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In this article, I will take you through the proven situations and conditions that may make your dog develop feelings of jealousy and also cover some steps on how to deal with jealous dogs.
Dogs have the ability to show different emotional feelings including sadness and happiness just like humans. Larger than that, canines can feel and show more than we can estimate.
A recent study on dog behaviors done by two psychologists reveals that just like humans, dogs do experience jealousy towards their owners and other dogs.
Canines may show signs of jealousy in different ways and it is not yet clear whether they experience the same emotional, social, and physical conditions that result in jealousy for humans.
As a pet parent, you might be wondering if your pooch is having this condition or not.
In most cases, dogs will exhibit signs of jealousy in homes where there are two or more dogs or any other kind of pet.
In other situations, a dog might be so acquainted with his owner to the extent that he does not want any other association with the other members of the family.
5 Reasons For Jealousy Between Dogs
If you own more than one dog, you have probably witnessed a scenario where your dogs will engage in fighting and relentless barking against each other.
Most of the time, two or more dogs in one home will fight each other because of jealousy. One dog might feel entitled to everything leaving the other dog on the mercy of the pet parent.
Some of the reasons that cause jealousy between two dogs include the following:
1. Divided attention
Dogs are quick to learn the level of attention they receive from their pet parents and other family members.
If you focus your attention on one dog over the other, then you are brewing a suitable environment for the dogs to develop jealous behavior.
The dog that feels he is receiving less attention will easily start a fight with his counterpart that receives full attention.
2. Newly brought a dog
If your second dog is new to your home where there was an existing dog, it is common to find a hatred relationship developing between the two dogs.
The older dog in the house will look at the newly brought dog as an enemy that has come to steal attention and affection from the pet’s parents and family.
3. Limited resources
If you have a single toy that is to be shared by both of your dogs, then it is a good recipe for chaos between the two pets.
Sometimes dogs would like to have a toy all by themselves so that they can exercise their teeth and biting skills.
4. Small or shared space
If both dogs share a small space for sleeping, eating, and playing, it is very easy for one or both of them to develop signs of jealousy due to a somewhat ‘invasion of privacy’.
5. Lack of exercise
When you have both your dogs just sitting there the entire day observing each other without exercising, there is a possibility of the development of jealous behavior among them.
This is because the dogs are accustomed to their environment without getting enough time to know their other side of exercising and gaming.
Well, you might now be wondering what are the signs and actions that show your dog is jealous? The following habits will often denote that your canine friend is developing jealous behaviors.
Please note that these characters are not exclusive to jealousy, your dog might just be suffering from other conditions as well.
4 Signs Your Dog is Jealous
This can be visible when your dog openly bites other animals or pets trying to snatch your attention from them.
If you’re bringing a new cat to your house, make sure you do a proper introduction. But, if you already got a new cat and your dog is showing some aggression because of jealousy, you can read our guide to learn how to stop this behavior in your dog.
2. Pushy behavior
This can be seen by him trying to inhibit a peaceful coexistence in the house.
3. Non-welcoming to strangers and visitors
More often than not, you will see a jealous dog trying to bark at visitors and people unknown to him especially when they are talking with the owner.
4. Leaves you abruptly
A jealous dog will sometimes leave your room abruptly in a sad gesture as a way to communicate dissatisfaction with the owner.
Regardless of the reason that has made your dog jealous, you now need to work on a plan that will reverse this behavior in your canine friend.
First Approach To Try Out
Before moving any further, you need to learn the things that make your dog jealous and identify the alternative behavior you would like him to perform.
You will then figure out how to elicit your dog to do the things you would like him to engage in, for example, wagging his tail when playing with him and other dogs.
You can get your dog to wag his tail by ensuring that he feels comfortable and safe in your presence. For example, you can make him stand or lie on a comfortable mat while patting his neck and wait for him to wag his tail.
After your dog does that which you intend him to do, reward him with tasty treats while patting his back and neck.
Do this repeatedly whenever you notice your dog is in a sad mood. There are many behaviors that you can teach your dog to engage him that will occupy the space of jealousy in his heart.
For example, you can teach your dog to be responsive to commands, and you can also train your dog to be active in sports where you can participate together.
6 Tips On How To Deal With Jealous Dogs
Alongside the first approach to try out in the quest to stop jealousy between dogs, you can also take up the following measures keenly.
1. Give equal attention to all your dogs
If you own more than one dog, do not show open bias toward your favorite canine. Dogs are affectionate just like humans and they can tell when they are discriminated against by their owners.
When it comes to feeding and rewarding your dogs, just ensure that all dogs get similar treatment.
2. Ensure your two dogs stay together
If you own two or more dogs, the first thing you would want to achieve is ensuring that the dogs know each other very well and become friends.
This is not a problem when your dogs have been together since their puppy stage in life. However, if you bring in an adult dog, there are good chances that your dog might not get along well with the new one.
You can do this by ensuring that you take your dogs for a walk together, making them feel the importance of each other in their life.
If the dogs have a small and shared space for sleep, you can enlarge the territory and give them separate bowls for treats and water.
3. Ignore bad habits and Reward good habits
Whenever your dog shows signs of jealousy e.g., barking when playing with other pets, do not immediately shift your concentration to him otherwise he will think that it is the appropriate way to get your attention.
Instead, you can calmly move out of that area while leaving your dog behind.
You also need to be keen when your dog does something that calls for appreciation. Have a treat and hug to reward good behavior e.g., when the pushy dog joins the calm dog and pets in playing.
4. Have scheduled training sessions with your dogs
You need to review your training sessions with your dogs. Have a scheduled time each day for making the dog learn good habits and unlearn the unwanted ones.
You also need to have a way of measuring your dogs’ progress in the training sessions.
5. Create enough resources for your dogs
If you have more than one dog, you need to ensure that there are enough toys and chew bones in the house for each dog to play with without interruptions from other dogs.
You also need to have enough dog bowls for every canine in your house. Each dog needs to have his own calming bed.
The sleeping area for all dogs needs to be tidy and well-spaced, otherwise, instances of jealousy can easily arise from this.
6. Include all family members in dog activities
Ensure that all members of your family are well acquainted with the dogs in the house. You can do this by encouraging every member to participate in feeding the dog once in a while.
Whenever you have a visitor who will stay with you for a long time, make sure your dog knows their presence in the house.
What To Do If Nothing Works Out Well
On rare occasions, a jealous dog might be resistant to changing his behavior for the good. In this case, you should first pay a visit to a vet to ascertain whether your dog is suffering from other conditions unknown to you.
After visiting the vet and receiving advice from him, you need to then consult an animal behaviorist for specialized training for your dog.
Having a jealous dog in your house is not an entirely strange thing. Among many other things about your Furbaby, you need to learn how to deal with this situation because you might need the skills in the least expected time.
Have a look at the video below from Animal Wised that shows and informs you of everything you need to know about jealous dogs.
Have you ever had a jealous dog before? How did you go about it? Please let me know in the comments section below, and thanks for reading through my article.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.