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Do our dogs experience the feeling of jealousy? There are varying opinions by experts as to whether or not dogs experience feelings of jealousy. Anyone who has a dog, though, and has seen their behavior when their family pays attention to another dog or even another person may see some signs that look an awful lot like jealousy! In this article, we will discuss causes of dog jealousy. You will learn the signs of dog jealousy. We will also talk about how to stop dog jealousy.

Causes Of Dog Jealousy

  • Bringing home a new pet
  • Paying attention to another person or animal
  • Starting a new relationship
  • Bringing home a new baby

Some things that could cause your pet to behave in a jealous way would be bringing home a new pet. Often times when you bring home a new pet you focus your attention on her.  Without realizing it, this can make your dog feel left out and ignored. Having another dog visit or meeting another dog on the street can cause your pet to feel jealous if you pay attention to the other dog and not to him. Starting a new relationship and having a significant other enter your life is another situation that can cause your pet to feel left out and a bit insecure. Bringing home a baby is a very common cause of pet jealousy. Babies take up so much of their parents’ time and energy that the dog may feel neglected and act out of jealousy. Never leave a baby or young child unsupervised around a dog.  Even if the dog is showing no signs of jealousy, it’s best to be cautious.

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Signs Of Dog Jealousy

  • use paw to push away the other dog or person
  • nudge you with their nose to pay attention to them
  • licking your hands or face
  • wiggling and acting silly
  • performing tricks without being asked to
  • growling
  • showing teeth
  • nipping/biting

Some of the signs of jealousy include pushing his way in between you and the other dog. Some dogs will take their paw and push the other dog away, trying to get all the attention for themselves. They will nudge you with their nose and try their hardest to get you to pat them instead of the other dog. You can push them away but they will be right back at it again. You may find that they are licking your hands or trying to lick your face. They may wiggle and act silly as well.

Often dogs will start performing different tricks and behaviors if they want to get your attention away from another dog or person. They may start sitting, doing a down, play bowing or anything else that they can think of to get your attention focused only on them. In some cases they may just leave the room and go off by themselves. These behaviors are harmless and as long as they do not escalate, do not cause any problems.

The problems begin, though, when the dog starts showing signs of aggression. Your dog may growl, bark or show his teeth to the other dog or person getting your attention. This can quickly escalate to nipping or biting the other dog or person. This type of behavior needs to be stopped quickly before it gets out of control and your dog attacks the other dog or person to get them to leave.

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How To Stop Dog Jealousy

So, how do you stop pet jealousy? The first thing that you can do is, if it is a dog jealous of another dog, make sure that you pay equal amounts of attention to both of them. Make sure that they both get the same frequency of treats and that there are two of each toy so that they always can have the same toys, if that’s an area of concern. Both dogs are walked on leash.  If one is not totally trustworthy off leash, keep them both on leash until they both have solid recalls. (Be sure to read our article Teaching A Solid Recall for more information). Only give them treats when you can supervise them to prevent fighting.  Feed them in separate areas to avoid a fight over food. These types of situations are also considered resource guarding and can be a very big problem if not corrected immediately.

If you try these tips and your dog is still behaving inappropriately, you should get help from a professional.  It’s important to get the behavior under control quickly and stop dog jealousy when aggression is an issue. In order to help the professional develop a plan of action for you, give them as much information as possible. You should start a dog behavior diary or use our printable Dog Management Planner binder to track your dog’s behavior.  Keep track of the behavior, when and where it happened and the details before, during and after the incident. With some work, training and management you will be able to get things under control.

*Disclaimer: All information presented here is intended for entertainment purposes only. It is not provided in order to evaluate the temperament of a dog or set up a training plan for a dog with severe behavior issues. The author, publisher, and contributors accept no responsibility for such use. Anyone having a dog with severe behavior problems should consult with a dog behaviorist or dog trainer immediately to prevent harm to themselves and other people or animals. 

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