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Do dogs get jealous of phones?

Why Does My Dog Get Jealous? Here’s How to Deal With A Jealous Dog

Have you ever wondered if your dog might be jealous? Perhaps your dog sometimes pushes themselves between you and family members, or knock your hand away when stroking other dogs in the park? Our canine companions love being the centre of our world, that’s just natural. Your dog’s protective, possessive or needy nature might seem cute or funny, and no doubt, sometimes it is undeniably adorable. But it can be a serious concern for some owners. Jealous behaviour can quickly become a nuisance, even turning destructive or dangerous. But although it can be frustrating, there are things you can do to control it.

You need to understand what’s causing the jealousy before you can resolve it. Read on to learn how to tell if your dog is jealous, as well as how you can prevent their jealous streak.

What is dog jealousy?

We don’t know for sure if dogs feel exactly the same kinds of emotions as us humans. After all, dogs can’t tell us with words and it’s a rather complex human emotion! Academic studies have observed dogs displaying jealous behaviours, so it’s probably fair to say that dogs do experience jealousy – at least in some sense of the word.

Perhaps a better way to think about it is your dog guarding or competing for the things they value and want most. In most cases that’s your love and attention, or let’s face it, their food, which are what they crave most.

Can my dog feel jealousy?

A 2014 study in California suggests dogs can in fact display jealous behaviours. The experiment studied 36 dogs individually while using a stuffed dog. When the owners showed affection towards the toy, the dogs showed significant jealousy through snapping, getting between the owner and toy, or pushing and touching the owner or toy.

The results revealed that 41% of dogs snapped at the toy, every dog pushed at the owner, and 86% pushed at the fake dog. The study suggests that because most dogs sniffed the fake dog’s private areas, they thought the toy was real. This could be why most dogs appeared to be jealous as they thought the toy was a rival they needed to compete with.

Why does my dog get jealous?

Our dogs thrive when they’re in a stable environment and get all the things they need in life – like attention and food. When something bulldozes in and changes home life, our dogs can find it difficult to adjust. If your dog feels they need to compete for the things they love, that’s when those unwanted behaviours can come out.

There could be many reasons why your dog gets jealous. Maybe you recently brought a new puppy or pet into your home. Perhaps you have a new baby in the house or a new partner has moved in. Dogs feel secure when they have a routine, but new family members can upset the status quo they’ve come to rely on.

Jealousy could also become an issue if you’ve moved to a new home or neighbourhood, or if you’ve introduced a new schedule. In an unfamiliar home environment, your dog may be figuring out where they belong and try to compete for new places or items in the home. If you have a new work schedule, your dog could be trying to compete for your time and affection.

How can I tell if my dog is jealous?

Dogs communicate jealousy through many different behaviours. Watch out for these signs if you suspect your dog is jealous.

1. Aggression

A jealous dog may growl, snap or attack another person or pet if they go near the thing they want. This could happen when you’re sitting on the sofa and a family member comes to sit next to you, or if another dog comes near their favourite toy. Aggressive behaviour is giving the other party a clear warning to back off.

2. Pushy behaviour

If you’re giving someone else attention, does your dog ever push them out of the way or squeeze between you? Or if you’re having coffee with a friend, maybe they jump onto your lap. If your dog is jealous they may push themselves into the situation and demand you give them attention.

3. Peeing indoors

Not all jealous behaviour is as obvious as our own. Because our dogs can’t tell us how they’re feeling, they use other ways to communicate. If your dog doesn’t know any other way to express themselves, peeing or pooping in the house could be a sign your dog is jealous.

4. Performing a trick

Dogs are clever animals – through your training sessions they quickly learn that doing tricks gets them attention and treats. So if you’re busy entertaining guests and they’re desperate for your attention, they may randomly pull tricks in an attempt to get what they want.

5. Walking away

If your dog is upset that someone else is taking the limelight, their jealousy may not always be shown by putting up a fight. Withdrawing and leaving the room could be your dog’s way of expressing their unhappiness with the situation.

6. Excessive grooming

Indirect behaviours such as over grooming can be a sign of jealousy. If your dog is bothered by a new family member, grooming can be your dog’s way of dealing with their insecurities. In a way, it’s an effective form of self-soothing when handling new stresses at home.

7. Under or overeating

A change in your dog’s eating habits can also be an indirect form of jealousy. If your dog has become anxious and stressed about competing for your affection with other people and pets, this can have an affect on their appetite.

How to handle dog jealousy

Avoid positive reinforcement of “bad” behaviour

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for us to unintentionally reinforce our dogs’ attention-seeking ways. When your dog wants something and doesn’t get it, they may start to “act out” or behave in a way to get what they’re after. This could be to get your affection, a tasty treat or a favourite toy.

The problem is, we’re often tempted to give into their adorable, sometimes downright annoying, or even distressing, calls for attention – this only teaches the dog that the behaviour will lead to a reward, whether that’s physical affection, a treat or a toy. This is known as positive reinforcement – and it’s possible to reinforce negative behaviours, too. If your dog ends up getting what they want, they’ll learn to repeat what they were doing just before getting the reward.

