How Many Neurons Do Dogs Have

How Many Neurons Do Dogs Have

Cat and canine owners have a contentious debate over which one of our beloved buddies is an intelligent species. 

Dog parents brag about their hound’s intellect, and cat owners shoot back that cats are as intelligent as pooches, but they cannot be vexed to do what is expected. 

Well, the latest study has been published in the journal “Frontiers in Neuroanatomy” that suggests that mutts are actually smarter than cats. 

So, how many neurons do dogs have? According to this new study, dogs have approximately 530 million cortical neurons, whereas cats have only 250 million neurons. On the flip side, human beings have 16 billion cortical neurons. 

In this article, we will tell you in detail how many neurons does a dog’s brain has amazing facts about the dog’s brain, and much more. 

How Many Neurons Do Dogs Have?

Hounds might chew your furniture or boots, frequently pee on your sofa, or ingest your whole lunch the minute you look the other way, but it turns out that your sweetheart is twice more intelligent than your cat.  

An international team of researchers decided to put the perennial argument to the test quantitatively, studying the number of cortical neurons in the brains of eight species of carnivorous animals, including cats and dogs. 

They wanted to find out whether the demands of pursuing a target mean a higher number of cortical neurons, adding mental acuity to where it counts. 

The team used only one part of the brain, which is called the cerebral cortex, the creased external layer that sits on the top of the brain’s other parts.

It controls intricate thought processes such as problem-solving, decision-making, planning, and many other functions. 

Their investigation showed that mongrels are as intelligent as lions and raccoons, while cats are as smart as bears. 

The research found that dogs have roughly 530 million cortical neurons, chimpanzees have 6 to 7 billion neurons, and cats have 250 million cortical neurons. 

On the other hand, gorillas and orangutans have approximately 8 to 9 million cortical neurons, elephants have 5.6 billion neurons, and humans have 16 billion cortical neurons. 

The brain depends on the neurons to process information; the more neurons a carnivorous animal has in its cerebral cortex (the brain part that is associated with intellect), the more information it can process. Also, their mental abilities will be richer.

That’s why; canines have more flexible and complex behavior than cats. The outcomes of this study are based on the brain cells only. 

So, even though pooches have higher mental capabilities than cats, we still have no evidence that dogs are utilizing the full powers of their brains.

How Many Neurons Do Dogs Have

Amazing Facts About Dog Brain

Their Cerebral Cortex Is Different From Humans’ Cerebral Cortex

The brains of dogs and humans are very much similar, but they are different in terms of functions and structures. 

The major dissimilarity relates to the configuration of the cerebral cortex, which is the brain’s biggest part. That’s why; they are totally different from each other.

They Have Emotions

Both canines and humans have the same hormones and chemical transformations in their brains, including the release of oxytocin. 

This hormone produces a sense of affection and love when you and your pooch look into each other’s eyes. 

Also, they feel excitement, sadness, stress, anger, pain, fear, and other emotions, just like us. However, they cannot feel intricate feelings such as guilt.

They Don’t Make Plans.

They can feel an extensive array of emotions, including happiness and sadness, but they live in the present moment and don’t allow their emotions to distract them. 

Besides, they don’t make plans for future events like humans. Planning requires the prefrontal cortical growth that higher animals have.

They Can Dream

Just like us, our furry fellows can also dream. It is safe for us to say that they fantasize about common activities they participate in regularly, such as barking, hunting squirrels, etc.

Their hippocampus creates and encodes memories, so it is sensible to determine that they dream.

They Can Experience Depression

Just because they have emotions, so they are susceptible to depression, tension, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. That’s why; vets prescribe antidepressant medications for dogs to treat depression.  

How Many Neurons Do Dogs Have

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Dog Has The Most Neurons?

The golden retriever dog has the most neurons in his cerebral cortex. They have roughly 627 million neurons. They are followed by the lion dog breed that has 545 million neurons, the raccoon dog breed that has 512 million neurons, and striped hyena (a smaller dog of unnamed breed) that have 495 million neurons. 

2. Are Dogs Or Cats Smarter?

Dogs are smarter than cats because they have more neurons than cats. However, researchers still don’t know if they use their full brain powers or not. 

3. What Is The Smartest Breed Of Dog?

The Border collie is the smartest and most hardworking dog breed in the world. They have extraordinary character and working ability.


So, you now know how many neurons do dogs have. Research revealed that dogs are gifted with a special kind of intelligence, and they have an astonishing relationship with humans. They can be trained to perform the desired behavior much more easily than cats.


Similar Posts