For decades, it was believed to be the one species to have feelings of jealousy and the distinctive feeling of being unfair. However, a new study conducted at the University of California San Diego claims to prove that dogs are jealous. The research was carried out by letting humans interact with three objects in front of their dogs. Books, a real jack-o’-lantern and a realistic-looking dog stuffed with fur that moved and produced sound.
The results showed that when the person was watching the fake dog, the dogs were more active and likely to exhibit actions like reaching out to touch their owner or the dog they stuffed, trying to squeeze their space, waving, whining, and biting. These behaviour patterns were not as prevalent in the other objects.
What Causes Jealousy and Aggression in Pets?
A variety of things can trigger jealousy or aggressive behaviour in pets. In the case of a household with multiple cats, anger or jealousy can be due to the lack of resources. Insufficient scratching posts, litter boxes or litter bins for the cats to play with can make some cats irritable and even competitive.
If your cat and an animal live together or have multiple puppies, it’s possible that you’re not aware of paying more attention to one animal over the other. Certain breeds’ behaviours may be more evident than others due to genetics that plays significant roles.
It could also be because your pet is stressed or doesn’t get enough exercise or stimulation, or is just bored. For aggression, pain may often be the cause, and your pet might be aggressive and protective of its food.
How do you tell whether your dog is the victim of jealousy?
Suppose your dog does anything that isn’t normal to draw your attention, such as performing tricks and leaving the room suddenly and infuriating strangers, using the bathroom indoors, or even hanging onto your body. In that case, you can tell it’s the jealousy of others.
A jealous dog is afraid of losing your attention and love. The dog will likely keep you from your partner or dog and try to keep your attention.
How to Stop Jealous Behavior in Pets
Here are a few tips from Dr Magda to lessen the amount of jealousy that occurs in a household with multiple pets:
Make notes of the events which trigger signs of aggression/jealousy. This can be useful if you notice behaviours you cannot handle alone since you can discuss the details with your vet or a professional animal behaviourist.
Do not be a pet owner who gives one pet more attention than the other.
Let your dog feel secure, and at ease inside their crate, so they consider it their own secure space. Make sure that cats have a space to claim as their own.
Feed your pets separately to prevent conflict at mealtimes. Feed your pet equally much food.
Once you’re home, be sure you don’t pay your pet more attention than the other or wait a while before you pay attention. The intensity of your pet’s emotions will decrease, preventing signs of aggression from happening.
Use a leash for the dogs while walking at a stretch. Consider the use of a gentle dog leader to help with control.
Do not pet one animal while touching the other.
Make sure you have at minimum two beds and toys; however, do not take food-based toys in the absence of supervision.
Catch your pets being good. Pay them attention and give them praise when they’re cool and not showing aggressive behaviour.
Taking Care of Yourself and Your Dog
If you feel you’ve got a severe dog behaviour issue on your plate, it’s not difficult to be overwhelmed. Be aware that you’re not the only one and certainly not the first or the only one dealing with the training issue. Take a deep breath!
Divide and overcome. Suppose you’re dealing with several problems at once, or your dog’s jealousy has led to bad behaviour that isn’t a primary concern. In that case, It’s OK to concentrate on a particular behaviour at a time.
Be a professional in your management. Keep in mind the three-part dog management formula that includes exercise, containment and management of resources. Regular exercise, using crates or infant gates whenever necessary and ensuring that the human in the home remains in control of valuable resources can reduce the most common dog problems.
Stay calm and carry on. If you allow yourself to be a part of the life of the “perfectly imperfect” dog, you’ll lessen your anxiety and stress, which can reduce the stress and anxiety of your dog. Dogs might not be able to comprehend each word, but they’re adept at using tone and facial expressions.
How can you stop jealousy in canines?
There are many ways that dogs can show jealous dog behaviour. Take note of it and ensure that you’ve addressed the issue promptly. If it’s jealousy, it’s possible to do a few ways to deal with it.
- Feed the pets separately to prevent conflicts at mealtimes. Offer your pets the same amount of treats as you would.
- If you return home, Make sure you don’t pay your pet more attention than the other or wait sometime before giving attention. This can reduce the aggressive behaviour of your pet.
- If you are walking two dogs simultaneously, you should use a leash for each and think about using a soft leader to ensure control.
- All beds and toys should have at least two toys per pet, but food-based toys should not be used unless monitored.
- Profit from your pets and their behaviour. When they behave calmly and are not jealous, pay attention to their behaviour and reward them.
If you notice that dog jealousy is a constant issue within your home, don’t be afraid to seek assistance from a specialist in dog behaviour or a vet or an animal trainer. Even if you employ assistance but you’re still an excellent pet owner. Knowing that you and your dog need help makes you an incredibly self-aware and confident pet parent. Take it!
Get Moving and Training
Dog owners often forget that they’ve not trained their prized pets since they were puppies. In this case, it’s time to pull the clicker on and return to the basics. Spending a period with your pet can satisfy you, strengthen your bond, and helps you understand which actions are desired or unwelcome.
Learning something new with your dog and exercising together are the two most healthy forms of interaction you can have. When you welcome new pets or people introduced to your house, allocate ample time to engage in these activities weekly. Stubborn dogs may require extra motivation to break the vicious circle of unwanted attention. A dog trainer can assist you in solving any particular issue that you’ve been unable to solve on your own.
When Should I Get Professional Help For My Dog’s Jealousy?
If your puppy was at home only for some days and your dog’s adult is just a little clingy, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about it too for too long.
You’ll need an additional hand from a professional in a few instances. For instance, in the following situations:
The issue has been lingering for more than two weeks.
The issue is only getting worse.
It’s not getting better after the above four steps.
The dog’s adult has bitten or snapped at the puppy.
The dog or the dog itself is beginning to look nervous and anxious.
There is a noticeable dimension difference between the dogs and the dogs, mainly if the size differs for a long time or is likely to grow (Bernese Mountain Dog puppies, soaring above an older Chihuahua).
If you want to change how your dog behaves, reward your dog for acting according to how you want him to behave. If your dog attempts to get between you and someone else, do not be astonished by his behaviour. You should stand up if you’re on your couch and he’s trying to get in between you. Please don’t speak to him, don’t contact his body, or stare at him. Just get up. It is a gift you can give your dog in a way that is yours and not on his terms.
By not noticing his behaviour, you’re teaching him that his behaviour isn’t acceptable, and he’ll not receive the attention of others until you’re peaceful and has all four feet on the ground. Using an individual’s body language can be the ideal teaching method, as dogs can read your body language. Your puppy must be in contact with other dogs, people, pets and dogs, allowing him to explore new things. You should ensure that he gets plenty of stimulation and exercise to keep his mind and body well-maintained.