Dog attention seeking can range from the mild such as staring or licking you, to the annoying such as barking or whining, to more extreme signs such as aggressive behaviour.

Understanding what your dog is trying to tell you

Because dogs can’t communicate using words, it can be difficult for us to know exactly what they’re telling us. It’s important to get to know your own dog and to understand what’s your dog’s noises and other communications mean so you know what their individual needs and patterns are. At the same time it’s crucial to establish yourself as the leader of the pack in your home – and to know how to bring out and reward the kind of behaviours you want to see your dog adhere to.

If your attention is important to pup, they may see other people and animals as a threat to their relationship with you and play up to warn off the competition. Dogs can show their jealousy in all sorts of situations, but these are some of the most common:

  • Your dog growls at another pet or family member approaching you.
  • If you’re paying attention to another another dog and your dog pushes them out of the way.
    You’re with a friend and your dog whines at your feet or tries to push between you.

So now you know why your pooch might be jealous and what it looks like, here are a few methods you can use to minimise your dog’s jealousy.

Dog jealousy of a new puppy or other pet

If you’ve noticed your dog’s behaviour has changed since bringing a new pet home, this could very well be the cause of their jealous behaviour. The key is to make them both feel equally important to you and strengthen the bond between them both. Here are a few tactics you can try:

  • Always give both dogs equal attention and pet and play with them together. This will ensure neither dog feels left out and will also help them build their relationship with each other.
  • If your dog is protective over their food, feed them in different rooms to avoid any feelings of competition.
  • Take both dogs on walks together – there’s no better bonding session than being outdoors and learning to play and socialise with other dogs together.
  • Do your training sessions with both dogs together. This will help pup feel they’re getting their fair share of time with you. Be sure to give both dogs treats at the same time to avoid any conflicts over food.
  • If you’ve noticed arguments over toys or beds, be sure to have two of everything so there’s less chance of rivalry.
  • Always reward the small wins. When they’re acting appropriately like sitting calmly together or sitting next to you without issue, give them both attention and a reward.

Dog jealousy of people

If you suspect your dog is jealous of family members, the problem could be there’s no relationship between them. Your dog sees you as the most important thing in their life and they may not have connected with others. In this case, you need to show your dog what’s unacceptable and create a better bond between your dog and the rest of family. Here are a few things to try:

    Praise and reward the good behaviour – if they manage to remain calm when you’re in the company of other people or family members, for example.

Your dog needs to be shown that good and fun things happen whenever the other person is around.

Dog jealousy of a baby

A new baby can be a magical time for your family but can also be an overwhelming and confusing experience for your dog. As with any human and dog relationship, your dog needs to understand they don’t rank higher than your baby, nor is the baby your dog’s playmate. Here are a few ways to prevent your dog being jealous of your new baby.

  • Make the nursery off limits weeks before the birth. That way when your baby does arrive your dog won’t connect being excluded with the new arrival.
  • Don’t keep your dog away from your baby. This can give your dog a reason to think they’re in competition or should feel threatened by them. Involve your dog in family life and avoid feeling tense when they’re together. If you feel tense your dog may sense it and could think there’s reason to be anxious.
  • Help your dog bond with your baby by rewarding and praising good behaviour. Offer rewards when they’re laying beside them or calmly playing in the same room. Your dog will eventually understand that good things happen when they’re calm and relaxed around your baby.
  • Never leave your dog and baby alone together. You never know how your dog might react unsupervised and it could reverse any good work you’ve put into training.
  • Your dog shouldn’t be allowed to play with your baby’s toys. There are thousands of bacteria in your dog’s mouth which could be harmful to your baby. If they grab your baby’s toys to try and get your attention, take the toy away and redirect them onto their own. Offer praise and a reward when they’re happily occupied. And just to state the obvious, always wash your baby’s toys before playing with them again.

Do you have a jealous pooch? Share your dog jealousy stories in the comments below or head over to Facebook and Twitter at @DogBuddyCo.

Tips and Tricks for Dealing with a Jealous Dog

Tips and Tricks for Dealing with a Jealous DogHow to Deal with Your Jealous Dogs

If you have more than one pet in your home, you must have experienced canine jealousy. According to our professional dog trainers in Toronto, it could be an unhappy look when giving them treats or a struggle during snuggle time. Read on to learn how you can manage your dogs when they experience jealousy, so you know what to do to establish a lasting bond with them.

What is Canine Jealousy?

Dogs, just like humans, react when they experience unfair treatment. They often respond by barking, pawing, whining, growling, or shoving themselves in front of another pet or person. Do not reward your dog for inappropriate behaviour, even if some of their jealous responses make you feel loved. Also, be sure to address their behaviour to maintain peace at home.

