Are Cows Friendly?

are cows friendly

Most people don’t know much about cows other than beef or only see cows playing with kids through adorable pictures in milk advertisements. At some point, have you ever wonder: are cows friendly? Can you approach them when visiting a farm, or let your kids play with them like advertisements on TV? Could we pat them, or would they attack us? Read this article to find out the answer to your concern and more.

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Are cows friendly?

Some cows seem to be friendly and curious, but some of them are not friendly at all, even aggressive and dangerous. Those cows’ behavior might be a big mystery for many people, especially those who live in cities.

In fact, whether cows can be friendly or not depends on many factors. Since all cows are not born unfriendly, the way we raised them and how often we interact with them plays important role in cow behavior. For certain situations, cows could be aggressive if they feel like being threatened or they do have something to protect at that moment.

cow hugging
Cow hugging

For example, dairy cows that are milked frequently are less likely to be spooked or agitated since they have become familiar with people through a lot of interactions. However, male cow or bulls is more likely to be dangerous as their natural defense, especially when they’re protecting the herd or their youngs.  Interestingly, dairy bulls are more prone to aggression than beef bulls.

Most of us always assume that bulls usually attack something colored in red, like the red dress you’re wearing. Actually, bulls are red-green colorblind, a red cape will not trigger the bull unless you move it.

Check more: Does Milking A Cow Hurt The Cow?

How to identify a friendly or aggressive cow?

Can cows be friendly? Yes. However, they could be dangerous for certain reasons and there are signs of aggression in cow behavior you need to know before approaching them.

When you approach cows in a spacious place or somewhere they can feel at ease, they could be friendly to you. This friendly cattle will allow you to get close to them without running away or acting frightened. Understand these body language of cows makes you easier to get close to them.

For unfriendly cows, there are a few signs of aggression that you need to be aware of.  Bulls may stare you down, pace, and grunt to warn you that they are about to attack. And if they’re pawing the ground or stomping, you should leave the space immediately. Be aware not to run or they will knock you down.

In general, if it isn’t your cow, it is better to keep a little distance or have an exit when approaching to ensure everything is under your control. Whether cows can be friendly or not, they could be dangerous if something unexpected happens.

Read More: Why Are Canadian Geese So Aggressive? We look into the circumstances that surround this behavior in geese.

How to train your cows to be more friendly?

As mentioned before, not all cows are born to be aggressive and dangerous, which means we can train them to be more friendly with people through a lot of time and patience. After that, they may not play along with you as you see on advertising but a least let you pet them or get close to them.

training cow to be friendly

The key to cow training is increasing interaction between raisers and cows. For the best result, you should raise them from their young age. Young cattle or any other animal tend to be far more familiar when being adopted at such an early stage in their lives.

Other ways to level up your interactions with cows are to feed them from your own hands and let them see you daily. The more often your cows see you and eating treats from you, the less scared they will be of you. Still, always keep a fence or something like that to separate you from the cows in order to keep you safer.

And remember to help them reduce stress. Chasing your cows or captivate them in corners just makes them more stressed and thus, aggressive. Move and handles your cattle friends slowly and calmly. In this way, cows will be less stressed and act more friendly to humans.

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How to avoid cow attacks?

If you happen to walk through a cow farm, you can learn some of these tips below to avoid cow attacks:

  • Do not corner or sneak up on a cow. As they’ll feel concerned and threatened if you do so, be sure to always let them see you while approaching.
  • Talk or interact with cows quietly and slowly or you will startle them and make them aggressive.
  • Keep dogs away from your sensitive cattle. As we told you, cows aren’t interested in being chased, even by animals like dogs.
  • Do not get close to mother cows and their young. Cow’s instinct is protecting calves, be aware!
  • Walk quietly and at a steady pace. Avoid sudden or fast movements that can spook them and lead them to attack what they see as a threat – you.

Are cows friendly? It’s up to your actions. So remember to follow these tips when approaching cattle like cows, or get away from them for your own safety.

Read more: Why do cows wear bells?


Are cow friendly? Our answer is yes. Nothing is born to be unfriendly, neither do cows. However, it doesn’t mean that all cow will be nice to you all the time. Their behavior depends a lot on your interactions with them. With time and proper attention, you can even train this sensitive cattle to be the friendly pet that you can cuddle with. Try it now!

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