Dog EQ: Your Dog Can Read Your Face, Much Better Than You Think

As much as we love to consider us an advanced species, certain behaviors display contrasting evidence. We don’t need so much evidence besides the current state of the affairs in the world. It shows that humans are sometimes incredibly emotionally stupid.

But are dogs as susceptible to common EQ frailties typical for humans? Maybe it’s up to their upbringing or their species characteristics, but dog EQ is remarkably well developed. 

Dogs are emotionally intelligent, showing signs of emotional intelligence via behavioral or somatic outward indicators. 

Dogs Are 2.5 Years Old but Act as Centenarians 

Dogs use their dog EQ to read and understand your facial expressions and adjust their behavior. By looking at how dogs behave around humans and other dogs, we should humbly admit emotional intelligence defeat at least to the emotional gradient referencing dogs. 

Dogs feel basic emotions, including fear, anger, disgust, sadness, happiness, and surprise. All basic six emotions are inherent to humans, too. 

However, the specter of the dog’s emotional quotient doesn’t include higher-level emotions, for example, pride, shame, and guilt. The level of emotional maturity at dogs corresponds to that one of a 2-and-a-half-year-old toddler. 

But their interactional maturity and relational capacity often outperform even the most emotionally stable and intelligent humans.  

If the last three emotions contain an element of social comparison and evaluation, then how come dogs are so socially intelligent and loyal in human interaction than humans themselves? Perhaps that is exactly the reason. Humans compare, measure, and judge.

Do Complex Emotions Make Us Unhappy?

If you have a bit of an insight into your own emotions, you will acknowledge that judging and comparing yourself to others is the root of unhappiness. In that sense, dogs are substantially better-heeled than humans. 

A neurotic desire for improvement and achievement is not something dogs do by themselves. Unless trained to accomplish, dogs are simple creatures, focused on play, work (sniffing, searching, digging, for instance), and affection, which they either give or like to receive.

Even when acting on stimuli, dogs are not on a constant neurotic quest for improvement. 

It is no wonder that YouTube comments sections below popular dog channels frequently include white envy comments about the dog’s cool: “I wish I was as happy as Buggy, Piper, or Laurel” or whatever the concrete dog’s name is.

Emotions Are Not Exclusive to Humans

According to research, dog emotions are heterospecific. Heterospecific emotions are associated with a particular species, on this occasion canines, but are also used to relate to other species. This definition, which means dogs feel stuff when they interact with other animals and humans. 

To clarify previous inconsistent results, researchers in this study, C.A.Müller, Kira Schmitt, Anjuli L.A.Barber, and Ludwig Huber, experimented with training stimuli and facial expressions. They wanted to distinguish between local cues, domestication, memory, and human interaction as instigators or nurture factors of dog emotions. 

As it turned out, dog EQ is heterospecific, a finding which corresponds with other conventional knowledge about dogs. For instance, it is a commonly known fact that dogs use emotional expressions to recognize a prey-predator situation when interacting with other species. 

Dogs in this experiment presented an ability to read their owner’s faces as a result of a domestication process that builds emotional memories. However, some of the dogs included in the study bonded more closely with their owners and felt more deeply. Whether this is a result of a specific fondness borne out of a deeper and longer connection, it remains to be seen, as further research is needed. 

In addition, the researchers suggested that dog EQ may also be a result of emotional contagion, a phenomenon that develops in human social networks, too. 

One thing is certain: dogs are capable of love, and on their scale, that is the ultimate emotion. 

Don’t all spiritual leaders advocate love? And aren’t dogs better equipped to provide emotional support than humans?

Therefore, dogs just might be more emotionally intelligent than humans, although we rarely give them the credit for it.   

Stories about Dogs and People participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Unless I've bought them as hardcover/paperback editions, I read most books on the Kindle app, but reading them on a Kindle device is a much better experience.

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