It’s no secret that dogs can be territorial and jealous. Figuring out how to deal with a jealous dog can be challenging as each dog is different.
If you’ve ever had a dog who is overly possessive of you or your property, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re lucky enough to have a dog that is relatively friendly and non-aggressive, then you have the opportunity to get a lot of positive attention from this loyal friend. However, if your dog is jealous of other animals or humans, then you need to learn how to handle a jealous dog to avoid any accidents that might be a result of this jealousy.
In this post, we’ll walk through the steps on how to deal with a jealous dog, as well as how to avoid this problem in the future.
But first things first…
What Is Jealous In Dogs?
Your dog may not experience jealousy the same way that people do. Nevertheless, jealousy is an unwelcome and harmful trait. Instead of jealousy, your dog may be feeling assertive, pushy, or rude.
Behaviors to watch out for include aggression, nibbling and biting, accidents inside.
What Causes Jealous Behaviors In Pets?
Experts say jealousy in pets is usually a sign of boredom or a ruse to get attention from their owners. “They, like people, might feel insecure at times,” Dr. Broderick explains. “They require special attention, lots of hugging, and activities to keep them occupied and avoid boredom.” Our pets sometimes just want to be with us and don’t want to share us with another creature or person.”
According to Katenna Jones, associate applied animal behaviorist and owner of Jones Animal Behavior in Warwick, Rhode Island, jealous behavior can be caused by a lack of resources. For instance when dogs have to share toys. Social conflict, sharing a small space, lack of exercise and genetic disposition may also facilitate jealousy.
Moreover, jealous behavior in dogs can also be a result of sudden changes that might come along with a new schedule being established, moving to a new neighborhood or home. New family members such as a new baby or another pet can also lead to jealousy.
How To Handle A Jealous Dog?
Now you know how dogs exhibit jealousy, we can get to explore tips that can be useful regarding how to handle a jealous dog. Keep in mind, all dogs are different, so if one way does not work, you can always try another one!
1. Do not reward envious behavior
With dogs, just like with children, any attention is good attention. Attention is the key to learning and understanding. If you pay your dog a lot of attention, your dog will be happy to accept a scolding, so long as you’re paying it attention. As such, if you continually reward jealous behavior, it’s likely to continue doing it.
Ignore unwanted behavior. If your dog barks, growls, paws at you, or otherwise show signals of jealousy, don’t react. Remove them from the immediate area if they demonstrate this behavior while sitting on or near you.
Many people are hesitant to discipline their dogs when they see them behaving badly. There are many reasons for this, but the most obvious is that it doesn’t look like fun! As a result, people are more likely to keep their dogs in check.
2. Introduce new people
When a new spouse or partner enters your life or a family member who hasn’t been around before visits, dogs can feel completely outclassed. The easiest approach on how to deal with a jealous dog is to include the newcomer in the dog’s favorite activities, which include eating, walking, and playing.
Allow the dog to know that this person is here to stay rather than rewarding pesky behavior with a goodie. Instead of being tempted to bribe the dog with treats, let the new family member provide treats when the dog exhibits positive behavior. They’ll become a regular part of the family once the puppy has formed a positive relationship with them.
Read more about 9 Dog Breeds For Working Couples.
3. Introduce the new pet
Because a new dog poses the prospect of a like-for-like replacement, an older dog might be rather frightening for your new canine companion. In this case, the key is to be as fair as possible. Treats should only be given out when the two dogs are acting well together. This promotes good associations and aids in the development of both dogs’ obedience skills.
Another great tip is to always take them on walks together to help them develop a pack mentality. Dogs are extremely gregarious animals who have always run in packs, according to evolutionary theory. Allowing them to face the world together can help them form a deep bond. You can encourage a strong bond between siblings by letting them take on the world together.
4. Change their perspective
Other people and pets are seen as competition by a jealous dog. To remedy this, you must persuade them that the person they are envious of is actually a catalyst for all the good things in life. Only play their favorite game when the other person or pet is around, for example. Give your dog a yummy reward before they have a chance to act out if your spouse comes and sits next to you on the couch.
If they’re envious of another dog, only take them on walks and experiences when they’re all together. While perfect behavior may not be achieved the first few times, consistency will help the jealous dog associate family members with a fun and treats rather than jealousy.
Remember, just like humans, dogs also have needs and emotional attachment is one of those. Spending time with your dog doing whatever the two of you enjoy is a great way to bond and lessen any anxiety.
You can always consult a dog behavioral specialist if you’re concerned about your dog’s behavior issues. They’ll assist you in training your dog and reducing negative behavior. A professional dog trainer can assist you in understanding your dog which is the first step in dealing with unwanted behavior.
Read more about How To Keep A Dog Off Your Couch In 3 Effective Ways
Can dogs get over jealousy?
Yes, once you know the root cause of this behavior. You can change the environment and allow your dog to be secure.
Can dogs be possessive of their owners?
Yes, Sometimes they love their humans so much they don't want to share them with other pets or people.
Why are my dogs so jealous of each other?
Usually dogs get jealous of each other when they have to share a lot of resources with each other. They feel like the other dog is 'bothering' them. With proper training, the two dogs can become buddies.
How can you tell if a dog is jealous?
Each dog is different, so pay attention to how your dog acts in new or unfamiliar circumstances. Aggression, nibbling and biting, accidents inside are some of the common signs of jealous.