In the U S, goats used for packing are usually tall and lean; belonging to one of the larger dairy goat breeds such as Alpine, Toggenburg, Saanen, Lamancha, Oberhasli or a crossbreed thereof.
Pack goats don't take much training, but it is important that they be properly socialized to humans. Training generally involves starting with a baby goat and carefully working with them to gain their trust.
A good pack goat is comfortable around people, which allows a pack goat handler to strap the saddles on to them without much fuss. Goats are naturally inclined to herd and will stay grouped together and follow their handler by instinct. They develop a very distinct pecking order with each group of goats having a leader "boss" goat. When out hiking, the goats will typically follow in the same order every time, with the boss goat in front and the rest falling into their spots behind. Besides their natural inclination to stay grouped together and follow their handler, goats are well suited as pack animals due to their natural athleticism. When comfortable and happy, goats keep their tails up and will often wiggle them like dogs.
Some public lands require permits for the use of goats as pack animals. Concerns have been raised about the disease-spreading potential that domestic goats may pose to wild animals, such as and mountain goats.