Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Emotional Intelligence Of Dogs

Remember the last time you had to spell words to keep your pooch from catching on? Probably when you took her for a walk an hour ago, right?
Here's why your little fluffy is so smart.
Science has shown that several animal species can out-perform dogs in some areas of intelligence. Wolves are better at solving problems. Unlike dogs, several primates and even dolphins and elephants show human-like self-awareness. They even pass the “mirror test,” understanding what it does. (If you surreptitiously put something red on an elephant's forehead – something it can't feel – and then you hold up a mirror, the elephant will see the red shape and know that it is seeing itself in the mirror and not some other elephant. Then it will reach its trunk up to its forehead to investigate the red shape.)
This self-awareness is rare in the animal world, and dogs don't have much of it. But dogs can do something complex that no other animal can do.
They can watch, listen to, and read people.
Photo from PetLifeRadio .com

In fact, dogs are the only animals that really study people's faces. (For many species, including several primates, looking another creature in the eyes is a form of aggression. And of course it is considered aggressive behavior among some groups of humans, too.)
In a departure from other animals, dogs study their owners' faces. As you know, they do this with intensity. Tests have shown that dogs are far superior to other animals in understanding what a person wants, just by the look on the human's face.
Think of your own dog. If you even glance toward the leash or the dog treats, your dog will notice and get excited. Of course, this applies to your words as well. If you're like most dog owners, you have developed elaborate techniques for communicating with other people in ways to keep your dog from finding out your meaning. You can't even mention the words “going for a walk” without your dog jumping up and scratching the floor as he or she runs around excited.
Dogs understand us in a way no other animal can. The brilliant chimp who has a large vocabulary of sign language can't come close to a dog in understanding what a human wants by the look on the human's face.
Dogs are amazing and unique among species. When it comes to emotional intelligence, they have no equals.  


  1. The presence of spindle cells which are responsible for emotions and empathy in the brains of dolphins, great apes and elephants shows that these animals have far more complex emotional intelligence than is just that humans have spent a lot of time with dogs we have a stronger connection, but dogs do not show more complex emotions than cetaceans or apes

    1. Thanks for your comment! No doubt you are correct.
      I was focused on the emotional intelligence of dogs regarding their connection to people. I should have changed my last sentence to say something like the following: When it comes to a dog's ability to connect emotionally to people, they have no equals.

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  3. Dogs are well-equipped with things that they can do to express their love to us, whether we notice it or not. Emotional intelligence in dogs is a very complex aspect of their existence, but they always win our hearts. Still questioning if your dog love you? Read this:

  4. this is amazing article on intelligent dogs thanks for showing this side to us also check Top Ten Most Intelligent Dogs in the World - funklist