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Can Dogs Tell the Difference Between Dogs and Other Animals?

I am a Dog Mom of puppies Austin(Golden Retriever) and Choco(Pug) and love to share their stories, images, puppy training and behavior tips.

This is the common question that dog owners have whether their puppies can tell the difference between dogs and other animals. When we go for walk and some other dog approaches, can your dog sense exactly what kind of animal is it?

Initially we know that dogs rely on their incredible sense of smell to explore the world and to differentiate between species. But keeping the sense of smell aside, can your dog rely on their sight too?

No doubt, dogs' vision is nothing as compared to human vision and they use their whiskers to see the nearby objects. As research on dog's behavior is progressing, we are gaining valuable insight to better answers to these questions.



Can Dog Recognize the faces?

  • It was published in paper that researchers used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to see which parts of dog's brain react to different stimuli. The dogs were shown images of human faces, dog faces, objects and scenes on a projection screen as their brain activity was monitored.
  • It was found out that dogs appear to be able to distinguish between faces (human and dogs) and everyday objects. The scans showed that the area of a dog's brain that processes faces is similar to that of humans.
  • It was published in another research paper, that was about dog recognition, that all the canine participants were able to group the dog images within the same category, separate from the other animals. So dogs have the capacity of species discrimination based only on visual images of head.


When this apparent visual ability to discern dogs from other species, is combined to other powerful dog senses, it becomes clear that the dogs can tell the difference between fellow dogs and other animals.

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