Managing Jealousy Between Dogs

If your dogs are tense around each other or fighting, you may need to enroll them in a reputable dog training school where professionals can help them. However, if they experience minor jealousy with other dogs, keep in mind the following to help them get over it:

  • Petting the Dogs
    When your dogs seem content and are relaxing, ask one of them to stay and go to the other. Pet them and give them a treat. Then, immediately release the other dog from their stay position, pet them, and offer them treats as well. Our dog trainers recommend doing this for a few days at random times while increasing the petting time gradually, so they get used to it.
  • Get the Two Dogs Close to Each Other
    Teach your dogs to feel more relaxed about you paying attention to them individually. Then, reduce the space between them slowly. Observe their body language and reactions to gauge the comfort level between each other. This will help you know your progress. So long as you see relaxed faces and soft body language, you can continue with the process.

Managing Your Dog’s Jealousy with People

Some dogs react to the public display of affection, such as their people dancing or hugging with displays of jealousy. They often express themselves by barking or pawing at the couple. According to our expert dog trainers, you can help your dogs to accept snuggles that do not include them.

Observe scenarios that trigger the jealousy in your dog and watch how they react during such situations. Try and ease them into such circumstances, so they learn to remain calm when you are interacting with your loved ones. You can use praises and treats to teach them.

We Offer Excellent Dog Training Services in Toronto

At Alpha Paws, we are dedicated to helping dog owners establish a positive, loving, and long-lasting relationship with their pup. We have expert dog trainers in Toronto to train the dogs to become well-mannered and responsive to instructions.

If you are looking for professionals to help you deal with your dog’s undesired behaviour, we can guide you. For more information about our dog training school, feel free to reach out to us by calling 905-830-9500 or toll-free at 1-877-868-7297. You could also fill out our online form if you have any questions.

Also Read:

  • Expert Dog Training Tips To Avoid Neediness Behaviour
  • How Exercise Impacts the Health and Behaviour of Your Dog

The Mere Thought Of You Petting Another Dog May Make Your Dog Jealous

Rachael is a writer and digital content producer at IFLScience with a Zoology degree from the University of Southampton, UK, and a nose for novelty animal stories.

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The Mere Thought Of You Petting Another Dog Makes Your Dog Jealous

There are few forces on Earth as pure as a dog’s love for its owner. The domestication of wolves (which may have begun in this cave) transformed later generations of canine, turning them from aggressive predators into bundles of human-loving joy (apart from Prancer). Our four-legged friends now come in a rich variety of shapes and sizes, but regardless of breed or pedigree, they are united in their love for their humans. Often among human relationships love can lead to jealousy, and a new study published in the journal Psychological Science may have demonstrated the same is true of dogs.

While it’s not all that pleasant when you get a case of the Green-Eyed Monster, jealousy is thought to be a social behavior that preserves valuable social bonds by protecting them from interlopers. It’s easily observed and interpreted when working with humans (who, crucially, speak) but there’s been little research into the jealous behaviors of dogs, or if they even get jealous at all. If owners are to be believed, then there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence (who doesn’t want to think their dog is special), but little in the way of hard evidence beyond this betrayed beagle whose owner is stroking other dogs on Red Dead Redemption.


To find out, the study asked people to bring their dedicated doggos along to partake in an experiment which saw the dogs watch a video of their human interacting with two objects: a fleece cylinder or a fake dog. It was decided that pulling on the leash would be indicative of the dog’s jealousy, as a similar behavior is observed in jealous children.

“The single most consistent jealous behavior that we see in infants is an approach response as they try to disrupt their mother’s interaction with a rival,” said Amalia Bastos from The University of Auckland in the below video about the research. “So, we were interested to see if dogs would show this as well, pulling harder when they were faced with a jealousy-inducing situation.

The video showed the dogs’ owners stroking the objects in different conditions to ascertain if the dogs responded to an inanimate object (the fleece cylinder) in the same way as a perceived rival (the fake pup). Not only did the dogs get more jealous when the owner was stroking the fake dog (a potential rival), they even got jealous when a screen was put up obscuring the view. In this condition, the fake dog was not in view but that the owner was stroking something that was still visible to the dog. Their jealousy, despite having the rival obscured from view, indicates that whatever they thought was going on behind that barrier was something they weren’t on board with.


By comparison, the dogs had little interest in the conditions where the owner was stroking the fleece cylinder even though the fake dog was still in the room. “The fake dog was present in the room in every condition because we wanted to make sure the dogs weren’t pulling due to fear, aggression or interest towards the fake dog,” continued Bastos. “We can safely exclude these alternative hypotheses because dogs pulled more strongly only in jealousy-inducing situations.”

The observations can’t be considered irrefutable evidence for the jealousy of dogs, owing to the fact we can’t (yet) carry out a debrief to confirm their motivations. They do however show that dogs exhibit some of the same signatures of jealous behavior that humans show, increasing the likelihood that our actions are fueled by similar motivations. “The more behavioral signatures we can see in common between humans and other animals,” said Bastos, “the more certain we can be that their minds work in similar ways to ours.”

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