Jealous dogs tend to dominate households. Some dog owners just tolerate the behavior. However, by promoting negative behavior by tolerance this could potentially allow the jealousy to continue. Find out what steps you can take to lessen envy within your dog.
Dogs have become a major part of most families. With so much love and attention to receive, dogs sometimes have a tendency to become jealous of anyone or anything that shares in receiving this love and attention. This jealousy is a form of dominant behavior from the dog and a natural instinct. A jealous dog can become defensive when jealous and may growl at or bite at whoever or whatever is invading their territory. But how do you cope with a jealous dog?
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The first step is pinpointing what is driving the dog’s jealousy. Dogs like things to be done in a routine. If a common routine is interrupted, dogs become stressed out and what seems like jealousy could actually be stress. A routine can often be interrupted when something new is introduced into the household. Look for key indicators such as a low stance to ground, tail in a downward position or even tucked between the hind quarters, dilated pupils, and excessive barking. If your dog is stressed out then it would be best to remove the animal from the situation temporarily to allow it to calm down to prevent injury to itself or others.
If the addition is a new pet then allowing sufficient time for your dog to get use to the new pet can decrease jealousy. Dogs are very territorial and are most often found in pack societies in the wild. New dogs to a pack normally go through an initiation period where they are accepted but are closely watched by the pack. After some time they are fully accepted as part of the pack. The same principle still applies to domestic dogs so allowing time for your dog to accept the new pet will allow your dog to be less jealous.
Giving treats and toys to dogs especially when there are multiple dogs or pets in the household should be done to ensure equality between your pets. I, personally, always ensure that if I am giving my dog a rawhide bone then all my other dogs gets one, too. Dominant dogs will have a tendency to try to hog all the treats or toys which is a natural “survival of the fittest” instinct. Telling the dominant pet who exudes this type of behavior “no” and removing the item and giving back to rightful owner will allow the dominant pet know that you do not approve of this behavior. Do however, reward good behavior. Sometimes dogs have to be reminded of who is in charge which is a natural behavior of the alpha dog in the wild.
When giving attention to your dog ensure that equal displays of affection are distributed among multiple pets or other family members. If the jealous pet tries to push its way in, turn away from the jealous animal. This allows the dog to see again that you are in charge and that the attention you give is on your own terms. When it comes time for the jealous animal to receive attention, do not allow any other pets or people to intervene to show the jealous dog that its attention and affection is just as important as others. Again, do not condone bad behavior but reward good behavior to reinforce that waiting your turn is okay and there is a positive reward for doing so.
In conclusion, allowing jealously to persist can act a means of condoling negative behavior and should not be allowed. Rewarding your dog for good behavior only can produce behavior patterns which are more desirable. Also, allowing sufficient time for your dog to get adjusted to changes in routine can ensure that jealously is only temporary.
Published in: Pets