training tricks
I'm trying to teach targeting my hand as a starting point to training Ash and Connie.  They picked up "touch right hand with nose=treat from left hand" very quickly. I say "Hand" each time I wanted them to do it, and instead of clicking to mark the behavior I say "good!".  It worked very well. 

Now they want to nuzzle my hand all the time. I haven't trained tricks for goats, only manners, which I expect without treats as rewards. I don't mind goats nuzzling me gently as a general rule, but they're trying to do the trick to get a treat. I want to teach them that doing tricks for me when I'm not asking it might get a smile, but I'm not always going to have the treat bag for them for tricks. For a dog, "ring bell=go outside" is one I want them to do any time they want so they won't pee in my house. I don't need a goat to carry or pull or dance on their hind legs every time they see me just because they want a treat. 

Do I just ignore them for doing a trick if I'm not asking them to do it? or should I acknowledge in some way?
I always ignore a trick that is given when I didn't ask for it. Shaking hands is a classic example because I teach it to most of my goats. Once they learn it, they are eager to walk up and paw me on the legs, which of course is a very bad habit. So I never reward an offer to shake hands if the goat initiates it. All offers to shake hands must come from me.

I would encourage you to use something other than your hand as a target. You don't want to accidentally teach them to start nipping your hands. Also, the annoying behavior will start spilling over onto other people because everyone has hands, and if all hands look like targets and treat sources, you could end up with a problem. Over-nuzzling can be a precursor to nipping. The nip starts when they get frustrated because you didn't give them a treat for doing their trick, so I would switch to using a non-hand target as soon as possible. I use a stick with a tennis ball on the end as a target. That way I can move the goats away from my body and get them to focus on something other than my treat-offering hands. Once they learn to target the ball, the treat almost becomes the afterthought. I can move the target even further from me by putting the ball on a longer stick. Once the tennis ball target is gone, the goats know better than to mob me for treats or to zero in on my hands all the time. There's nothing more annoying than trying to pet an animal that is constantly moving away so he can shove his nose into my hands for treats (and this goes for all species!).

Best of luck!
Thanks for the tips! Today they were not obsessed with my hands, and our targeting was just yesterday, so that's a relief. I'll find a new target.

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