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Why Do Goats Wag Their Tails? What it Means and When to Look for it

Goats are known to wag their tails often, and there could be any number of reasons they are doing this. They could be trying to convey a wide variety of emotions.

Most of the time, when a goat is wagging their tail, it is because they are happy or excited, such as when their favorite human is coming to see them. They could be feeling aroused by another goat. Goats may also wag their tail when they are scared or depressed.

Tail wagging is a common characteristic of all pets. Goats are not the only pets that wag their tails. Animals often wag their tails for similar reasons, which usually signifies their contentment. They may be happy or curious. Whatever the case, tail wagging is a normal behavior in goats.  

Why Does My Female Goat Keep Wagging Her Tail?

When you have a female goat, you should start to see signs of them going into heat:

  • Tail wagging
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Swollen vulva
  • Frequent urination
  • Vocalization

There is a way to know that the female goat is wagging her tail due to sexual arousal. They will make noise with their mouths. Nubian goats, which are noisier than other breeds, will literally scream when they are in heat. If there is no male goat in her presence during her heat, she may make low moaning noises. 

The female will wag her tail to get her scent out to the males. The males respond to the pleasing aroma by sniffing the female’s back end and doing a lip curl, which is known as the flehmen response. Humans cannot smell the female’s invitation to a male suitor. However, male goats seem to love to get a good whiff of the scent.

  • When you have a male goat, they will typically show interest by licking or rubbing.
  • Mae goats can more easily tell if a female goat is in heat better than a human.
  • Sometimes when a female goat urinates in front of a male goat when they are in heat, the male goat will stick their face in the urine and smell it.
  • They may well even go as far as to lick the urine.

In turn, a male goat, when in heat, may urinate on his own face and beard so that a female goat can smell the hormones and pheromones on his face.

The average heat cycle is between 17 to 25 days. When a goat becomes pregnant, she will move more easily and seem more jubilant than before. Most dairy goats have their babies in the spring and go into heat in the fall.

Goats are happier when they have things to play with. Look through these Goat Toys on Amazon for inventive feeders and large balls or toys for your goats.

Why Do Baby Goats Wag their Tails?

Baby goats do not wag their tails for the same reasons adult goats do. When goats are born, the mother goat will make a mental imprint of their scent. They do this so that they know which baby goats belong to them and which ones come from another mother goat.

Mother goats need to know who their family is.

Baby goats seem aware of this, and they wag their tails to let their mother know they are their babies. It is a way for the mother to be able to identify her kids.

She uses the smell of her babies behind to identify them. Baby goats may also wag their tails when they are excited or happy. People have tried to cover up the smell with perfume, but it has not worked.  

Why Do Goats Wag Their Tails?

Goats often wag their tails for various reasons. They could be feeling many different things. Overall, you will need to rely on the body language of your goat to determine why they may be wagging their tail. The following include some of the reasons why goats may wag their tails. 

Goats Wag Their Tail When Excited or Scared

Goats will often wag their tails due to excitement or fear. It could mean many different things when a goat wags their tail:

  • The faster they wag their tails, the happier they are
  • A new toy, their favorite human, or a yummy snack are reasons for goats to be excited
  • Goats may also wag their tails when they feel threatened by another animal

Goats may also wag their tail when they are feeling angry. If they sit down and flick their tails forcefully with pauses in between, it likely means they are irritated or upset about something. 

Goats Wag Their Tail When Feeling Affectionate

Much like a dog wags their tail when they see their favorite human, goats can also wag their tails when they want to demonstrate love and affection. They may start to wag their tail as soon as they see you quickly.

Goats are very social animals; if they are happy to see you, they will likely wag their tail. It is not uncommon to see goats wagging their tails if they are also being petted.

Goat Wags Their Tail When Happy

Goats wag their tails to show that they are happy. Babies get incredibly excited to see their mother or their human. They will wag their tail and light up like a Christmas tree.

Baby goats also tend to become happy when they are playing, and they will wag their tail. If you see your goat is wagging their tail when you come toward them, it likely means that they love you!

Due to Flies and Insects

Flies and insects are gross, and they tend to affect a lot of livestock. The result is a highly uncomfortable animal. Goats often go potty wherever they stand or while walking, attracting flies. They wag their tail in an attempt to get the flies and bugs away from them.   

To Communicate with Other Goats

Goats will often use their tails to communicate with each other. They can express happiness, fear, excitement, or any other emotion to other goats with just the flick of their tail.

When a goat wags their tail, they may also be trying to let the other goats know something interesting is happening.


Goats wag their tails for many different reasons. You should pay attention to your goat’s body language and facial expression to determine why they are wagging their tail.

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