8 Ways Pigs Will Remind You of Dogs

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on June 1, 2015.

A fictional piglet named Piggy Sue will change how you look at bacon forever. Vodafone New Zealand has put a new spin to the usually graphic “meet your meat” videos in its recent commercial starring Piggy Sue.

Here’s how Piggy Sue’s story starts: a Southern Mail courier driver named Keith discovers a pink piglet in the middle of the road all alone. Keith is just a regular guy trying to do the right thing, so he tries to track down where the wee pigIet comes from. He gets no leads or help — one guys says that all he knows about pigs is that “they taste alright.” But Keith eventually gets an unexpected lead that keeps every animal lover on the edge of their seat. I won’t spoil it for you, but you might get a little emotional.

Here’s what I feel confident saying: the most that an average Joe or Jane knows about farm animals is how to cook them, how to season them and what they taste like. Knowing their personalities and preferences makes us too uncomfortable. While I watched Piggy Sue’s story, I got to thinking about how easily she could’ve been Puppy Sue. Most of us have that natural inclination to want to help a lost dog on the road. While a lost dog and a lost pig aren’t that different, we know that their fates are very different. Here are eight ways that pigs are just like dogs.

1. Sociability

Under natural circumstances, pigs lead rich, social lives. According to The Merck Veterinary Manual, free-ranging pigs are often found in groups of eight with three sows and her offspring. And don’t ask me how or why, but like man’s best friend, pigs also genuinely seem to enjoy human companionship.

@estherthewonderpig Instagram

@estherthewonderpig Instagram

2. Territoriality

It’s not just a dog thing. Pigs can become territorial and aggressive, even towards humans (usually children). While they’re social animals, they’re also hierarchal animals, says Pigs 4 Ever. There’s only one “top hog,” and they’ll continuous challenge members in the group for the coveted position.

3. Happiness

Like dogs, pigs can experience and express happiness. They’ll go in for belly rubs and wag their little tails; although a wagging tail can also signal anger and aggression.

4. Cuddles

Many pigs can’t resist a good cuddle. And apparently cuddling cute pigs is good for us, too. As reported in The Guardian, Nottingham Trent University helped students relieve stress during exams by cuddling with pigs.

@estherthewonderpig Instagram

@estherthewonderpig Instagram

5. Unhappiness

But not every moment can be filled with joy, and a pig will let you know when they’re not happy. Look at how Esther the Wonder Pig disapproves of her dad’s joke in her expressive “tantrum.”

6. Mischief

Dogs aren’t the only ones good at getting into trouble. Pigs can also do the darndest things. Check out this pig manages to open the refrigerator.

7. Trainability

Dogs aren’t the only ones who can do things on command. According to PBS, pigs can learn how to walk on a leash and use a litter box (pigs are actually very clean animals!).

8. Intelligence

All of this complexity shows that pigs are highly intelligent creatures. As reported by The Humane Society of the United States, pigs can easily outsmart dogs and a human three-year-old. While we know that pigs also have formidable memories and the ability to recognize each other, we are only scratching the surface of their abilities, for instance:

“Studies on this topic suggest that pigs might possess a degree of theory of mind, which is the ability to presume the intentions of others’ behavior. Michael Mendl, one of the researchers involved in the studies, believes the findings suggest that ‘pigs can compete with each other in quite complex and ‘cerebral’ ways.’”

It’s clear that dogs and pigs aren’t that different. But what I hope we realize is that pigs are sentient, emotional creatures like us. Maybe we’ll start seeing that instead of bacon.

257 comments

Glennis W
Glennis W13 days ago

Best friends forever You for caring adn sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W13 days ago

They are awesome You for caring adn sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W13 days ago

So adorable You for caring adn sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W13 days ago

Really cute You for caring adn sharing

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hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD14 days ago

tyfs

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Renata B
Renata B14 days ago

I had no doubts at all.

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Carole R
Carole R15 days ago

Interesting but I still wouldn't want one running around my house. Sorry.

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michela c
michela c15 days ago

Lovely piggies!

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Barbara M
Barbara M4 months ago

Thank you

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara4 months ago

th

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