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Are Goats Smart? You may not think at first that the average goat is very smart. To the casual observer, a goat seemingly stands around all day when they are not napping and eats pretty much everything in sight. Goats can also be stubborn animals which is often mistaken as a sign that they lack intelligence.
How Smart Are Goats?
However, recent research has discovered that goats are smarter than you might think. In fact, a goat may be close to the level of dogs when it comes to their overall capacity to learn and understand.
Evidence that Goats are Intelligent Creatures
While goats are farm animals that may people group into cows, chickens, and pigs, there are strong indications that they have developed a higher level of intelligence for several reasons.
Complex Social Groups: A typical goat society on the farm is really a complex social structure that has more sophistication that it first might appear. Because this complex structure formed out of their domestication, goats have an intelligence that is not apparent to the casual observer.
Goats Have Memories
Better Memories: One area that really separates goats from many other farm animals is their long memories. Goats can learn and remember things, traits, and processes for a very long time, even if they have not used their memories for an extended period. This means that once a goat learns a new skill or method, it tends to stick with them for a very long time even if the opportunity to use such skills or methods does not come up again for months or even years at a time.
Skill Sets: Goats have a unique skill set that is often shared by their non-farm animal relatives. Goats can climb trees to get at different types of food and while it may appear that they will down virtually anything, goats are rather picky about what they eat. This includes the ability to pull tasty sprigs from otherwise difficult plants that may have thorns.
Are Goats Smart?
The short answer is yes, goats carry with them an intelligence and sense of learning that surpasses many other animals you find on the farm. While the reasons are not altogether clear, it may be that given how goats survive has provided them with the expanded capacity to learn new things so they can find what the need to eat and avoid predators.
However, goats seemingly only learn by doing and not observing what other goats do in terms of learning new traits or skills. This was noted by researchers who had other goats watching when their test subjects would learn a new way to get food. It seems that learning by doing is the primary way they gain knowledge, although in some instances such traits are passed to each generation as they grow up.
Goats Are Smart.
At this point, it does seem like goats fall into the smarter group of farm animals thanks to their ability to learn new skills and retain them for a very long period. While they may not reach the level of chimps, dolphins, or elephants, they are a lot smarter than most people give them credit.