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5 Best Breeds of Goats to Keep as Pets

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What are the best goats for pets? Well honestly, this can vary a bit depending a number of circumstances. And situations.

I’ll share our top five favorite goat breeds that we keep on our homestead.

three small pygmy goats being held in man’s hands

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Best Goats for Pets

Our goats have become little members of our family and I’ve become quite attached to several of them. Besides being adorable, goats make great pets. This list isn’t all inclusive to what you can keep as pets.

Rather, I’m sharing my favorite goat breeds that we currently have on our homestead. 

Related: 10 Best Dairy Goat Breeds

#1 Pygmy Goats

white pygmy goat baby close up

Pygmy goats are my absolute favorite goat to keep as a pet. They are a miniature breed, super friendly and allow for snuggles. All total wins in my opinion.

We have never had a bad experience with the demeanor of a pygmy goat. Which helps make these breeds great for young children and getting them acquainted with chores.

Raising Pygmy Goats as Pets

#2 Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Pygmy goat - one of the most popular and best goat for pets next to a feeder

This is another smaller breed that makes a great addition to a small farm and is a favorite among many homesteaders.

In addition to their cute features, they are a great source of milk if you want them to serve that purpose on your homestead.

#3 Alpine Goats

Alpine goat, one of the best goats for pets in the outdoor goat pen

Goats have incredibly entertaining personalities. And the leader of our pack is Miss Holly, such a smart and curious goat!

Our experience with Alpine goats has always been entertaining and they’re probably the most intelligent goat breed we own.

Alpine goats are an amazing dairy source for those who don’t have room for a dairy cow.

Find more about what I love about Alpine Goats here. 

#4 LaMancha Goats

LaMancha goat looking over fence

The LaMancha goat is another great dairy option for a small homestead. They produce a lot more milk than other goat breeds with a higher butterfat.

Generally, the LaMancha goat breed is calmer, quieter, and has an overall gentle demeanor and temperament.

#5 Boer Goats

Boer goat baby standing in goat pen outside

Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would add this goat to this list. I’m not really a fan of them personally. But my husband loves this breed. I mean the babies are adorable and I’ve grown to love some of our does.

Boer goats make an excellent choice for a 4H show goat because of their large body build. So that’s something to consider if you have children interested in getting involved in that program.

I think my main dislike is their body build and also our Boer buck. Bucks generally stink, but have you ever smelled a Boer buck? They’re the worst. Ha. Great for breeding time, but definitely not a pleasant scent.

Boer buck goat breed standing next to a fence

A Few More Tips When Planning on Adding Goats as Pets

Goats are companion animals and should always have a buddy or they’ll get lonely. Which could lead to depression, behavioral and other health issues.

I always recommend that people purchase goats in pairs for this reason. Other animals can make a great friend, too. Such as another smaller breed of livestock.

If you want a tame and mild mannered goat, handle them often. Start when they’re young and give them snuggles, play with them, give your goats treats. And just spend time in their pens often.

Wethers make better pets than a buck and don’t have the stink of a billy! But doelings are also a great choice!

If you are new to raising goats, I recommend you check out this post about raising goats for beginners

two baby goats playing in goat pen

What are your favorite goat breeds you keep as pets?

 

Best Goats for Pets

Highlighting a few of the most popular and best goats to keep as pets.

More Goat Posts:

 

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Kathy

Thursday 20th of February 2020

I get my goats from the local county fair 4h kids. If you buy them at the auction it is more expensive but as a business we can give to the kids and then they know they aren't going to get eaten. But a cheaper option you can do is a "buy back" meaning another business bought the goat but it will go to slaughter you get get them at fair market valve and these goats are tame because the 4h kids have been working with them for show and the wethers are always friendly and great pets. That's the best way to go and the Boer goats are great pets. All of my goats have come from the 4h kids except our buck and he came from a small farm not far from us where a little girl is learning to run a goat business. The 4h kids appreciate people taking their goats home especially the smaller kids in 4h until they learn that what happens in life. But I really try and help the kids know their goats will have a great long life on my farm and they are always welcome to come out and visit if they ever want too. You also get to know the kids and you see the dedicated ones year after year that's the most amazing part of it. I love it and will keep going for as long as I can afford to keep buying them. Good luck with your goats.

Susanne Miller-Urban

Wednesday 17th of July 2019

Just curious . . . Nubians aren't on the list. I just bought a Nubian / Nigerian Dwarf cross for our family. Am I going to be in over my head?

Mary Woita

Friday 19th of July 2019

Nubians are great, too! I have many friends who raise those and love them. We just haven’t raised them over here, so I didn’t include it in my list. Good luck with your new goat! :)

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Karen Page

Sunday 1st of March 2020

My favorite goat ever was a Toggenburg/pygmy cross. Never did figure out how she produced that much milk in that small body!

John

Wednesday 9th of January 2019

Considering getting a few (2-3) and was wondering if you have gender recommendations... Same? If so, which gender? Different? If they are siblings will they attempt to breed (assuming they would...)??

Mary Woita

Friday 11th of January 2019

Our experiences in raising goats as pets are that the does are the best. Really, you could keep any of them, but they are usually much more tame. And that does have a lot to do with the breed and training/handling the goats from the time they are young. Wethers and does would do great together if siblings because a related buck/billy would definitely try to breed with their sibling.