Do Goats Bond with Humans and Show Affection?

Goats Showing Affection

Goats are one of the anciently domesticated animals; goats are still viewed mainly as farm animals, not pets. Unlike dogs that have adapted to the living indoor and housebreaking,  goat still needs ample outdoor space to flourish, and goats enjoy living with other companion goats. However, dogs love to live happily with humans.

It is yet to know that a goat is to love one because these idiosyncratic, personality-packed creatures are incredibly appealing.

Goats are surprisingly smart, at least as intelligent as dogs, and goats do have the ability to create similar relationships with humans as do dogs. Thus, the question arises that could goats become human’s new best friend? Queen Mary’s College of London, UK

Science of Goats

It’s been 10,000 years that dogs are living close to humans. Dogs become human’s friend to the extent that dogs can now differentiate human’s different emotions displayed on the human faces.

One factor that sets dog apart from the rest of the canine family is their tendency to make direct eye contact with humans. Dogs gaze at humans for several reasons, including when they require help to resolve difficulties, such as how to get out of an enclosed container.

Several types of research conducted to know whether if other domesticated animals, especially goat, might also share such ability, and it turns out their suspicions were correct. Goats like dogs, stare attentively at their owners when they need assistance completing a task.

How Goats Show Affection Toward Humans

Goats show affection towards humans. Several studies suggest goats show love in a variety of different ways, including:

  • Gaze / Locking Eyes
  • Allow Goat to stand beside and be rubbed
  • Vocalizing


Most of the time, the dog will just straight up and stare at his owner. Goats do that too. This staring by the pet referred to as “Audience- dependent human-directed visual orientation behavior” by scientists.

However, when goats look or stare the owners, it has two things to say: goats either look at the owner to affect behavior like they want some treat or simply to take you in because they love you.

Goats sometimes stare at owners to communicate and ask for some help. There might be something that they can’t resolve or if they don’t feel uncomfortable. During such situations, the goat will stare at the owner and use delicate body cues to request for assistance.

This staring is the act of asking help is a sign of affection, as it means the goat trusts you and they feel confident that there is strong enough two ways bond.

Unlike dogs, goats don’t get up and wrap the owner in a hug,

so they hug the owner with their eyes. The stare from the goat is a sign of warmth and caring.

Physical Affection / Rubbed Scratched Chest / Underarms

It’s a pretty cute fact that goats actively like to be petted. However, goats don’t want to get petted like a dog. Goats dislike straight stroking them down the back and prefer to have the front chest and underarms scratched.

Once the goats have friendship with the owner, then the goat will not shy to ask to be petted. The goats will come and stand beside the owner, sometimes even rub themselves against the owner as a cat does.

Goats have a mob mentality, i.e. if one of the goat that approaches the owner get pleased with pets, the other goats will note that and swarm the owner in a similar way. Owner being surrounded by affection craving Goats.

This act of asking for being petted and receiving stroking is the goat’s way of bonding with the owner. This physical affection matters a lot for the goats.

Body Language Clues

Happiness tied with affection. The pricked up eyes of goats will tell you that they are happy. The eyes often point forward when the goats see their beloved human.

Goats positioned their ears up when they met with their favorite human. These signs show the excitement in seeing their dear humans. Emotions felt because of the strong affection and bond between human and goats.

Vocal Clues

It is difficult to differentiate the bleats and cries of the goats. When goats come in contact with the human, with whom they have affection, they tend to let out a steady bleat of happiness.

All cries from other goats may differ up and down in pitch. A stable, constant bleat is the optimistic sign, and it is the sign of joy.

By listening carefully, the human will able to distinct a consistent pitch, and the owner will become able to pick up those vocal hints of affection.

Calm Behavior

A happy goat will feel relaxed, stress-free, and chilled-out. Some signs of aggression, like head butting, biting, charging, etc., don’t convey affection. However, goats who willingly goes along with humans and stay calm and willing to listen is saying that they like and respect their owners.

This calmness is the trait that makes goats excellent animals. Goats are clam and even-tempered animals for children too as they don’t provide any threat to the kids.

Affection With Other Goats

It not only people to whom goat show their love to, though it can be other goats too. As goats are social animals, therefore it is often suggested that the owner must get goats in pairs, so they don’t get lonely.

When placed in a herd of two or more goats, they show friendliness to each other in a couple of ways. For one, they will often huddle up and cuddle together. They do eat meals together and even like to sleep together rather than on their own.

Science Proves Goats Like Humans

Several studies conducted show that there are many similarities between a goat’s mind and a dog’s mind as compared to a sheep’s brain. Goats have more distinctive thinkers; it is natural they placed into their domestication and learned to form a link with humans.

Goats, unlike sheep, do love to live solo happily with humans as compared to life in a flock. Animals that were initially bred for agricultural work have progressively flattened the path of domestic pets when it approaches bonding.

Do Goats Make Good Pets

Goats can’t replace dogs as man’s best friend. The primary reason is that goats mostly live outdoors and they don’t make good indoor pets. However, it doesn’t mean that goats are not good companion animals.

Goats are excellent outdoor pets. However, the owner must provide goats with room to roam, a zone to climb, and housing to keep them safe from harmful elements.

A durable fence is a must as goats are intelligent enough to escape from the shelter. They do have the ability to stick their heads in the small holes, chew wood, and rub their bodies on the fence. Therefore, a stable and reinforced fencing with slates is the necessity to keep goats within the wall safely.

Like other pet animals, goats do require regular veterinary care by having hooves trimmed.

It is often thought that goats will eat everything, which is wrong as goats are quite picky.

Goats don’t like to eat from the floor or soil. Therefore, goats must get their feed off the ground in a manger.

In short, goats are social animals that are capable of making a bond with their owners. Goats are silly but amusing animals to spend time with, and many people love to drink goat’s milk.

However, goats do require a lot of care to keep them physically healthy. They do have an emotional need as well as they like to play and do the best things with other goats.

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