How Many Bones Are in a Dog's Skull?

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Regardless of breed, all dogs have about 50 bones in their skulls. The main difference between dogs is the size of the bones -- small dog breeds have smaller bones, and large dogs have larger bones. The skull comes in two parts: the cranial and the face. The bones that close in and protect the brain are part of the cranium, and the bones that make up the face are known as the facies.


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Cranium Bones

The cranium is made of the skull base, back, side, roof and walls. The basioccipital, basisphenoid and presphenoid bones make up the base of the skull. The supra-occipital and ex-occipital bones make up the back of the skull. The temporal bones comprise the sides of the skull, and the ethmoid bone forms the wall that separates the cranial and facial parts of the skull. The roof of the skull consists of the frontal, parietal and inter-parietal bones.

Facial Bones


The facial bones include the jaw, nasal cavity and pharyngeal cavity, which are composed of many smaller bones. The jaw bone is just one bone: the mandible. The nasal cavity include many bones, such as the lacrimal, maxilla, palatine, incisive, nasal and frontal bones. The pharyngeal cavity includes the pterygoideum, vomer, palatine and sphenoidale bones.

By Whitney Lowell

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About the Author
Whitney Lowell has been writing online since 2007. She writes for a variety of online publications and across a wide range of topics and niches. She has experience with animal rescue, dog training, pet health and breeding reptiles.