Are Reindeer Dangerous or Friendly?

Generally, reindeer are peaceful animals. They do not attack humans unnecessarily. Especially the farm-raised, domestic reindeer, are more friendly and stay calm when you approach them or pass by them.

As the studies say, reindeer are or can be dangerous in their rutting season. It is the season when they look for their harem and are overprotective of their females. It is better to stay away or if you pass, you pass with caution without disturbing them.

Besides these, you will find more myths and stats related to the fact about their friendly or dangerous attitude. Without further ado, let’s make a dive to get all the queries.

About Farm-Raised Reindeer and Their Behavior

Reindeers are farm-raised animals. They are animals of the north. Countries including Norway, Russia, Scandinavia, Sweden and Alaska keep reindeer on farms. Thus, the reindeer are human-friendly, and they don’t think of them as enemies. This is because humans lead their herds.

The reindeer are basically shy, but curiosity is one of their main features. This curiosity might arouse a desire in them to approach you. The thing you need to keep in mind is their antlers which they carry as a weapon for both males and females.

So even if they approach just by curiosity, these antlers can be a killing reason for you. So, stay back even if you need to take a photograph of them. 

Can You Touch a Reindeer?

If you want my sincere advice, it is a no from my side. Let me talk about the point with some valid reasons.

  1. Primarily, you need to remember that reindeer is an animal, and you can ever predict its behavior. It can attack you because of being defensive or irritated.
  2. Next, your scent or deodorant can disturb them as they might carry infections due to the harsh chemicals used in the sprays or fragrances.
  3. You can also catch germs or infections from a reindeer if it has one.
  4. Moreover, reindeer are susceptible to diseases that they can carry by human hands. They can even die from the bacteria, which might get transferred to their body from your hand.
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So, better avoid going near the reindeer.

Are Reindeer Friendly? Yeah, Or Neah

friendly reindeer

Yes, reindeer are friendly. They are easy to train, feed, and keep along. So far, the feeding is concerned; they can be raised on commercial feed and don’t require special facilities for growth and training.

So, they are likable and livelihood-friendly in this regard. They are considered gentle and relaxed animals.

How Do Reindeer Help Humans?

Meat, fur, milk and burden carriers. They are domestically farmed and raised in larger numbers. The reason is their gentleness overall. They do not require special care or feed, which is difficult to cater to. 

Tundra is one of the places where reindeer possess the status of being highly important. There they are taken in for meat, skin, milk and more.

reindeer helping human

Reindeer meat is rich in protein, low in fat and a good source of human vitamins. The meat has minerals like selenium and calcium.

They are also called ecosystem engineers. Their way and amount of vegetation grazing affect the ecosystem.

Are Reindeer Dangerous? How Do They Act Defensively?

Reindeers are naturally not dangerous animals. They have a behavior of curiosity which rather makes them more vulnerable to being killed by humans. They can easily fall prey to the decoys created by human hunters.

Apart from beingeasily attacked, they have a special feature while in the herd. When they sense danger, surround the herd and never leave their fellow animals alone, they are easily attackable.

They are both domesticated and wild. You better call them semi-domesticated. They are mainly not a danger sign for animals or humans. But beware!

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The animals with antlers can be a problem even if they do not intend to attack for killing. Their antlers have been the cause of serious injuries and even death.

Are Reindeer Dangerous to Humans? Do They Attack?

Similar is the thing I talked about earlier on. It is more about their protective behavior towards their harems. The rutting season is the danger zone for humans to stay away from them.

reindeer as carriers

Even if you don’t intend to hurt them, they would consider you a competitor or a danger to their females and attack you.

So yes, they can attack you if you disturb them during mating season. Here are some tips to follow if you want to be safe from a disturbed reindeer or if you encounter it at the wrong time.

6 tips to follow if you want to be safe:

  • Don’t disturb them unnecessarily.
  • Don’t follow the herd.
  • Show caution, especially to the mother and the calf.
  • Never touch living or dead reindeer, or pick up the body parts of dead reindeer.
  • If you have a domesticated reindeer with you, avoid wasting its energy and giving it less time for foraging.
  • Finding a hurt reindeer, call the local authorities for help rather than trying to volunteer.

Are Reindeer Dangerous to Dogs And Cats?

No, they aren’t of any harm to cats and dogs. Rather they are afraid of them. Being peaceful animals, reindeer generally don’t like to be disturbed by anyone.

They are restless and can’t continue their work if they find them. You won’t find them attacking cats or dogs. They have different cuisine. 

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However, again it is the antlers that can cause harm to cats or dogs if they mess with reindeer.

How Do Reindeer Defend Themselves from Different Animals?

The reindeer defend themselves differently from different animals.

  • While in danger of wolves’ attack, they move in big semi-circular herds where they cover their fellow animals.
  • The males are more attacking than the females and directly use antlers as a tool of attack for their harems.
  • The females, on the other hand, use their antlers when other females try to take their food.


Do reindeer like being petted?

Yes, they are domesticated and pretty convenient to handle as a pet.

Are reindeers gentle? Can they be tamed?

Naturally, they are gentle and relaxed unless they are disturbed. The reindeer can be tamed, and humans tame them in large numbers. This is due to the mild behavior they possess.

Can a human ride a reindeer?

Yes, you can ride on a reindeer but make sure you take the proper precautions and have a heavy saddle on. If you are in danger when you ride on them, remember that they are also in danger as they are too fragile and can die of shock.

What does reindeer meat taste like?

Reindeer meat tastes differently or you say you won’t be expecting that. It has a taste of lean meat having extremely low fat. It can be tangy to your tongue but has its own pleasantness.


Friendly or dangerous, continue to be cautious. Hence proven that reindeer are more peaceful than dangerous. But you must not forget that they are animals with dangerous body parts. You need to keep these things in mind.  Till now, thanks for staying with me. See you 🙂

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