10 Amazing Dog Brain Facts

A dog's brain is roughly the size of a tangerine, smaller than a human's, but still impressive compared to many other animals.

1. A Tangerine-Sized Brain

While there are similarities, a dog's brain differs significantly from a human's, especially in the cerebral cortex, the largest part of the brain.

2. Not Quite Like Ours

Dogs share emotions with humans, releasing oxytocin when they gaze into our eyes. They feel joy, fear, anger, distress, and pain, but not more complex emotions.

3. Emotions Like Us

Just like us, dogs can experience depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. Some medications, like Prozac, can help improve their mood.

4. Dogs Get Depressed

Dogs live in the moment and don't make plans for the future. They lack the prefrontal cortical development for such complex thinking.

5. No Future Plans

A dog's brain lights up with pleasure when exposed to rewards, much like the human brain. This response is tied to the caudate nucleus and dopamine receptors.

6. Reward-Driven Brains

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, thanks to a large olfactory bulb in their brains. This is why they excel in tasks like bomb detection and search and rescue.

7. Scent Experts

Dogs have evolved to recognize human faces and emotional cues, guiding their behavior. They even have a specific brain region for this.

8. Recognizing Faces

Similar brain activity suggests that dogs dream, often about their daily activities like chasing squirrels or barking at the mailperson.

9. Doggy Dreams

10. Toddler-Level Intelligence Research shows that dogs are as smart as a two-year-old child, capable of learning many words and even outsmarting young children in certain tasks.