Do you have a clingy dog that constantly wants your attention, especially if you are around another dog or humans?
While having your dog squeeze himself in between you and a partner or another dog can be amusing, this kind of behavior could mean you have a jealous dog on your hands.
If your dog is always getting pushy or needy when you pay attention to other dogs, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Many dogs get jealous, and there are a few things you can do to help ease their jealousy. In this blog post, we’ll discuss jealousy in dogs and share some tips for dealing with it.
Why Do Dogs Get Jealous?
Dogs are often seen as loyal, loving companions. They are quick to show affection and seem to have an innate understanding of human emotions. However, dogs can also be fiercely protective of their owners and quick to show jealousy.
While this may seem like a negative trait, it is natural for a dog to see its owner as its pack leader and becomes instinctively devoted to them.
While it is important not to encourage too much jealousy in a dog, this is a natural behavior that is a result of their incredible devotion.
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Jealous?
There are specific behaviors to look out for that indicate jealousy. Your dog might whine or paw at you to try to get your attention. Other more destructive behaviors to get your attention can be chewing, digging, or going potty indoors even though they are housetrained.
More ominous signs of jealousy can include aggressive behaviors like barking, lunging, or growling, usually directly at another dog or human. They might also show extreme possessiveness over their toys and food.
These behaviors have to be corrected immediately or they could escalate into more serious conflict. If your dog is exhibiting aggressive behaviors, it might be time to bring in a dog training professional before the situation has disastrous consequences.
How To Deal With A Jealous Dog
Jealousy in dogs is a remarkably common reaction, especially to a new addition like a new baby or new pet. Fortunately, with some patience and know-how, you can help alleviate your dog’s stress and reduce his jealousy.
- Ignore Bad Behavior
If your dog comes between you and another dog, simply ignore them. Or if your dog constantly gets in your way, just move.
With some consistency, your pooch should soon learn that such behavior doesn’t result in him getting your attention. Don’t look at them, say anything, or touch them, but just completely ignore them.
You can break out some treats and reward your dog for good behavior. If your dog is calm and relaxed with your new pet or another source of his jealousy, treat and praise lavishly and shower attention on him. With some patience, your dog can learn that the presence of the newcomer actually is a good thing.
- Increase Training
You can work on some training exercises throughout the day to reassert your authority over the pack. As a bonus, include the source of your dog’s jealousy. If it is another dog, include him in your training, or if it is a person, allow the person to participate.
The goal here is to create an environment where your dog sees the newcomer as part of the pack, and not a threat or as something that takes away your attention. Work on basic obedience and reinforce the “stay”, and “off” to improve control over your dog’s movements.
- More Socialization
Jealousy can be triggered by a variety of things – from another pet in the house to a change in routine. Many dogs that exhibit jealous behaviors do so from the stress from the change in living situation or a new addition to the pack.
That’s why socialization is so important for dogs. By exposing them to different people, places, and experiences, you can help them learn how to cope with changes and reduce their jealous reactions.
Socialization can be done at any age, but it’s best to start early for the most effective results. The younger your dog is, the more receptive it will be to new experiences. A well-socialized dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog is a good dog.
- Be Fair
If your dog is jealous of a new pet, treat both pets fairly. Greet them both equally when you return home, give them food in separate areas of the home, and give each one the same amount of attention.
Have two of everything including bed, bowls, and toys, and keep them well away from each other until both dogs are unlikely to have conflict.
Carefully supervise them when they are around potential triggers for conflict like toys, chew sticks, and food. If you have them sleeping in their crates, make sure to keep them the same distance from your bed and away from each other.
- Get Professional Help
If you feel that you are in over your head, it might be time to get professional training. A dog trainer can teach your dog to trust and socialize with others, and this will help to prevent aggression. In addition, a trainer can also help you to understand your dog’s jealous behavior and how to best support them.
If your dog is allowed to have frequent bouts of jealousy, this behavior might escalate into more serious situations like aggression towards the object of his stress. While two dogs that don’t get along are a nightmare to handle, a dog that doesn’t like a new baby is infinitely worse.
Jealousy is a common emotion in dogs, and it can be triggered by anything from a new pet to a change in routine. While some jealousy is normal, excessive jealousy can lead to behavioral problems.
The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to help your dog learn to cope with jealousy. By following these simple tips, you can help your dog learn to deal with jealousy in a healthy way.