Monday , March 25 2024
Dog Brain vs Human Brain

Dog Brain vs Human Brain: Do We Think The Same As Our Dogs?

Sometimes, your furry friend can do something impressive that will make you want to compare a dog brain vs human brain. Our exposure to dogs for an extended period has enabled us to better comprehend and interact with them.

A dog’s keen sense of smell, vocal inflection, and body language enables them to decipher what a person is attempting to say. If canines can perform all of these tasks and more, then they must be intelligent. 

We all adore our canines, but we sometimes need to comprehend their mental processes. How does a dog’s brain function? This article will discuss how a dog’s brain compares to a human’s and how it functions.

How Big Is A Dog’s Brain?

The size of a dog’s brain depends on its body size, but there is a standard measurement. Most canines’ brains are about the size of a small to medium-sized citrus fruit, like a lemon or orange. 

Dogs have smaller minds than humans. MRI tests, however, have revealed that, despite their smaller size, dog brains contain all of the fundamental structures found in human brains. It contains;

  • The hippocampus
  • Amygdala
  • Cerebellum
  • Medulla
  • Basal ganglia

The hippocampus is a brain region that aids in human and canine memory. As a result of their amygdala, they can also experience a variety of emotions.

You should consider both the breed and size of the dog. Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies are examples of larger canines with larger head sizes for the brain. In addition, it is believed that each of these dog breeds is one of the finest of numerous dog types.

You may think that all large dog breeds are more intelligent than all small dog varieties, but this is not always true.

The similarity in cerebral structure between dogs and humans suggests that they also share some characteristics. Let’s have a look at them.

Similarities Between a Dog’s Brain vs Human Brain

Now that we’ve discussed a significant difference in the size of brains between humans and dogs let’s discuss similarities. We all want to know how our brains compare to our loyal companions.

1. Sound Perception

Since we share almost the same surroundings, research shows we use similar brain processes to perceive social information. This explains how we can communicate with our dogs.

There is evidence that the voice areas in the brains of canines and humans are located in comparable regions. It is no surprise the two species respond quickly to a member of the same species.

Scientists also noticed the emotional responses of both species. They observed this in how dogs and humans analyze sounds that elicit emotion. 

Both species had a portion of their brains that lit up more when joyful sounds were heard than when sad sounds were heard.

2. The Ability To Feel Emotions

According to MRI studies, the brains of dogs respond similarly to pain, an infant crying, stressful events, and so on, as do human brains. Most canines in the same study have brain systems highly responsive to positive feedback. 

Part of what makes our bond with our dogs so strong is that we can share our feelings with them, and our pets can demonstrate how they feel.

They are pleased and excited based on their body language when we return home, and their tails wag everywhere. However, research has discovered that canines can experience more complex emotions.

Some destructive emotions come along with dogs’ ability to experience more emotions. Dogs are capable of feeling;

  • Joy
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Jealous
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you suspect that your dog is emotionally unstable, consult your vet immediately. They can assist you in finding methods to make your pet feel better. They may even prescribe beneficial medication.

3. Keen Sense of Smell

Like human minds, the canine brain is divided into sections that perform specific functions. However, the equivalent part of the brain in dogs is frequently smaller than the identical part in humans.

For instance, the hippocampus is significantly larger in humans than in canines, even when scaled down.

The olfactory system (olfactory bulb and olfactory cortex ) gives dogs their sense of smell. The olfactory system is also larger than ours and is the most significant section of a dog’s brain.

Dogs’ minds have been fine-tuned over many generations to survive in the wild. Wild animals must be able to scent their way to food, a mate, and the territory of other animals.

Even after a lengthy period of domestication, dogs retain this ability. This makes them excellent friends and instrumental partners.

According to experts, canines may associate a scent with a memory. This makes them useful for search and rescue missions and detecting illicit substances, explosives, and contraband.

Nose cells and nerves that detect odor in both canines and humans transmit information to the brain. The size and shape of the skull have a significant impact on the location of these scent-detecting cells.

 A dog’s skull can be classified according to shape;

  • Dolichocephalic – Greyhounds, Dachshunds, Great Danes, and Collies all have heads and features that are longer than average.
  • Mesocephalic– Dogs with average. Skulls. They include Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Pomeranians, and Beagles.
  • Brachycephalic: The heads and nostrils of dogs such as Pugs, Boxers, Pekingese, and Boston Terriers are large and short. They have a smaller number of smell-sensitive cells than dolichocephalic canines.

Differences Between A Dog Brain And A Human Brain

It is expected to ponder how dog and human brains are different. Our minds are, without a doubt, very similar to those of many other primates. 

However, more study is required to determine how similar or different the functions of human and dog brains are.

Brain scans have greatly improved our understanding of how our brains differ from those of canines. Here’s how the two differ;

A Dog’s Cerebral Cortex Differs From a Human’s

The structure and function of the human and dog minds are vastly distinct despite their similarities in certain respects. 

The cerebral cortex, the most considerable portion of the brain, represents the most significant distinction between the two. 

The cerebral cortex is one of the most critical sections of the brain, as it regulates many essential brain functions, such as our knowledge, consciousness, and ability to process information. Because of it, we can comprehend and be aware of ourselves or the world around us.

A dog’s cerebral cortex is much smaller than ours. This indicates they can process information, but not as rapidly as humans. This is why dogs have simplified mental processes. 

Your dog presumably does not contemplate the world’s end or its significance. Instead, they likely want to know when their next treat will be offered.

Other significant differences between the canine and human brains include:

  • The cortex of a dog’s brain is smaller and contains fewer folds, resulting in less surface area and fewer neurons. Dogs can’t think more deeply than humans can because their brains don’t have as many folds.
  • In humans, the frontal lobe comprises the entire front third of the brain, whereas in canines, it comprises only 10%.
  • People have a prefrontal cortex that is highly developed. This region of the brain is responsible for higher-level thought and processing.
  • Compared to their bodies, dog minds are smaller than human brains. People have a brain-to-body mass ratio of 1:40, while canines have a ratio of 1:125.

Best Smartest Dog Breeds

  1. Border Collies – They were bred to be independent and not dependent on human shepherds. They possess the intelligence and work ethic necessary to keep the flock under control.
  2. Poodle: These canines are excellent swimmers because they were bred to retrieve items from the water, a fact that is often overlooked. In addition, they are a brilliant breed of dog that can interpret body language and predict their owner’s actions before they speak or move.
  3. German Shepherds – Thanks to their intelligence, they are frequently used as working canines. They have been loyal companions of the military, police, and security agencies, so it is not surprising that they are among the most intelligent dog breeds. 
  4. Golden Retriever – This breed was designed to be a hunting companion because they are intelligent and anxious to please. They are also helpful as guides and in rescue operations.
  5. Doberman Pinscher – Modern Dobermans are less aggressive and make wonderful, playful family pets. People adore them because they are faithful and fearless. They are one of the most prominent guard dogs.


There are lots of similarities when you compare a dog brain vs human brain. The structure of a dog’s brain is distinct from that of a human brain. So are the relative sizes of various brain regions.

Dogs can communicate their emotions and desires by wagging their tails, making expressions, and barking in various ways. In addition, dogs are more intelligent than most two-year-olds and can experience pleasure, anxiety, anger, excitement, and pain.

New imaging studies demonstrate that dogs can recognize our features and that their brains respond similarly to positive stimuli. This provides scientific explanations for how a dog’s brain functions. No wonder they are our loyal companions.

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