Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:13 PM
We have an Anglo-Nubian billygoat who has grown up with our dogs, a White Shepherd and a Jack Russel X who both are friendly and sociable bitches. They always got along with the goat beautifully, and as the goat has grown very large and strong (he is about 60kg in weight now compared to 35kg and 10kg in the dogs) it seems that he has meanwhile become the "top dog" in our pack. This has happened without any fights, naturally and peacefully, over the course of time.
A few days ago, a very energetic, 3 year old, undesexed male White Shepherd Dog joined our family. My bitches submitted themselves to him without any discussion straight away, and maintained peace and friendliness from Day One, but whenever I let the goat, "Nibbles", and the new boy-dog, "Prince", out in the backyard at the same time, they will start a serious fight.
The goat will go on his back hooves, stand up 2 metres high and try to jump on Prince, or he will headbutt Prince with his head and his (amputated and curved backwards, therefore not sharp) horn, or kick him with his hooves.
At the same time, Prince will jump on the goat's neck and try to kill him, or he will bite him in his legs. In this state of aggression, he is unapproachable and will not listen to any command from my side.
As both these animals are large and strong, it is very hard for me to get them apart. I actually got injured myself when I first tried, and again, when it happened the second time. I had to hit them with sticks and garden tools and kick them to save their lives. It was not a pleasant situation for neither of us. Therefore, since then, I keep them cautiously apart. There is no problem at all as long as there is a fence between them; the dog won't even bark at the goat. However, they will have to share the limited space of our backyard, and life would be much more pleasant for both of them if I would not have to lock away at least one of them at any time. I wished Prince and Nibbles would become friends and would learn to play together nicely, and sleep calmly side-by-side, just as Nibbles uses to do with my other dogs.
Does anyone have any advice for me, how I can support them to become friends, in a safe way, with no injuries and bad feelings on either side?