Friday, August 1, 2014

Do Dogs Get Jealous After All?

It's interesting, because from our observation, it would seem they certainly do. Particularly when I comes to attention and affection.

One way or another, I always figured that dogs might feel jealousy of some sort.

Even with our two guys, when one is getting attention and pets, the other one has to be right there in order not to get left out. Often they try to push their way closer to the person. If nothing else, each wants to get an equal share. Sure would appear as jealousy when you ask me.

With Jasmine, I was always very careful about showing affections to other dogs in front of her.

Might have been silly but I did not want to risk hurting her feelings. Perhaps I was humanizing her, perhaps I was right to do so.

So it happens that a new study seems to indicate that dogs indeed to get jealous.

According to the study from the University of California, San Diego, dogs demonstrated jealous behavior when owners were paying attention to stuffed dogs. That, I have to say would not have occurred to me, that dog could even get jealous of objects.

"The researchers found that the majority of the dogs - 78% - pushed or touched the owner when their attention was focused on the stuffed dog, while only 42% demonstrated this behavior when their owner focused on the jack-o-lantern pail, and only 22% did this when owners read the pop-up book. In addition, 30% of the dogs attempted to push themselves between their owner and the stuffed dog, and 25% even snapped at the stuffed dog."

On one hand, many people think that dogs feel guilty too. And that is not true. Or is it? But perhaps every dog owner understands jealous behavior. Or at least what looks like it.

Source article:
Dog Jealousy: Study Suggests Primordial Origins for the ‘Green-Eyed Monster’

Further reading:
Dog study 'indicates jealousy evolves to protect social relationships'
Jealousy in Dogs


  1. I guess it make sense, but I never thought of our dogs as jealous, I see them as either resource guarding (me) or they just want to get in on the fun.

    1. I guess the question is whether the word jealousy is the best term to describe such observations. The other question is whether jealousy actually equals resource guarding or not - perhaps it does?

      Interesting thoughts to ponder.