggression and discuss:

  • How to prevent aggressive behaviors in goats
  • Why are goats aggressive
  • The most aggressive goat breeds in the world you should avoid

If you’re a newbie goat owner looking for ways to tame and stop an aggressive goat, join us as we uncover some facts about the dangerous tendencies of goats.

how to deal with an aggressive goat

How to Deal With Aggressive Goat

Goats have a reputation for being good escape artists and stubborn animals. They often fight with each other to show and establish dominance in their pecking order.

The dominant female goats are the queens of their herd,  and they often get the most comfortable sleeping spot and are the first in line for the food the owner delivers.

These does protect the herd against predators and lead the way when foraging. They keep their status until death or when another doe challenges and beats them.

The dominant bucks, on the other hand, mate with the females and protect the herd as well.

But what if it attacks or shows aggression toward you or other goats were injured due to too much fighting? How do you deal with an aggressive goat?

Here are some tips for stopping an aggressive goat from misbehaving and teaching it a lesson.

1. Flip him on his back

When goats show aggressive behavior toward a certain person, flipping the goat on its back would help. The attacked person should stand above the goat. That position will remind them that they are prohibited from attacking that person.

However, if you’re incapable of flipping the goat, try the next method.

2. Stop them with a squirt bottle

If your goat constantly shows dominance, you may use a spray or squirt bottle to halt its aggressive behavior. Goats dislike water, especially when they’re sprayed on the face.

So, when your goat is about to show signs of aggression, squirt a bottle, then flip him if necessary while the affected person stands above him. It will teach him that that person is off-limits and you’re above him.

Not all goats will listen, but most of them respond well to squirt bottle training. If it still doesn’t work, try this last resort.

3. Put them in a separate pen

Place your goat in a separate pen if it’s too aggressive for several days until they’re friendly and suitable enough to join the herd.

That will teach them that showing negative behaviors can result in being alone and associate bad behaviors with isolation. So, in order to be with the herd again, they need to behave the way you expect them to.

If none of the above works, and you must continually correct your goat’s aggressive behavior, then he’s a lost cause. You either have to deal with it or do more drastic measures like selling or butchering it for meat.

But actually, the best way to deal with aggression in goats is to prevent it while they’re young. In the next section, we’ll discuss several prevention tips you may find beneficial and life-saving.

aggressive goat breeds

How to Prevent Aggressive Goat Behaviors

As cliche as it may sound, prevention is still better than curing aggressive behaviors.

So, before your docile goats turn aggressive, here are tips on how to teach them manners while they’re young and innocent.

1. Don’t Breed Aggressive Goats

Aggressive does and bucks often produce aggressive offspring. So, you can save yourself from stress if you’d avoid breeding goats that show those tendencies.

Instead, choose loving and gentle goats to reduce the chances of having mean kids.

2. Avoid Rough Handling

One of the main reasons why goats turn aggressive is rough handling. Goats see you as a superior part of their herd, so you should lead by example.

If you’ll strike, punch, slap, push, or handle your goats roughly, they may think treating you similarly is okay.

You should be a benevolent alpha or a goat leader who shows love and compassion. So, never mistreat your goats.

Even playing with goats can confuse them about your role in the herd and may lead them to think of you as their equal.

They might treat you like other goats and bump into you everywhere, which can result in aggression. So, you must establish yourself as a herd leader in a kind way.

3. Teach Them Pasture Manners Using Squirt Bottle and Commands

A squirt bottle is an effective goat training tool, so make sure you have one. You can hang it on a gate and use it when you enter the area, the gate, or you’re feeding them.

For example, your goats may come to you or push you so squirt and command them by saying “back.” That command will help them realize that they should not be pushy.

A “shushing” noise can also help with a squirt and voice command because they can associate this sound with the bottle.

You can use the same technique when feeding goats as well. They may get overexcited and push you. So, use the command “back” to push them away without getting physical.

4. Teach Them While They’re Young

Aggression starts developing at a young age. Some goats may test you by bumping you with its horn as time passes, while others won’t.

If that’s the case for your young goats, you have to say “no” to all their crazy gestures firmly. By establishing yourself as the boss, they’ll pay you respect and gentleness.

But why do friendly goats become mean? What are the reasons for their behavioral changes?

Why Is My Goat So Aggressive?

These are the common reasons there are aggressive female and wether goats.


Older goats need extra space, attention, and affection because their immunity decreases as they age. They are also prone to infections and diseases that affect their temperament and disposition.

They may also get startled when people or children suddenly approach them if their sight or hearing is affected.

So, it’s best to keep children away from old and aggressive goats and get them vaccinated regularly.

Dominance Issues

Goats that kick, bite, or head-butt want to show dominance. So, don’t let them do whatever they want.

Never let them think they’re above you. As said earlier, you need to be a benevolent alpha.


