Dog Emotions and the Emotional IQ of Poodles

For quite some time, scientists and dog owners both have wondered if dogs feel emotions. After much debate, it has become accepted that the non-verbal and verbal signals we see in dogs have always been there to demonstrate emotion. Most dogs with intentional owners have a vocabulary of about 200 words; however, they cannot speak. So, it is up to the owner to communicate with the dog via body language and sounds the dog makes in coordination with body language. Some body parts show emotions quite obviously (such as a wagging tail), while other cues are much more subtle. Most often, the cues will come in combination and be quite visually obvious.

The Seven Emotions of Dogs

After much observation, scientists have finally settled on lucky number seven as the number of emotions that dogs express and the signals that come with them.

Fear

Loud noises, sudden events, or strangers can evoke fear in a dog. They will tend to avoid eye contact, look away from the troublesome source, flatten their ears against their heads, tremble through the whole body, have raised hair along the spine, and a tuck the tail.

Joy or Excitement

Dogs can be happy most of their lives if their family is very loving and gives the animal the necessary exercise and attention. A joyful or excited dog will have a relaxed posture, perked ears, a highly-held tail, will bound around, and may have an open mouth that resembles a smile.

Anxiety

Anxious dogs can lash out unexpectedly or nip at an owner. They also tend to lick their lips, yawn, pant, avoid eye contact, and lower or tuck their tail.

Uncertainty

When a dog doesn’t know what to do in a situation, they can demonstrate some odd behaviors: hold up a paw, humping, licking their lips, avoiding eye contact, yawning, or rolling over to expose the belly.

Extreme Fear or Self-Defense

When a dog feels threatened, fear is coupled with aggression. The dog does have a fight-or-flight response and will defend itself if it needs to. Most often, you can recognize this when the dog uses a hard stare and low growl, the baring of teeth, crouched body, a tense tail, hair standing on end, and overly alert ears.

What Is Emotional IQ?

Emotional IQ in a dog is the ability to recognize emotions in itself and in others (dogs and people). The dog with extremely high emotional intelligence will not only be able to recognize emotions, but they can respond to them appropriately. There are some obvious signs of emotion in dogs in certain situations. Let’s say you come home to an overturned garbage can and a dog hanging its head.

While we may interpret this as guilt, it is actually the dog anticipating our angry, emotional reaction. The famous and adorable, head tilt is a dog’s way of showing that it is trying to interpret our emotions through our tone of voice. Herding, working, and retrieving breeds are especially keen at interpreting the emotions of humans.

Emotional IQ of Poodles

Poodles are generally accepted as the 2nd smartest dog in the world. And that intelligence also includes emotional intelligence.As the Poodle was originally a working and retrieving breed, they have a keen sense of emotional intelligence. Poodles bond quite strongly with the home’s “pack leader” (the human who appears to be in charge) and have a deep awareness of the leader’s moods.

The ways they communicate their moods and needs are similar to those humans use. A child who has broken something will often drop their gaze to the floor—the “hang-dog” look. Poodles are also quite alert. They will sense the approach of strangers or new animals within their home territory. This is an expression of emotional intelligence;a demonstration of uncertainty. The Poodle is also a breed that has a great connection to humans and their emotions.

Poodles can sense tension at home or if a member of the family is extremely emotional. They will sense stress within the home and can act out or have health issues if the home environment isn’t pleasant. Poodles are also known to have great intuition. They will connect with an owner and mirror their moods. These dogs are always eager to help. Helping others is one of the key signs of emotional intelligence. Poodles are often trained as emotional support animals because they can relate quickly to the needs of the owner.

Emotional IQ of Poodles

Poodles for Emotional Support

From the Standard Poodle to the Toy Poodle, they are curious, eager, obedient and easy to train. Their ancestry as working and retrieving dogs means they are awesome as personal assistance animals. They are particularly well-suited to help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (including panic attacks), and anxiety.

Poodles are known to be extremely focused when on task and not easy to distract—a bonus for people who need the attention of an emotional support animal. Poodles love mental tasks and love to be physical. They adapt easily to different environments; this allows them to be focused on the human’s needs at home as well as being a good assistance animal in public outings.

Poodles are friendly but don’t get overly excited around unknown animals or people. They stay calm and are attentive to the needs of the owner. Poodles also don’t like to be left alone. As an emotional support animal, the Poodle will have nearly unlimited interaction and the owner will benefit from the constant companionship of the animal. Poodles also tend to live longer than other breeds so you will have your companion for many, many years. It is a truly mutually beneficial relationship.

Final Thoughts

The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds, including emotional intelligence. Poodles love to play, they are great with kids, they are super social, and they are great at adapting to any environment. Their intelligence and emotional intelligence make them both great family companions and great service animals. Their emotional intelligence is a gift to any family.