Who is Smarter: Cows or Dogs

Who is Smarter Cows or Dogs

Which is more Intelligent; Cows or Dogs

When it comes to the issue of animal intelligence, scientific researches have made us understand that they are a plethora of brilliant animals out there, such as the most popular ones here in America, which include; dogs, cats, pigs, cows, and so on. However, given that there has been a new bone of contention on some unique facts arising on the IQ level of cows over dogs, we’ll be looking today at the potency of this claim, by carefully analyzing whether dogs are smarter than cows, and vice versa.

And in other to arrive at a common premise to this question, we will be making a detailed independent analysis on both the dogs and cows, to see who comes out on top.

Dogs / Man’s Best Friend

As the popular adage goes, dogs are man’s closest friend. And to be honest, this couldn’t be furthest from the truth because dogs can sometimes become a lifesaver. That being said, here are some unique qualities exhibited by dogs that make it to be considered as one of the smartest animals today.

Dog Intelligence Test

Dog Intelligence Test Come in Two VarietiesOpens in a new tab.

  • Instinctive – Specific to Breeds of Dogs Ex Good Hunting Dogs, Bloodhounds, Herding SheepOpens in a new tab.
  • Adoptive – Dogs Ability to Learn new Task

Dog Has a Sense of time

One of the unique qualities exhibited by dogs is in their ability to know what time it is, and what they should be doing at that particular moment. If trained properly, a dog can accurately predict when it’s time for him to sleep, or go on a walk with its owner.

Human Bonding

Dogs are the best when it comes to human-animal bonding. Plus, it’s been noticed over the years how bonded dogs are to infants, primarily two-year-old kids. Little wonder why a dog’s IQ is sometimes paralleled with that of a two-year-old.

Displays Jealousy

Another reason why dogs are so close to humans is that it can sometimes evoke emotions as we do. According to a study at UCSD, Opens in a new tab.there is an assertion dog can genuinely get jealous, especially when you’re not giving them attention as they need. And they will always find a way to get it back because they are naturally smart.

Detection Thru Scent

Another trait that goes a long way to prove how smart dogs are is found in their impeccable sense of smell. This is why trained police dogs are used during raids to help in sniffing out things like narcotics and other illegal substances. Plus, it has been said that a dog’s sense of smell is approximately 100,000 times better than ours, which is why they can even sense when we are scared or happy.

Dog’s Survival Instinct

Not often will you find any domesticated animal with a survival instinct like that of a dog’s? This is why, they are mostly used as service animals, in case an emergency arises in the house or outside with the owner, stray dogs for instance in Russia; who can ride the complex subway system, and get off at specific stops in search of food, and so on. Plus, whether the temperature is cold, and there is nothing around to keep a dog warm, they have this age-old instinct of curling up like a ball when sleeping, which keeps them warm. 

So, that is that with dogs. Let’s now have a look at how smart cows are.


Even though cows are slow walkers, they’re quick thinkers that are not just smart but curious and always finding ways to solve problems. From scientific research studies, cows can learn associations and construct future occurrences using past events. Below are a few more reasons why cows are smart animals.

Smart Cows

Cow IQ Test

An experiment, by Sydney University’s Future Dairy, was devised by 21-year-old undergraduate Alexandra Green to test dairy cows’ executive function and decision-making ability, and to see how they responded to sound

  • Several Days of Training – 6 Heifers were trained to navigate a maze patterned after mazes that are given to mice, testing their intelligence levels.
  • 4 Cows scored 100%, 2 scored 75%
  • Taught to follow the sound to acquire Food

The implications were large. Taking it one step further Cameron Clark, a senior fellow with Future Dairy at the University of Sydney, did extensive research in using sound to call Dairy Cattle to a Rotary Milking Station. The Study included

  • 21 Day Study
  • Australian pasture-based dairy farm
  • 550 Cows were milked using sound controls
  • Resulted in Voluntary Cow Traffic
  • Cows were trained and took themselves to a Rotary Table Cow Milking station
  • Cows voluntarily loaded themselvesOpens in a new tab. into Milking Station
  • The production resulted in Milking 90 Cows per Hour
  • Resulting in Massive labor Savings from Herding and managing cows onto Rotary Milking Station.
Cows Loading on Rotary Milking Station – 8 Million Views

Sharp Memory

Going down memory lane, no one can do it better than cows in the mammal kingdom. They can remember where things are kept like water, food, shelter, best grazing spots, where their babies are, and even human faces. So in case you attacked a cow once, and it escaped, you might want to keep your distance next time you guys cross paths.

Cows Display Sense of Emotion

Other than their size and sluggish walking style, cows get emotional too. A cow could be moody for a whole day, perhaps as a loss of a close fellow cow. Which then takes us to our next point

Cows Form Close Friendships

Cows are capable of forming a real and close friendship with one another. Research studies have made it known that when cows are with their BFFs (Bovine Forever Friends), their stress levels decrease, and when separated from them, their stress levels increase. Plus, they are very compassionate and helpful towards each other. And speaking of compassion.

See Our Guide – Ways to Make Money Cattle Farming

Cows Maternal Qualities

Cows are very much compassionate to their babies more than dogs. This is why, they could stage their kids somewhere that is out of sight from their predator, and then go pick them up when they’re back. Put differently; they’ll give their lives for their babies, and make sure they are safe before anything else.


More than the “moo,” we hear from cows; they also use body language and position to commune with their fellow cows. Plus, they are good at mimicking each other; that’s why when one cow “moos,” the rest will do the same and follow him wherever he goes. Other than that, they are perfect in making uniform movement when grazing.  

Who is Smarter: Cows or Dogs 1Opens in a new tab.

Alexandra Green / University of SydneyOpens in a new tab.


From the traits exhibited by both animals, it’s quite evident that the two of them are smart in their unique ways. First, given that dogs are domesticated animals and cows are not, is why they have the upper hand to receiving more training exercises than cows, who are also brilliant in their perspective but can barely be domesticated as a pet.

So, it’s safe to say that dogs are the smartest domestic animal,

while cows are the most intelligent field mammals.

In a nutshell, both dogs and cows are smart based on their territoriality, as discussed in the verdict section. So, next time a friend or colleague at work argues about who’s the smartest amongst cats and dogs, do yourself the favor of pointing them to this article.

World Cattle Breeder Associations

Cattle AssociationLocationLink
National Cattleman's Beef AssociationsUnited StatesNCBAOpens in a new tab.
United States Cattlemans AssociationUnited StatesUSCAOpens in a new tab.
Ohio Cattlemans AssociationOhioOCAOpens in a new tab.
American Angus AssociationUnited StatesAAAOpens in a new tab.
United Kingdom Cattle AssociationsUKUKCAOpens in a new tab.
Australia Cattle AssociationsAustraliaACAOpens in a new tab.

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Who is Smarter Cows or Dogs