There are a thousand and one reasons to act jealously. But self-awareness in humans helps keep these emotions in check. How about dogs?
Is it normal for dogs to get jealous? What is a jealous dog?
A jealous dog is a canine companion that feels left out easily, especially when his owner mingles with other people. Or when he is not in on the fun.
If you have not raised your dog to socialize correctly, they may act out. Jealousy is a shared emotion in dogs and men, and it contributes to the strong bond between them.
The pack mentality in a jealous dog is at its peak, and a jealous dog does not want to share you.
Whether you are at the dog park, greeting an old friend you have just run into, or hosting a hangout for friends, they will blatantly stake their claim over you.
They will whine and whimper, or bark aggressively.
Agitation, anxious pacing, and growling are other ways to tell you have a jealous dog. These actions are because your pet does not like to share; he wants your affection all to himself.
A dog may act jealous when:
- You bring a new baby into the household.
- You spend less time with them.
- You bring a new pet into the home.
- They are bored.
- You spend more time petting another dog.
How Does a Jealous Dog Act?
If you are good to your pet, they will develop deep and possessive feelings towards you. Their world revolves around you, and they may not want to share you with anyone. This feeling may invoke their instincts and make them protective.
Here are five ways a jealous dog acts:
- Aggression toward the rival for your affection. This behavior is characterized by lunging movements, raised hackles, and low but audible rumbling to stake their claim.
- A jealous dog will act clingy and try to get between you and the recipient of your attention.
- A jealous dog will whine and whimper to indicate they want in on the fun. But that is when the faces are familiar. Things may be different if there is a strange dog or baby in the picture.
- Resource guarding is a natural behavior in dogs. They must protect what they love and own.
And a dog will likely do this when they perceive that an outsider is encroaching on its possession. This could be their food, favorite toy, and of course, you.
Resource guarding may become problematic in the future. Some dogs even direct their aggression at their owners.
So, you must learn to control your pet when you notice the signs.
- It is not uncommon for a jealous dog to snap or growl at the recipient of your affection.
Jealousy is a normal reaction from living things capable of claiming possession.
Pay attention to how your dog reacts when you are at the dog park with them, petting babies, and spending time with other people. You want to curb protective aggression in dogs before it becomes uncontrollable.
What Are the Signs of a Jealous Dog?
Humans are better at hiding or controlling emotions, but the same cannot be said about animals.
Once you notice the following signs in your dog, best believe you have provoked their jealousy:
- Heart Wrenching Whimpers
One of the first telling signs that your dog is jealous is whimpering.
When you leave your dog unattended for long, they will feel left out when that attention goes to someone or something else.
- Aggressive Behavior
Aggression is another common way to tell your dog is jealous. They may express mild to severe violence through snapping, yapping, or lunging at the “threat.”
This is an extreme form of possessiveness you must get a grip of. You can prevent it by training your pet to learn to share your attention.
- The Silent Treatment
Dogs also give the silent treatment, especially after repeatedly trying to catch your attention and failing. Your furry friend will leave the room, ignore you, and display other social cues to show their displeasure.
When your pet withdraws, it signifies they are unwilling to fight the object of your attention.
This is one of the milder forms of expressing jealousy. It will pass when the other object of your attention leaves the picture because of the short attention span of pets.
- Attention Seeking
Attention seeking may occur in different ways. Your dog may express jealousy by nibbling on you.
They may chew furniture, shoes, and other personal items.
If your pet sits, rolls over, or performs other tricks without your bidding, they are seeking attention. Anything to transfer your attention back to them.
- Intentional Unruly Behaviors
When your pet acts out, they want your attention to themselves. This may be by peeing on the couch or carpet.
Destroying your property is also another way your furry friend may act out. Generally, they will continue until you divert your attention from the rival back to them.
What to Do with a Jealous Dog?
Do you notice any of the signs of a jealous dog in your dog? How do you alleviate such feelings and make him feel loved and accepted? What do you do?
Usually, a jealous dog may resort to violence to express displeasure. Or, they may whimper and withdraw, the infamous silent treatment.
It depends on your pup’s temperament, but extreme jealousy in dogs can lead to the destruction of your property. They may also attempt to harm the recipient of your attention.
Jealousy in dogs should never be encouraged, as it never gets better. So, here are the things you can do with a jealous dog:
Resource guarding occurs naturally in the wild. And that instinct has accompanied dogs into their domesticated lifestyle.
Canine companions are opportunistic feeders, which inclines them to guard resources they consider limited, including you.
The “leave it” and “ok” training method effectively controls this behavior when it is excessive.
If you have more than one dog, there are high chances that they will feel left out or jealous when you spend more time with their rival. Even a mother will start losing her maternal instincts after the third month and may get jealous of her pups.
To deal with a jealous dog towards a new dog, show equal affection to both or all of them.
Change Their Orientation
Your dog may get jealous when you spend more time with your spouse or housemate. They may also feel that way because the other party has not given your pet a reason to trust them.
In that case, you should try to involve the person in training and rewarding your dog. Spend time together and show your pet that your spouse, baby, or friend is not the enemy.
Reward Their Behavior
Dogs are big on rewards, just like humans. That is why you should use this effective training mechanism to discourage jealousy.
When they are in a situation where they may express jealousy, such as in the dog park, reward them when they don’t.
For instance, if you lean in to pat another dog and your pet growls or yaps at the attempt, ignore the bad behavior.
But when they act right, reward them with a treat, praise, or physical touch.
Is a Jealous Dog Dangerous?
In a study by Christine R. Harris and Caroline Prouvost, jealousy in dogs was most demonstrated by attention-seeking.
The dogs, the subject of the experiment, tried coming between their owner and the rival. They even attempted to shoo the “threat” away.
Vocalization is a way to tell a jealous dog. Every dog owner must get familiar with barks, whines, and whimpers because they pass a message.
In extreme cases, your dog may snap, yap, and lunge at the object of your affection.
Whether a jealous dog is dangerous or not depends on its temperament. However, abuse or severe separation anxiety disorders increase the chances of a jealous dog being dangerous.
You can tell this through resource guarding. And the level of danger that may befall the “threat” depends on what your pet is protecting.
Forty-seven percent of dogs are rehomed because they exhibited undesirable behaviors. This is because their owners could no longer tolerate or handle unbecoming behaviors like aggression and possessiveness.
Typically, the green-eyed monster should not get out of control with a jealous dog. But it will manifest through social cues that communicate displeasure.
Which Is the Most Jealous Dog Breed?
Every living thing capable of physical emotions and needs can get jealous. However, some creatures are more prone to envy, depending on the level of self-awareness.
A Golden Retriever is the most jealous dog breed. Training can help you curb this behavior. Let them know they are safe and protected, regardless of who or what is in their territory.
Lastly, a bored pet will also act jealously. You cannot abandon your pet and focus attention on another pup or person when they have nothing to do. They will not replace your affection and attention but will buy you enough time to spend with other people and pets.