How does the dog's brain work?

Dogs are fascinating animals that amaze us every day. The dog brain is decisive for the fascination of our fur noses. In terms of function and structure, it is even similar to that of humans. But there are a few differences. Read more about how the dog's brain works here. The rough structure of the brain does not differ much in dogs and humans, the capacities and possibilities do - Shutterstock / Christin Lola

Various disciplines in science are concerned with the research of the canine brain, such as the neurosciences, medicine and behavioral science. The complex organ is not easy to decipher, especially with regard to points such as feeling, thinking and awareness - dogs cannot speak to researchers like humans, so that absolute truths are few and far between. However, there is much more clarity regarding the structure and function of the individual brain regions.

The dog brain: structure and function

The dog brain can be divided into several areas, which have different tasks: For example, there is the medulla, the elongated marrow. This is where the most original functions, such as breathing, are located. The cerebellum (cerebellum) controls the exact movement of the limbs and gives the four-legged friend room orientation or ensures perception in the room. Optical and acoustic stimuli are also evaluated here. The midbrain is the basis of memories and emotions. The midbrain includes the limbic system, which includes components such as the almond kernel (amygdala) and the hippocampus.

Through the sensory organs, neutral information reaches the dog's brain, which the almond kernel then gives emotional value. This information is then compared with memories in the hippocampus and passed on to the cerebral cortex. The cerebrum is the area in mammals where conscious thinking and planning take place. It is also the center of motor and sensory functions. The cerebral cortex (cortex) forms the image of the world, so to speak.

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Dog brain compared to the human brain

In terms of structure and functions, the dog's brain has a lot in common with humans - and other mammals - but cannot keep up with performance. There is a big difference in the cerebrum. Humans have significantly more gray cells than a fur nose, so they often think more complexly and understand more difficult relationships, which means, among other things, that they have significantly more space for thinking. Dogs lag behind in intelligence.

A dog can, however, if he has been trained on it, recognize a five-euro note. However, he does not understand what it is used for or what the monetary system is. Sensory functions are particularly important for the dog. Take the nose, for example, where humans have four-legged friends. The area in the brain that is responsible for the olfactory sense in mammals has many more cells in dogs than is the case in humans.