How to Keep Dogs from Killing Goats

Groups of dogs often chase goats and livestock for entertainment.

Groups of dogs often chase goats and livestock for entertainment.

Some breeds of dogs are more likely to chase goats and other livestock than others, but any breed may pick up this bad habit under the right circumstances. Once your dog starts chasing livestock, it takes a lot of dedicated work to break the habit.

Step 1

Supervise your dog when he is outside. If he doesn't have a reliable recall, keep him on leash so you can make him return to you immediately if he starts chasing goats.

Step 2

Redirect your dog if he shows an interest in chasing goats. Call him to you and take him into the house, do obedience exercises with him or simply keep him with you while you work. If he doesn't reliably come when called, a quick tug on the leash while you call him will get his attention. If you consistently stop and redirect him, he will learn chasing livestock is not acceptable.

Step 3

Contain your dog in a fenced yard when he is outside unattended. Dogs can be relentless in their desire to escape the yard to chase livestock, so you may need to bury chicken wire to prevent your pup from digging under the fence, or replace the fence if it isn't tall enough to contain him.

Step 4

Provide your dog with plenty of exercise. Many dogs chase livestock out of boredom. Daily walks, fetch and other games will work off your dog's excess energy, making it easier for him to behave.


  • In many states, landowners have the right to shoot dogs who are chasing their livestock, so breaking your dog of this habit can literally save his life.

About the Author

With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

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