Have you been thinking about adding a pygmy goat to your collection of animals? There are plenty of compelling reasons to do so. Pygmy goats are pint-sized cuties that children love. If you are the owner of a petting zoo, this is a natural winner. And if you own a farm, pygmies are still an excellent source of milk.
One of the questions that has lately been interesting scientists is just how smart the average goat really is. And as it turns out, goats are much smarter beasts than the average person may be willing to give them credit for. In fact, some have claimed that the average goat is just as, or even more, intelligent than a dog.
It is certainly true that goats, contrary to their somewhat fierce looks, are quite lovable and affectionate animals. Of course, since most of us don’t own or didn’t grow up on a farm, we tend not to comprehend this. But as it turns out, more and more evidence is coming to the surface to defend this initially confounding proposition.
Goats have been shown to be fully responsive to the same kind of stimuli that affects dogs and other animals. This will very much include our own species as part of the equation. Goats, including pygmies, have a wide range of emotions that they are able to demonstrate to us. In short, they are smarter than many of us ever guessed.
Are Goats More Intelligent Than Dogs?
Some scientists are eager to assert that, because goats have been newly proven to be highly intelligent, they are therefore at the top of the IQ chain. Many have thus been in a hurry to class goats as even smarter than the average cat or dog. This is a claim that bears closer examination. The results that emerge are, so far, inconclusive.
It is true that goats are highly sensitive, emotionally perceptive, and social animals. These are qualities that dogs have, both in the wild and in a domestic setting. The major point of divergence is perhaps the fact that goats have not become quite the household companion that dogs and cats have.
This is because goats are animals that have been traditionally been used for very different purposes than cats or dogs. However, in recent years, much attention has been devoted to goats, fully sized and pygmy alike, in order to ascertain just how smart they may really be. The results have been at once enlightening and surprising.
In the end, it is true that goats are perceptive and surprisingly intelligent animals. They have been shown to exhibit and respond to a wide range of emotions. Whether or not they are actually as smart as the average cat or dog remains to be proven. But it does look like a great deal of study is going to be conducted in the near future.
What Can You Train A Pygmy Goat To Do?
A pygmy goat has been shown to be responsive to a wide level of training. It helps to start training a baby pygmy goat as soon as they are able to walk around and feed without the aid of their mother. Once they are weaned and independent, you can start their training regimen. Remember to be very gentle as you are dealing with a baby.
You can train your pygmy goat to do a whole lot of things. Many of them will be the same kind of tricks that you can train a dog to do. For example, you can train them to sit, beg, roll over, give their paw, and many more. It takes the same level of love and patience, enhanced with timely rewards, that it will with any other animal.
There is one particular activity that you will need to teach your pygmy goat to do on a day to day basis. This is all the more true if you intend to keep a pygmy in your home. The activity in question will involve potty training.
Goat poop is particularly odorous and unpleasant to deal with. You can train your goat to go in a special place using the same methods that you do with a dog. Reward them with treats when they follow your orders. But don’t punish them excessively when they don’t. This is an activity that will take some time to ingrain into them.
Put down newspaper in the area where you want them to go. Some goats may need to be diapered to prevent unpleasant incidents.
Do Goats Remember You?
The answer to this question would seem to be a resounding yes. Goats do seem to have exceptional memory and recognition skills. Of course, the majority of this is meant to help them to recognize other members of their species. But they can also use these skills, both instinctual and learned, to recognize the humans they deal with.
Goats are able to recognize each other by taking notice of a number of specific individual qualities. These seem to include looks, voice, and odor. The combination of these characteristics is committed to their memory. By accessing it, they are able to pick out specific individuals from among the other members of their herd.
It should also be pointed out that goats have shown the ability to commit these impressions to their long term memory. It is also evident that they are extremely sensitive to the range of emotions that can be shown in a goat’s face. This is also true of the humans that they will come into contact with on a day to day basis.
Goats can not only recognize the emotion in other goat’s expressions, they can also judge it correctly from the sound of their voice. They are social animals that can react very quickly to this type of stimuli. A wide range of emotions is thus “catching” from one goat to another, which proves that they are perceptive animals.