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How do I Show Goats?

Showing goats requires patience, practice, and a keen understanding of your animal. Start by selecting a healthy, well-conformed goat and train it to stand and walk correctly. Grooming is crucial, so keep your goat's coat, hooves, and horns in top condition. Learn the specific rules of your chosen competition and practice showmanship to impress the judges. Ready to become a champion in the ring? Continue reading to master the art of goat showing.
Daphne Mallory
Daphne Mallory

Business owners and other goat keepers show goats for business and for pleasure. It can be a marketing tactic for business owners who hope to win contests and demonstrate the quality of care they put into the goats they have for sale. Goat keepers who own goats as pets or for a hobby show their animals to network with other goat keepers, and to display the hard work they've put into caring for a goat over the past year. To show your goats, you need to find an appropriate venue, make sure your animals are well-trained and healthy, and understand all the rules required by the show.

Goat shows are sponsored by a number of organizations, including national goat registries, regional fair associations, and county and local clubs. These organizations also issue standards for the types of show goats, and have their own methods for scoring goats. Standards vary according to goat breeds, and are often centered on the weight, color, and size of the goat.

A young goat.
A young goat.

Goats are trained long before they are entered into competitions. The goats must be trained to be calm, and to have a good walk around the show ring — a graceful walk for does or powerful walk for bucks. A judge also examines how the goat responds to the owner's lead and how well it stands: squarely, with back legs spread.

Health and conditioning are important for show goats. The animal should be free of diseases and in the best health possible. Hooves should be trimmed and the coat should be neat and clipped. Apply ointment to the udders just before goats are called to show that the udders are of good quality. Don't show goats that are obviously sick, because it can spread the disease and the goat will be removed from competition.

Well-trained goats are calm in demeanor.
Well-trained goats are calm in demeanor.

On show day, goats should have feed and water from home to prevent fussiness. If the showroom doesn't provide bedding, it should be packed for show day as well. A brush and a towel or cloth are good to have handy to keep the show goats well groomed before it is time to show them.

Attire is important when showing goats, because some rules require it. For example, goat owners are required to wear white clothing when showing a dairy goat at many shows. Even if there are not dress requirements, the person who shows the goat should look neat and professional. It does make a difference, and goat owner may literally be judged for it.

Show goats should always be positioned between the judge and the person showing the goat. This is the best way for a judge to get a good look at the goat and examine it closely. Learning how to show goats and win takes time and practice. Attending a few shows prior to exhibiting is a good way to observe winning presentations and learn how to best show your goats.

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    • A young goat.
      By: Gerhard Seybert
      A young goat.
    • Well-trained goats are calm in demeanor.
      By: BVVBOR
      Well-trained goats are calm in demeanor.