As said earlier, illnesses can cause behavioral changes in goats due to physical discomfort. So when a friendly ruminant suddenly becomes mean or aggressive, try to consult your veterinarian to know if it’s ill or feeling bad.

You’ll know your goat is sick if it’s not eating food and drinking water and stands alone, away from the rest of the herd.

Other causes of discomfort are diarrhea and bleating or constipation. These illnesses can cause weight loss and force goats to lie on a side or corner.

So, if you notice these signs, contact your vet immediately.


Just like in humans, stress can also cause behavioral changes in goats. They may become fearful and anxious when stressed and may retreat or hide.

The most common stressor of goats are dogs, kids, transporting to the vet, other animals approaching the pen, predators, and changes in habitat.

So, you need to check for potential stressors for goats in your area.


Another reason why a friendly goat becomes aggressive is teasing. These animals react similarly to dogs when teased.

For example, when strangers throw rocks or hit them with a stick, goats may react negatively and even be mean to their owners.

most aggressive goat breeds

Most Aggressive Goat Breeds

If you’re curious about what goats are the most aggressive, here’s a list we compiled so you know what breed to avoid if you want to save yourself from all the trouble

1. Madurai Goat

This aggressive goat comes from the northern regions of India and is one, if not the most aggressive, goat in the world. They are true beasts, and taming them will not be simple.

Goat fights are common, and these goats are considered the best fighters since they weigh around 70 kg, have robust bodies, and have solid tough horns.

These goats are utterly brutal and will attack anything that is in their way without hesitation.

Best goat breeds for meat- Boer goats

2. Boer Goat

These South African-born goat species are bred early because people love the meat it produces, but taming them is not simple. In addition to being aggressive and agile, they also have a lot of strength.

Boer goats are hostile assailants, but their meat is among the most delicious goat in the world.

3. Mountain Goat

Since they attack anything and everything, mountain goats are particularly dangerous. The Mountain goat is a member of the creatures known as “goat antelopes.”

Although they belong to the sheep and goat family, they have antelope-like traits.

One of the hottest fibers is mountain goat wool. Although their horns are modest, they are unblunted and feature razor-sharp edges.

These goats have no fear and will attack anything that even the slightest disturbance causes.

Anatolian Black Goats long haired goat breeds

4. Anatolian Black

The Anatolian Goat is the fourth most hazardous goat in the world and is bred in both Turkey and Syria.

These black goats are mostly bred for their milk, fiber, and meat and have a black complexion, as their name would imply.

5. Hybrid Ibex

As its name suggests, the Hybrid Ibex is a cross between a domestic goat and a wild goat. Any human would be frightened by their long, curving horns.

They generally don’t attack people but will attack if anything disturbs their environment or provokes the goat.

This wild goat is vicious, and anyone who bothers it will suffer its wrath. It is among the world’s most deadly goat breeds.

6. Spanish Goat

This species of goat, sometimes known as the “Scrub goat” or the “Bush Goat,” is native to Spain but is now found in parts of Mexico and the United States.

They are good meat goats, but they are also sometimes used to clear brush.

These goats are extremely violent and will engage in a frontal assault if someone irritates them. And they are virtually always hostile and can assault even their masters.

7. Kalahari Red

These goats don’t back down from a fight and are short, muscular, and hefty. They’re not easily scared and will launch an aggressive attack with all their power. They have red skin that helps them camouflage to protect themselves.

The goat is shielded from the extreme heat by its thick coat of skin. They occupy the sixth rank on our list and are aggressive.

8. Dutch Landrace

This is equipped with long, sharp horns and thick, shaggy skin that can easily terrify humans and other animals.

Although they are Dutch in origin, they exhibit a close affinity with the landrace breed of Europe.

Dutch Landrace goats are extremely hostile like Spanish goats and attack their owner without warning. With such powerful and hard horns, it would be difficult to escape without much difficulty.

Frequently Asked Questions About Aggressive Goats

Are goats aggressive to humans?

Goats can sometimes be aggressive to humans.

It might kick, bite or head-butt you or the kids and other members of your family to show and establish dominance.

Why is my goat suddenly aggressive?

One of the main reasons why goats turn aggressive is rough handling.

If you punch, kick, slap, or push your goat aggressively, they will think it’s fine to treat you similarly.

Are goats aggressive animals?

Goats are generally more aggressive compared to sheep, especially the wild ones.

They’re reactive and investigative, and they tend to courageously face their attackers and display their dominance by lowering their heads and pointing their tough horns at the inferior animal.

aggressive goat behavior

Final Takeaways About Aggressive Goats

Goats are usually docile, but others become mean animals when sick, teased, stressed, or in pain.

They may not attack you, but they may be mean to kids and strangers. Other owners with similar struggles chose to butcher their aggressive male goat or give the meat to other people.

But you can correct his aggressive tendencies by flipping and disciplining them with a squirt bottle and putting them in a separate pen.

READ NEXT: Headbutting in Goats: Meaning and What To Do

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