Some Facts About Your Dog’s Brain

What does my dog think about this? Do they understand what I say? Is the structure of the dog brain similar to that of the human brain? If you ask yourself these questions, you are not alone. Dog owners around the world want to gain insights into their dogs’ minds.

To help answer some common questions dog owners have about their dogs, we have curated a list of some interesting dog brain facts.

How Large Is The Size Of A Dog’s Brain?

A large dog’s brain is on average the size of a tangerine. The human brain-to-body ratio is 1:40, whereas the dog brain-to-body ratio is 1:125, across all breeds.

A dog’s brain has fewer folds than the human brain and is also significantly smaller. Dogs are not as intelligent as humans, but they are more intelligent than many other animals.

Why Do Dogs Like Treats So Much?

Ever notice that your dog is going crazy for a treat? Why is it that treats are so exciting for dogs?

Other than because treats are a tasty alternative to their regular dog food, dogs enjoy treats because they know they have behaved in a positive way.

Just like rewarding a cookie to a toddler. In dogs, the caudate nucleus stores, and processes memories. It also has dopamine receptors which play an important role in regulating the reward mechanism in the brain.

When your dog recognizes a signal, verbal or nonverbal, that is attached to their memory as being rewarded, your dog will become excited because they remember that a treat is next.

Why Does My Dog Sniff So Much?

The dog brain is a large part known as the olfactory bulb, dedicated to olfaction or smell.

Because it is such a large portion of their brain, dogs rely on their sense of smell for many purposes including communication with other dogs. With their incredible sense of smell, dogs read, learn, and navigate the world around them. For this reason, dogs tend to sniff a lot, especially when they are outside of their normal environment.

Because of their smelling abilities, humans have begun training dogs to use their sense of smell to sniff out illegal substances and aid the rescue team.

Can My Dog Recognize My Face?

Over time, the dog brain has evolved and can recognize human faces.

In a study where dogs were shown human faces, brain scans revealed an increase in activity in the temporal regions of the brain. The study also concluded that the dog brain is especially good at distinguishing between two different humans, even when both people are known to a dog.

Can Dogs Get a Brain Freeze?

Like humans, dogs can get a brain freeze – a temporary headache when they eat something cold (such as ice cream) very quickly. Dogs and humans have similar neural structures on the roof of their mouths, which is probably the reason why they experience similar sensations when eating cold food or treats.

Humans know they should stop eating a cold treat when they experience brain freeze. Dogs are not as intelligent as humans and may not be able to stop themselves from eating a cold treat when they experience a brain freeze. To prevent brain freezing in your pup, give it icy treats in small doses or mix them up with regular treats.

Bridewell Hilltop Boarding Kennels is a reputable dog daycare center in Novato. Our team of animal behaviorists uses their knowledge of the dog’s brain to ensure the most enjoyable and memorable stay for all our guests.  To talk with one of our dog behaviorists, call (415) 897-5471.

Bridewell Hilltop Boarding Kennels & Cattery is dedicated exclusively to the care of dogs, cats, and small animals other than reptiles. Bridewell specializes in dog boarding, cat boarding, pet grooming and more for the areas of Novato, San Rafael and Marin County.