How to Deal with an Introvert Goat

Poor Pippy. She's an introvert goat.

I get her, you know? I mean she wants to be near, but not near us. Like, let's not touch, k?

While I can keep my bubble pretty intact, in a year or so Pippy is going to be milked. I nurse my babies, but the idea of being milked by someone else is horrifying. Can you imagine? Especially if you are an introvert, it's a nightmare.

Pippy has been standoffish since we got her. Sissy is very much an extrovert and won't let you walk without tripping over her. She would practically climb in our laps if we would just sit down for her. I can hardly get a picture of Sissy because she stays so close to me when I'm in the fence. I run a few steps away from her and turn around to take the picture, but it's always blurry because she's running to catch up with me. She nuzzles, nips, rubs, jumps up on us, anything to get some love. Pippy, on the other hand, has always stayed just out of reach.

Pippy is easy to take a picture of, since she's always there, but not too close.

So Pippy needs to learn to let us in her bubble. It would be a disaster if we let her continue in her own bubble, happy yes, but then one day we strap her into a milk stand and start rubbing and tugging on her teats.

Since I understand Pippy, I've made it a goal to get her comfortable with touch. I started with offering my hand. She would turn away, but I just kept offering, never pushing. And if she would stand next to me, I'd rub her neck, just a little bit or until she walked away. It's important not to push. I don't like pushy people either.

Once she was ok with that kind of touch, I started giving her a pet or two while she was eating. At first, she would jump back and get on the other side of Sissy to eat. But just taking it slowly, and easing her into touch has helped tremendously. She now gets a full rub down while she's eating and it doesn't faze her. (By the way, I love how soft she is, like a big fluff ball.)

We are even able to trim her hooves while she's eating without a fight. We'll keep this up, and I think she'll be ready to be milked when the time comes. We're planning on building (we, ha! I mean Jeremy) the milk stand in the next couple of months so that we can get her used to eating up there with her head caught. I'll sit next to her and give her belly a good rub down. (Update! We got the milk stand built, and here's how we did it!)

The key is slow. She'll rub against me now, and we'll keep going slow so that she'll always be comfortable, and not stressed.

I know there are plenty of introverts on the internet (it's the perfect place for us to interact with people until we're done, and there's no chance of touching!), so anyone freak out a little at the thought of being milked?


  1. Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop this week.
    Goats definitely have their very own personality!

  2. Very good tips here! I have a little lady of my own who's only been with us a month or so who's pretty shy. Once the weather warms up a touch I'm putting everyone on the stanchion to prepare for milking! They say that is the best way to get them ready. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Monica! I think we'll need plenty of practice before she's ready, but at least she's still a sweetheart and not mean or rude.

  3. Thanks so much for the info. I also have a introvert also and my husband was wanting to get rid of her because she won't interact with us except during feeding. I'll keep working with her and hopefully she'll come around and the kids can love on her one day

  4. I can't explain how much I love this post. ;D I'm going through the EXACT same ordeal with a yearling i'm planning on milking in the spring. Only I haven't been able to rub her belly yet. D:


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