Do dogs feel jealous?
A recent study suggests that dogs do feel jealousy. Scientists observed 36 dogs’ reactions to their owner paying attention to an animatronic dog. Most dogs nudged their owners as if trying to get their attention. Some growled and pushed the stuffed dog out of the way. Another study had owners read a book, talk to a pumpkin and pet a stuffed dog who barked, whined and wagged his tail. The results showed that dogs only reacted to the robot dog and that it was not because the owner was simply ignoring them.
Can my dog be jealous of another dog?
While greeting another dog you may have noticed your own dog exhibiting some behaviors that can only be attributed to jealousy. One study found that dogs exhibited significantly more jealous behaviors (e.g., snapping, getting between the owner and object, pushing/touching the object/owner) when their owners displayed affectionate behaviors towards what appeared to be another dog as compared to nonsocial objects. This behavior can also be triggered by the owner interacting with other humans and animals. While this behavior can be cute and obnoxious at best, there can be cases where this jealously can lead to dangerous behavior. Watch for signs and find a trainer that helps you turn your dog’s unhealthy jealous behavior into healthy happy behavior.