Dog Jealousy Signs & Symptoms
We all know that a dog’s love is pure. It loves you with absolute loyalty. But do dogs get jealous the way we do? Well, the answer is yes. Dogs also feel the most common negative effect of love – jealousy.
It is surprising, right? But dogs too are protective and scared of losing their loved ones. They feel jealous when we give more attention to another pet or child. Though jealousy can seem cute at times, it's important to identify and alleviate this behavior.
Signs of jealousy in dogs
Like humans, dogs too can be unpleasant when jealous. Let's explore those behavioral patterns in brief:
Inappropriate toilet habits
Dogs cannot express their feelings in words. Neither can they say mean things out of jealousy. However, they can express their feelings through actions. Hence, dogs poop in prohibited places when jealous.
Note: Pooping outside the litter box could also be a sign of some underlying health issue. So, if you see unusual toileting, you should first visit a vet.
If you have been giving more attention to another pet or human, your dog might get aggressive. This aggression can manifest in the form of biting or nibbling the pet/human that is getting your time and attention. Assess your canine's mood by understanding their body language and dog barking sound.
Scaring off the other human/pet
When your pooch is jealous because you have been giving more time and attention to some other pet/human, it might growl or hiss at them. A lot of dogs even try to pick a fight with another pet.
Being clingy with you
Dogs are generally affectionate. However, clinginess is when they come extremely close to you and start licking your hand or face. You must be wondering, why is my dog licking me all of a sudden? It is a sign that your furry friend is seeking your attention.
Sometimes, instead of being aggressive towards the person/pet they are jealous of, some dogs take their frustration out on unrelated things like furniture. Your pooch could scratch the rug or chew the furniture when jealous.
If your dog is preventing someone else from moving freely, it is demanding your attention. Some dogs also try too hard to get your attention by crowding your space.
Walks out of the room
Dogs do not always respond with aggression. Sometimes they can be polite and leave the room when the person or pet that ignites envious feelings enters the room. And we all know that withdrawal is a sign that there is a problem in your relationship.
Note: Avoid following your dog as this will reinforce the behavior. Which means, your dog will continue leaving the room every time it feels jealous of someone.
Causes of dog jealousy
The feeling of envy can be caused by multiple things. If one of your dogs sees that another pet gets more treats, it might feel envious. In case you have welcomed a newborn baby at home, you might naturally start paying more attention to the newest member. However, this could turn your furry pal into a jealous dog.
Dogs are always in a pack. And now that you are a member of your dog's pack, it considers you to be the leader. Hence, when your pooch sees unfairness, it feels hurt. Basically, dogs want their share of love, treats, food, and attention. If you try to compromise on that to prioritize something else, it might feel jealous. Here are a few common experiences that lead to jealousy in dogs:
- New caregiver
- New house
- A newborn baby
- A new pet
- New people living in the same house
How to care for a jealous dog?
No one wants their loved one to feel jealous. Especially if it is your dog. Nobody wants to see these four-legged beings with fluffy fur feeling hurt and envious? So, here's how you can help a jealous dog cope with this overwhelming feeling:
If your dog acts differently while feeling jealous, it's time to reinforce good behavior. You must start practicing commands like "drop it" or "go to your crate". This will show your dog that you are the pack leader. If your dog is biting or barking at other people/pets, do not give any treats until it behaves.
Note: Include the object of jealousy in your training sessions. This will help your dog to accept this new person/pet as a part of its pack.
Avoid giving any reward
In this context, the reward isn't a toy or food, it's you and your attention. If your dog withdraws out of jealousy, do not follow your pooch. While this act might comfort your fur baby, it will also reinforce bad behavior. Your dog might start feeling rewarded by all the negative attention it receives.
Treat your dogs equally
If your dog is jealous of a new dog, treat both equally. If it's time for food, both should get their favorite meals from wet dog food range. In case it's time to go on a walk, take both your doggies together. This will help your pooch realize that your love for it hasn't reduced even a bit. Moreover, once your dog starts doing things with the new member, the two might gel up with each other.
Frequently asked questions
Is it normal for dogs to get jealous?
Yes. Jealousy is a normal feeling in a dog-owner relationship.
Do dogs get jealous of affection?
Yes. Dogs can get jealous if they feel that your attention is being diverted to someone else.
Will my dog feel betrayed if I get another dog?
If you bring another dog home, it might not feel betrayed. However, if you shower more time and attention to the new doggie, it might feel hurt, jealous, and distressed.
How do I stop my dog from being jealous?
If your dog is jealous, it is probably because it now feels left out or not loved. If you have one more dog in your house, treat both equally. If there is a newborn baby in your house, do not ignore your dog. Ascertain that your pooch receives its share of love, food, and affection.