Dig Deeper

Overview Taxonomy


Physical Description

Pygmy goats are small and stout and have a full coat of straight, medium-length hair. Male Pygmy goats have long, full beards.


The Pygmy Goat was originally called the Cameroon Dwarf Goat and came – as the name implies – from Cameroon in West Africa. Today, this breed of goat still has a large presence in West African countries. Some Cameroon goats were exported from Africa to zoos in Sweden and Germany where they were on display as exotic animals. From there they made their way to England, Canada, and the United States.

Introduction to North America

The first record of Pygmy goats in the United States dates to 1959, although some may have come into the country earlier without documentation. In 1959, the Rhue family of California and the Catskill Game Farm in New York both received shipments of Pygmy goats from Sweden.


In the United States and elsewhere, Pygmy goats are raised mainly as companion animals. They are popular pets and exhibition animals and are widely found in petting zoos. They also produce milk and are useful as natural lawnmowers.

Current Status

Pygmy goats are a popular breed in the United States and elsewhere in the world.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Therapsid
  • Family: Bovidae
  • Genera: Capra
  • Species: aegagrus hircus