What is the smartest and most talented sheep in the world?

Somersby, Australia - It's true that you wouldn't usually associate sheep with intelligence, but Beanie and Noeline are here to prove us wrong. Beanie is the smartest and most talented sheep in the world!

There are some remarkably intelligent and talented sheep in the world.
There are some remarkably intelligent and talented sheep in the world.  © Collage: Unsplash/George Hiles/Sam Carden/Ricky Riyadi

When you think about sheep, what comes to mind? Probably a few "baa's," a wool sweater, and some beautifully grilled lamb chops, right?

Well, whatever it might be, it wouldn't have been "smarts." They are not traditionally intelligent animals like dolphins or cats, but that doesn't mean they can't achieve truly extraordinary things.

This sheep has managed to snatch up an animal world record for being the smartest and most talented sheep in the world. What is its story, and how did it grow to be so awesome?

This is the smarted and most talented sheep

Noeline Cassettari has always thought that sheep get a bad rap for being a little bit stupid and very uncoordinated. As a result, she got training as she worked to get her beautiful sheep Beanie a world record, proving all the naysayers as wrong as possible.

It was then that she reached her dream. Beanie managed to achieve the most tricks performed by a sheep in one minute, thereby proving to be the smartest and most talented sheep in history. So impressive was the achievement that Guinness World Records officially awarded them both with a world record like no other.

A video posted by Noeline Cassettari to her YouTube channel shows Beanie in action. As she called out commands and imitated various behaviors, the sheep wandered after her, completing trick after trick and having a good little munch in between each one — it was a truly extraordinary feat!

The award was made official on May 6, 2023, proving Cassettari's desired point that sheep are clever animals capable of learning tricks through simple positive reinforcement.

How many tricks did the world's most talented sheep perform?

The impressive and successful world record attempt saw Beanie complete 11 tricks in only one minute. If you're skeptical, that's fair enough, but that's what her video's for: to prove not only how smart sheep can be but how easily trained and agile as well.

It's certain that Noeline Cassettari has been training Beanie for a very long time, and her account is full of videos displaying the sheep's wild and varied talent. Who knew that sheep could be so smart?

Sheep are actually much smarter than you probably think.
Sheep are actually much smarter than you probably think.  © Unsplash/Kiki Falconer

Are sheep smart?

While you wouldn't expect it, sheep are actually seriously intelligent animals. Almost as intelligent as pigs and about as smart as cattle, these little fluffy dudes have impressive brains capable of complex cognitive functions. They are capable of recognizing different people, sheep, and animals based on faces and have impressive memories that rival some of the smartest creatures out there.

In an article published in Psychology Today back in 2019, biologist Marc Bekoff described them perfectly when he described them as "intelligent, emotional, and unique." He argued that the way we treat sheep a lot of the time is quite cruel and that there are many preconceptions needed to bust about sheep smartness.

"Sheep do care about their own lives and how they are treated and respond to similar situations in similar ways to humans. Nothing we've learned about sheep gives us a free pass to mistreat them based on myths about their 'mindlessness.' They are intelligent, complex, and feeling individuals."

Cover photo: Collage: Unsplash/George Hiles/Sam Carden/Ricky Riyadi

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