Many peoples think that pigs are intelligent animals and are smarter as compared to dogs. However, not many people have genuinely seen the intelligence of the pigs in their real life.
Pigs are mostly quite unassuming, peacefully grazing or rooting around. Besides, many people have never really interacted with pigs close enough to learn more about them and know how intelligent they are in reality.
Pigs are one of the most intelligent animals, following chimpanzees, dolphins, elephants, and dogs. Most often, people things that dogs are the most intelligent creatures when they can roll over or wobble on the command, but pigs surpass even man’s best friend.
How Intelligent are Pigs?
There are several similarities among dogs and pigs, and both species have long since proven to be loving and affectionate pets. There are several shreds of evidence that show that pigs are smarter than dogs, while others show that as far as intelligence goes, the differences are negligible.
There are no questions; however, pigs are intelligent, curious, communicative, and even creative. They are emotionally involved in animals and have long term memories.
The intelligence of pigs was initially discovered in an experiment conducted in the 1990s. In that experiment, pigs were taught numerous tasks using a cursor on the computer screen. Pigs learned those tasks quickly as do chimpanzees. (PDF – Thinking Pigs)
The pigs started moving a cursor on the screen with their snouts, as well as using the cursor to differentiate between scribbles they knew and those they saw for the first time.
Pigs are sometimes enjoying in the highlights as the world understands that these smart, spirited animals make truly eccentric pets. ( National Library of Congress – Assessing Learning and Memory of Pigs)
While conventionally pigs have been thought of severely as farm animals, people now see the unique, intelligence that pig retains. Pigs, like dogs, are highly creative, social, and happy to hug with the owners.
Let’s take a stare at some of the less known realities about pigs that demonstrate they have their place in the family, not on a plate.
Pigs Are Very Social
Pigs live a complicated social life. They learn from each other and work together. Like dogs, pigs do love to play and participate in the play fighting. These farm animals have been found to show compassion or responsiveness when observed in another animal.
They can sense if any person is helpful to them. They are capable of differentiating between familiar pigs and stranger pigs. Several types of research have shown that pigs are skilled at mazes and other tests demanding the location of objects and they do have excellent long-term memories. They can even find hidden things by using a mirror.
Like any animal, humans included, intelligence is a relative concept. Pigs are like dogs in having particular native strengths in olfactory and emotional intelligence. The eyes of pigs are weaker as compared to dogs, but the sense of scent is almost a superpower. Each animal is adept in altering the world surround them physically with their muzzles.
Where the puppy’s eyes may melt our hearts, pigs can be emotionally manipulative of their owners. Dogs and pigs are both sensitive to happiness and pain, and both experience tangible welfares in terms of health and well-being from consistent social interaction.
For their part, pigs can be house and behavior-trained, and they do like to do exercise even when leashed or harnessed. Like chickens and dogs, pigs are physically tough animals, and they can adaptable to a wide variety of climate and homes, whether urban apartments or urban farms.
Move Over Dogs – Pigs are the New Smart Pet
Whenever we consider animals that can communicate with humans, we usually think of a dog. The man from long ago has domesticated a dog, and they are living close to humans, dogs have developed the capability to understand the emotional and intellectual cues from humans.
Pigs have developed this ability too. Pigs are domesticated for thousands of years. Therefore, it makes sense that after spending thousands of years with humans, pigs have well-read much of human social intelligence that dogs have.
Several studies show that pigs can solve many tasks, including maze, puzzles, and teamwork. Pigs can perform different advance tasks like controlling a joystick to move the cursor, and a trait shared only with chimpanzees. They can communicate through symbols and show empathy and collaboration.
They Strategize and Compete
Pigs can make strategies and complete different tasks. When placed in the strategic competition, pigs show signs of strategic planning when it comes to searching for the food. Pigs do have some favorite places to eat like humans, and if the pathways there are blocked or have changed, pigs will adapt and find a new route.
This ability shows that they not only do remember the location but can also analyze its value and decide whether to share their knowledge with other pigs or not.
Pigs Have Empathy and Show it – Often
Pigs are emotional animals, and they show their emotions to their family and friends. We tend to think about empathy as being a social domain; however, researchers reveal a study to prove pigs can share their feelings with others.
In the experiments, pigs were introduced to a stressful environment. When the pigs were open to that situation, they returned and communicated about the conditions with the pigs who had not been exposed to stressful circumstances.
They Can Play Video Games
Pigs are quite playful animals that are also a sign of intelligence. In an experiment, pigs were introduced to the video game to control a specially designed joystick to click on a specific area of a screen that will result in them being given a treat.
The pigs then succeeded to click on the specific area and got the gift. The pigs also show their intelligence while playing toys and tools, chasing each other, mock-fighting, and even forming teams.
They Have a Sense of Individuality
Pigs do have the ability to differentiate between humans and other animals, distinctly remembering individuals, and whether they are friends or foes. They use scent to tell one individual from another, and they display a clear preference for accustomed faces.
Pigs have long-term memory, and they can remember an individual after a long time. It is difficult to track them by dressing people in the same outfits or changing up other physical cues.
Training Approaches are the Way for Smart Pigs
It is essential to use positive training methods, as most people know that pigs cannot be forced to do something they don’t want to do.
Apart from being intelligent, pigs are stubborn animals.
They will only obey commands only if they think there is an award waiting for them.
Mostly the reward is in the form of food. Moreover, pigs like to get respect, love, and understanding. The knowledge of pig’s behavior is also essential to treat them while training. Incorrect interpretation of the pig’s behavior can result in the loss of an animal’s trust and may lead to undesirable traits.
Gaining the trust of pigs, therefore, is the most crucial aim. Upon this, we build respect, and the pig’s desire to obey our instructions follows naturally.
As they are herd animals, therefore, pigs are very spontaneous to the position they hold in their groups or herds. Pigs have a stringent hierarchy in their packs. Understanding how pigs get and maintain the situation is paramount to a successful training program.
World Pig Breeder Associations
|National Swine Registry||United States||NSR|
|Livestock Conservancy||North Carolina||LC|
|American Mini Pig Association||United States||AMPA|
|Southern California Association of Pot Bellied Pigs||California||SCAPBP|
|British Pig Association||UK||BPA|
|National Pig Association||UK||NPA|
|Canadian Swine Breeders Associations||Canada||CSBA|
|Australian Pig Breeders Associations||Australia||APBA|