Dog Jealousy: Why is my Dog Jealous of Another?
Sometimes dogs exhibit behaviors that we don’t quite understand. The mistake some owners make is thinking that there is never a motive behind dog’s actions, aside from very simple ones. Like humans, dogs also have emotions that can run from basic to complex. Among the emotions dogs have shown they possess, is jealousy.
Dogs can become jealous of other dogs, other pets, and even other humans. Just like us when we feel we are being ignored or pushed aside by someone we care about, dogs can act out of jealousy when they feel our attention is being unjustly diverted from them. But how do you deal with a dog’s jealous?
Obviously you can’t talk it out the way you would with a human companion, but there are steps you can take to resolve jealousy issues that may be causing discord in your home.
Socialize and Train Your Puppy from the Start
The importance of proper socialization cannot be stressed enough. When you first bring your new puppy home, you need to start laying down the foundation for what you will expect out them— this includes how they will react to other animals and people. If you expose your puppy to other animals, children, and people regularly, they will not view any of these things as out of the norm and they will learn to share your attention.
In the long run this will prime them for another pet or even a child if you don’t already have one. The sooner you start working with your puppy, the stronger their acceptance of your rules and expectations will be. This is not to say that they won’t occasionally get jealous, but it is easier to teach them to share your attention at young age when they cannot lash out with as sever of consequences.
- Take puppies to dog parks regularly
- Have friends and family over often; allow your dog to get used to not being the center of attention.
- Let children in your family or social circle play with the puppy often, learning to tolerate and play appropriately with children is an important skill
- Exposing your puppy to various scenarios will make them more accepting, less anxious dogs.
Though having a puppy gives you greater control over the dog they become, having dogs from puppyhood is not everyone’s reality. Many people choose to rescue adult dogs and bring them into their families. While an adult dog does not require the same training as a puppy, you will have to prepare them for their new life with you and all that that entails.
Since it is not easy to know grown dogs past when you get them, dealing with jealousy is likely. Luckily most dogs do not react violently when jealous— though they can. Even dogs that have been with their owners from puppyhood can still get jealous, though it is less likely if a firm foundation has been given. There are different ways you can deal with a jealous dog.
Doggy Time Out
When a dog gets jealous and reacts either aggressively or tries to interrupt what your attention is focused on, give them a doggy time out. A dog will act out when it is jealous to get your attention any way it can— even negative attention (yelling, punishing) is good attention. So you need to make sure you react appropriately as not to reinforce the behavior. If the dog responds aggressively simply put them outside where they cannot have your attention.
If the jealous dog is not aggressive but prefers to interrupt you ignore them and continue with what you’re doing. When the troublesome behavior proves to cause no effect, they will have no incentive to continue it.
You should also try and evaluating each situation your dog exhibits jealousy in, before you take action. Try to see the situation from your dog’s perspective and try to be empathic. Sometime all the dog does need is just a little extra love from you and they will fall right in line.
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