Do dogs display jealousy?
Yes. Just like humans, dogs can experience a wide array of emotions, and jealousy is one of them.
Every dog, from the smallest to the gentlest breed, can become jealous. Simply, they like to be the center of attention. Babies and new additions to the family are the most common causes of jealousy in dogs. Ignoring the dog can cause a lot of problems and even bodily harm to young children.
When the dog is no longer the center of attention, she will exhibit warning signs to show you that she is jealous of a new addition to the family. Some dogs will get violent and forceful to try to take the attention from the object taking up their time—whether a baby, toddler, or another family pet. The jealous animal may start showing withdrawal symptoms to the owners, and may even refuse to eat. If the animal starts to get aggressive (such as barking or growling at the object they are jealous of) then you have to start taking action to prevent any further violent behavior.
With a little patience and some treats, you can train your dog to make it feel loved and secure. Here are some tips:
• Spend time with your dog. Give it an extra walk, play time or some other attention.
• Use treats and give plenty of praise: Reward the dog for positive behavior when they are not showing signs of jealousy.
• Try to wake up early, if you have young children, and take the dog for a walk, or engage in any other favorite activity. The dog will respond well if they do not feel like they are being replaced and are still a valued member of the family.
NOTE: Remember it may take time for a new pet to be welcomed by another pet in the family. For instance, if you adopt a new dog, the original dog may become jealous, but it may take time to suppress the emotion. If you seem to be having trouble, enlist the aid of a professional dog trainer.