Could goats be the new "man's best friend?"

Although goats have mainly been owned for agricultural reasons for 10,000 years, they actually make good pets! Until now, it was thought that only animals that had been bred as companions, like cats and dogs, could form bonds with humans. We thought wrong! Studies have recently been done that show that goats are able to modify their behavior based on their human audience, they are comfortable living outside of a flock, and they have a level of intelligence that rivals dogs.

The latest study was done by a team of researchers who trained 34 goats to remove a lid from a box to receive an award. After running through the test multiple times, the researchers then made the box impossible to open, and recorded the goats' reactions. According to Science Alert:

"They found that the goats turned their heads towards the person conducting the experiment once they realised they were stuck, and they gazed longer when the person was facing them, as opposed to when they had their back turned, which suggests that the goats were aware of where the human was looking."

These results were something that researchers expected from animals like dogs and horses, but not goats. That means goats can communicate and interact with human handlers, even though they weren't domesticated as pets or as work animals. So basically, goats are much smarter than everyone thinks, and this research can help us figure out how to take care of them better.

And there you have it! It's totally not weird to have a pet goat! I wonder if my apartment complex will allow me to have one...

Courtlin

[Via Science Alert]