A recent study revealed that goats have a common quality with dogs, which is the ability to translate human gestures and signs.
The study is the first evidence of how goats understand human signals, which proves that the ability to perceive human signals is not limited to domesticated animals such as dogs.
Sputnik. Dmitry Vinogradov
“From our previous research, we already know that goats are smarter than their reputation suggests, but these results show how they can perceive signals and interact with humans even though they are not domesticated as pets or working animals,” says one of the authors of the study.
The researchers came to their discovery after conducting a series of experiments at a goat sanctuary in Bogton Monchelsea in Kent, UK, to test the ability of animals to understand the human signal.
Twenty goats, all subjected to the possibility of reaching buckets containing food, took part in the test after scientists indicated it with their hands, and they all passed the tests after they understood three different signs.
To ensure that the animals were correctly interpreting the human signal, the location of the bucket containing the food was changed in some tests.
“We already know that goats are very consistent with the language of the human body, but we did not know if they could follow a human hint such as pointing gesture in the same way that dogs and horses do to locate food,” said Dr. Christian Noroth of the Leibniz Institute for Farm Biology in Germany.
He emphasized that “this new study has important implications for how we interact with farm animals and other species, because the ability of animals to perceive human gesture may be widespread and not only limited to traditional pets such as dogs.”
The researchers hope that their study will lead to a better understanding of the skillful ability of farm animals to interact with humans based on their cognitive abilities, and improve the welfare of animals in general.