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6 Best Goats for Pets: Types and Breeds to Keep

best goats for pets
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / blende12

Goats, typically kept as livestock, also make great pets. These loving animals are gentle, and owning one can be rewarding. Here are some of the best goat breeds to have as pets.

Goats have mostly been used for farming purposes. But if you have the desire, location and space to care for a goat, you might find yourself flirting with the idea of having one as a pet. Bear in mind that just like most laws and regulations in the US, the legality of owning pet goats changes from state to state. Before making any rash decisions, you will need to check with local authorities to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Goats are wonderful companions since they are gentle, affectionate creatures and their small stature means that they are easier to manage. Their feeding habits are exceedingly low-maintenance and most of the time all you will need to keep them happy is some decent acreage where they can graze freely.

However, there are some downsides that need to be considered. For one, male goats can become aggressive in the mating season, so safety, particularly that of smaller children, will need to be addressed to avoid injuries. Goats cannot protect themselves in the same way dogs or cows do, so if natural predators live in your surrounding area you will need to provide adequate measures to reduce the risk of your goats being hurt or worse.

Goats are also pretty demanding in terms of your personal time, they love to play and seek attention, so if you work a lot away from home, or travel regularly, a pet goat may not be the best fit for you.

Mini Lamanchas

Mini Lamanchas are gentle little creatures, making them very family-friendly.
Mini Lamanchas are gentle little creatures, making them very family-friendly. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / congerdesign)

Developed in North America, the Lamanchas breed is one of the most popular mini goats  out there. These little dairy producers are sturdy, boasting glossy hair and come in all sorts of different colors. Mini Lamanchas are ideal family pets, since they are extremely friendly and are also capable of producing a very tasty milk. In a herd setting, Lamanchas are still very docile and prefer stepping back and watching, rather than fighting with other goats over food.

Nigerian Dwarf

Goats are intelligent and playful pets.
Goats are intelligent and playful pets. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / jggrz)

Nigerian dwarfs are intelligent, colorful and loving pets. The milk of Nigerian Dwarf goats is tastier and richer when compared to that produced by most other breeds and they are easier to milk as well. Keep in mind that if you plan to buy a Nigerian from a breeder, ensure that the goats are still being bred as milk producers. If the breeder is merely breeding them as pets, they will not be very productive obviously.


Pygmy goats come in a host of different colors.
Pygmy goats come in a host of different colors. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 12019)

Pygmy goats were first seen in the US in the 1950s and since then have become a popular pet. They are very compact, strong animals that have sometimes been described as looking like a ‘beer kegs with legs’. They have erect ears and full glossy coats comprised of straight medium-sized hair. Pygmies come in seven colors, often categorized as caramel patterned, agouti patterned or black patterned. Though long-considered as great little pets, Pygmy goats can still can produce enough milk for a small family household.

Mini Alpine

Alpines are another good-natured goat breed.
Alpines are another good-natured goat breed. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Alexas_Fotos)

Originally from the French Alps, Mini Alpines will resemble their full-sized counterparts. Just like Pygmy goats, Mini Alpines have a sweet nature and can easily adapt to most climate types. The full-sized Alpines are renowned for their milking ability and the same can mostly be said for the mini version. Alpines tend to be pushy in a herd environment and a tad more hyperactive than other breeds. Given their rambunctious personalities, you will need to rethink them as a pet if you prefer a more relaxed and gentle animal as a companion.


Kinder goats are an alert and very gregarious breed.
Kinder goats are an alert and very gregarious breed. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Alexas_Fotos)

The Kinder breed originated in Washington in 1986, the result of crossing a Pygmy buck and a Nubian doe. These goats come with various color combinations and markings. Similar to Alpines, Kinders have a robust personality when compared to other dairy goat breeds and will produce a similar amount of high-quality milk if cared for properly. The Kinder breed is a bright and gregarious animal, making it a great choice for families with young children.

Mini Guernsey

Mini guernseys are super affectionate.
Mini guernseys are super affectionate. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 12019)

The Mini Guernsey dairy goat is technically more medium in size as opposed to ‘mini’, and much like the other goat breeds mentioned here, they are well-known for their affectionate and passive demeanor. In terms of hair color, Mini Guernseys come in various striking shades of gold, with a skin tone that ranges from orange-gold to peachy pink.

Mini Toggenburg

Toggenburgs are very well-adjusted, making them the ideal pet goat.
Toggenburgs are very well-adjusted, making them the ideal pet goat. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / filinecek)

Toggenburgs are one of the oldest registered breed of goats in the world, making them well-suited to living in a domestic environment thanks to their well-adjusted and gentle temperament. Toggenburgs have a brownish colored hair, with white stripes on either side of the face, white on each side of the tail and white hair below the knees. Although Toggenburgs might appear to all look the same, each individual will have its own unique personality and appearance upon closer inspection.

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