Can goats really be man's new best friend?


06 July 2016

Dogs are known as man's best friend, but believe it or not, scientists have suggested that goats could rival dogs when it comes to forming an emotional bond with their owners.

The research carried out by Queen Mary University of London aimed to prove that goats are much cleverer than previously thought and interact with people in a similar way to pets.

"Goats gaze at humans in the same way as dogs do when asking for a treat that is out of reach," said Dr Christian Nawroth, one of the authors of the study.

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Their experiment showed that goats will gaze at their owners when they are struggling to complete a task, a trait commonly seen in dogs.

The team has also demonstrated that goats can work out how to break into a sealed box using levers and they can even remember the skill four years later.

"Our results provide strong evidence for complex communication directed at humans in a species that was domesticated primarily for agricultural production, and show similarities with animals bred to become pets or working animals, such as dogs and horses," said Dr Christian.