Emotional Intelligence of Poodles
How many emotions one can feel plays a huge role in defining their level of intelligence. You may be surprised to know that humans are not born able to feel or express all of the possible emotions that one may have. It is over the first few years that they develop. It is hard to believe, but babies are born with only one: excitement
Many wonder then, how can it be that they smile? Does that show happiness? Well, doctors and researchers say that it begins as an involuntary neurological activity and then at about the 3 month mark, a baby will begin to smile as a social engagement. The ability to express true happiness (contentment) develops soon afterward.
As they mature, the ability to feel and express more emotions develop and they do so in a particular order: Excitement, distress, contentment, disgust, fear, anger, joy, suspicion, shyness, affection and love. By the one-year mark in humans all of these are present. And, it is at this point that there is said to be a separation between humans and dogs.
It is believed by many (most notably Dr. Stanley Coren, author of the Intelligence of Dogs) that dogs do not then continue on to develop shame, pride, guilt and contempt.
Of course, many owners debate this. Just look at the AKC Poodle breed standard, it states (in part), ‘moving soundly and carrying himself proudly’. And if you asked owners if their Poodle ever showed shame after chewing apart something in the house or after having an accident, it would be a resounding “Yes!”.