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

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

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

Dogs’ Intelligence Compared to Humans

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 admit our emotional intelligence defeat, at least to the emotional gradient set by dogs. 

Dogs feel basic emotions, including fear, anger, disgust, sadness, happiness, and surprise. All basic six emotions typical for dogs 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; dogs don’t do that, they relate from a more authentic and open position.

Learn from Your Dog: Complex Social Emotions Make You 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 well-heeled, much better 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. 

Dog Emotional Intelligence Facts

It is no wonder that YouTube comments sections below popular dog channels frequently include white envy comments about how cool dogs are: “I wish I was as happy as Buggy, Piper, or Laurel” or whatever the dog’s in question name is. Dogs can be so much cooler than humans.

1. Dog emotions are heterospecific.

According to research, 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. 

2. Dogs can read their owner’s faces.

This happens 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. 

3. Dog emotions are contagious.

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? As it turns out, dogs just might be way more emotionally intelligent than humans, although we rarely give them the credit for this remarkable ability.   

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