Much of society would describe goats as goofy, stinky, noisy farm animals. While that’s not wrong, there’s so much more to goats than meets the eye. Most people find goat’s behavior quite amusing, and who can blame them? They stick their tongues out, bounce around like jumping beans, and make the strangest sounds. But goats are actually much more intelligent than they lead us to believe.
Did you know goats have a similar intellectual capacity to dogs? Or that they are just as capable of building emotional relationships with humans as common household pets? Goats can learn to perform many of the same actions dogs do on command, like spinning in a circle or giving a “high five”. This comes as a shock to many as it is not common to see a goat that someone has put time into training, let alone considered the possibilities.
Much like dogs, a goat with an emotional connection to its owner will look to them for reassurance when they are nervous, assistance when they need it, and affection when they want it. The article further proves this when it states “The 2016 study showed that goats stare intensely at their owner when they’re struggling to complete a task – a trait that’s also observed in domesticated dogs..” They communicate with people through body language and vocalizations to express different emotions like joy and frustration. This is exactly like a dog bowing to play, or whining when they want something.
Another reason many people aren’t aware of the intelligence of goats is that they don’t understand their natural behaviors. We, people, find many of the things they do to be hilarious, and that’s because we don’t understand what they really mean. Sticking their tongues out and making odd sounds are likely the result of the goat being hormonal, and male goats display these behaviors the most. Male goats also tend to have thicker, longer, and messier hair.
A male goat’s appearance combined with hormonal behaviors is part of what gives people the wrong impression of goats. While they definitely are a playful species, don’t let that stop you from seeing all that they are.
For more Goat information, read “Surprising Goat Facts” by Hayden Richardson