What is our first thought when we see a dog? Aw! Such a cute doggggg.
Dogs have forever been known to comfort humans and it is said that they can understand human emotions. But are we successful in identifying their emotions?
We humans mainly associate feelings like happiness and excitement with our furry canine buddies. But socially driven emotions like jealously, regret and guilt does manifest into a dog’s mind. They experience primitive envy to some extent, but it is not as complicated as vast compared to human jealously. The jealously in dogs is of a lower degree but if proper care is not taken, the envy would grow and get out of hand. This often leads to accidents and bad behaviour in dogs. Many psychologists have researched on dog behaviour and have come up with cause and effects of this behaviour.
How do you know if you pet is feeling jealous?
- If you dog has developed attention seeking habits like barking or jumping around, it might be a cause of stress. Jealously in dogs manifests into forcing the owner to acknowledge the dog. So, if you dog is forming destructive habits like chewing and digging, it might be due to some form of envy.
- If you are holding your baby and your dog tries to distract you by barking, it might be because your pet is feeling jealous of the baby and wants you to focus your attention on him. If you dog barges in between you and your other dog while you are playing with the second one, this again is a sign of envy.
- As much as dogs are faithful, they are manipulators. Look at attention grabbing signs. If your dog whines when you pet some other dog or spend time with your baby, you know that jealously is the reason.
- Look for minor signs as well. For example, if your dog growls when sitting on your lap as another dog or a family member passes by.
- A possessive dog would want your entire attention and touch.
Why is your canine getting jealous?
It is natural for a dog to demand attention, food and other good things. And when something is available to them in a lower amount, they tend to get jealous. Just like humans. Jealously instils a necessity of seeking attention into them. And dogs would sometimes go out of their ways and develop a destructive behaviour to grab your attention.
Main reasons to why dogs get jealous would be due to your new schedule or if you have moved into a new neighborhood. If you get a new pet or have a baby, your dog would instantly feel the competition and develop envy.
How can you help your dog?
It has been said time and again. Train your dog.
Give 20 minutes of your time and train your pup on obedience. Take out your treat pouch and reinforce behaviours like “Leave”, “Stop” and “Go” in your pup. Try to establish a connection with your dog and polish up your leadership skills.
If you have a new baby or a new dog or a family member, take them along to their training sessions so that your buddy gets used to the new member. Don’t let the new member upset the balance you have between you and your dog.
If your dog gets jealous of your other dog it is best to take them together on walks and let them realise that both of them are equally important to you. Treat them equally and don’t differentiate between them.
If a new baby is the cause of this jealously, then the best solution would be to allow your dog to smell a piece of clothing belonging to the baby. Offer treats to the dog for smelling the object. Treat him if he stays calm throughout the session. But do remember not to leave your baby unattended around the dog.
Sometimes it is best to avoid the jealous behavior. You might be accidentally rewarding your dog with attention when jealously strikes the canine mind. This negative attention might be appealing to your dog and hence needs to be stopped. You need to decide which behaviors to ignore and which ones to take seriously.