Having a goat is like having a child.
If they're not penned up, they spend most of the time moving from place to place and leaving a path of destruction in their wake while you run after them yelling things like "Come back!" and "Where are you going?"
Also like children, they are incredibly cute, tons of fun, and very loving. But if you have a goat, at one point or another, some - or all - of these phrases have probably left your mouth.
"Not for goats!"
Goats think everything is theirs - every granola bar, every piece of plastic, every shoestring, every shirt sleeve. But most things aren't for goats. And maybe if you shout it at them enough they'll get the hint. Or maybe not.
"What are you eating?"
Non-goat owners tend to think goats eat everything, but that's not exactly true. They don't actually eat everything, but they explore the world with their mouths, so they taste and chew on everything. Still, it's easier to call out, "What are you eating?" than calmly ask, "On what are you chewing?" Hint: It's probably something that's not for goats.
"Stop eating my hair!"
Goats have a real thing for human hair. Beware those of you who have long hair and kneel down near a goat. The chomping will be go unnoticed at first, until the tugging begins. By the time you realize what's going on and extricate your hair from the goat's mouth, it will look like a wet, wadded up rat's nest. Pen your goat up and go get a shower.
You say "ouch" a lot when you have a goat. Whether they are tugging at your hair, grabbing skin while nibbling at your clothing, or butting you in the shins, they are good at getting you right where it hurts. They are also masters at sensing fear and bullying new people. If you bring a newcomer around a goat, common courtesy dictates that you may have to take one for the team.
"Get down from there!"
Goats are expert climbers. Many goat owners provide rock piles or wooden structures for their goats to climb and play on, but if you don't (and sometimes even if you do), goats will seek out and find their own. It might be a hay stack, a car, a table, or something else definitely "Not for goats." Since yelling "Get down from there!" rarely works, you'll probably be forced to drag them down and be rewarded with a nice shin bashing for your efforts.
"How did you get out of there/in there?"
The bad news is that it's basically impossible to contain a goat that doesn't want to be contained, because they can go over, under, or through nearly any kind of fencing. The good news is that they rarely go far. But they do go places you don't want them to. When you have a goat, you are often internally conflicted. Half of you is annoyed that they have worked themselves out of containment and into a place they shouldn't have, but the other half of you wants to high five them for their ingenuity. It's usually best to settle for shaking your head in amazement.
"What are you up to, Bright Eyes?"
Goats have unique eyes with horizontal slits for pupils. (People who aren't used to them often find them creepy.) But anyone who has spent enough time around goats knows that their "creepy" eyes are a great indication of what is going on inside a goat's head. When a goat is excited and about to go looking for trouble, those eyes become extra bright and animated. If you can spot this shift ahead of time, you might be able to stop the destruction before it starts.
Or maybe you'd prefer not to stop the destruction. After all, watching their antics is half the fun of owning a goat!
What do you say to your goat? Share your best quotes below!
WATCH NOW: Nigerian Dwarf Goats Are the Happiest Little Things!