Do dogs feel jealous?

A study published in Psychological Science says yes. The researchers found that dogs will go so far as to show jealousy even when they can only imagine their owners are interacting with a potential rival.

Nearly 4 in 5 dog owners claim their pets have displayed jealousy, and new research suggests those behaviors can occur even when a potential rival for affection and attention is hidden.

In other words, even when it’s not fully present, dogs seem to be able to mentally picture a circumstance that would cause them to feel jealous.

The study provides a helpful understanding of what might be going through a dog’s mind when it sees (or doesn’t see) something that it thinks it needs to be jealous of because we cannot ask dogs about their thoughts or feelings.

According to psychologist Amalia Bastos from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, “research has confirmed what many dog owners firmly believe — dogs exhibit jealous behavior when their human companion interacts with a potential rival.”

“We wanted to investigate this behavior in greater detail to see if dogs, like people, could mentally represent an occasion for jealousy.” “.

The research also has something to say about whether or not dogs are actually aware of themselves – and the possible mental processes that are behind the jealous behavior that so many owners see. In humans, jealousy is thought to be closely linked to self-awareness.

18 dogs participated in exercises conducted by Bastos and her coworkers as their owners sat next to a fake dog or a fleece cylinder that looked like a real dog. The cylinder served as a check and the fake dog as a rival for affection.

A barrier was put up to block the view of the fake dog but not the owner or the owner’s movements after the dogs had observed the scene with their owners and the fake dog. The fake dog was then tipped over, and the researchers gave the owner a tap on the shoulder to instruct them to impersonate petting and conversing with the deceased fake dog.

At this point, the owners were actually petting a fleece-covered shelf in an effort on the part of the researchers to prevent the owners from unintentionally giving the dog cues on how to respond. You are such a good dog! was a common phrase used by owners to keep their pets from becoming overly excited.

Except for a few modifications, the procedure was repeated with the cylinder. The owners’ dog watched the interaction without a barrier even though the owners would talk to and pet the cylinder as if it were a dog (using the same generic chatter).

The fake dog was still present, but it was found. 5 meters (4. 9 feet), always facing the owner, and in the line of sight of the actual dog

When the cylinder was used, as opposed to the fake dog, the dogs tended to pull on their leads with much less force, the researchers discovered using a force gauge.

Three human-like signatures of jealous behavior were observed. First, the behavior only appeared when a perceived social rival was present, and second, it appeared even for interactions with this rival that took place out of sight.

Thirdly, the researchers could claim that the jealous behavior occurred as a result of the interaction and not just because the other dog was present because the fake dog was either imagined to be present during the first scenario or was actually present even when the dog owners were petting the cylinder.

According to Bastos, these findings back up claims that dogs exhibit jealous behavior. They also offer the first proof that canines can mentally simulate social interactions that cause jealousy. “.

Previous research confused jealousy with play, interest, or aggression because the dogs’ responses to the owner and social rival being in the same room but not interacting were never examined. “.

We can observe how dogs act, but that’s not always an indication of what they’re thinking or feeling, so these kinds of carefully designed experiments are crucial to understanding what might be going on in their minds as we interact with them.

The experiments conducted here with the fleece cylinder as a control reveal that the dogs’ restlessness was increased by the attention paid to a social rival rather than by the absence of attention. The ability to better care for our canine companions will ultimately result from learning more about the inner lives of dogs.

According to Bastos, there is still much work to be done to determine the degree to which human minds and those of other animals are similar. This is especially true in terms of comprehending the nature of nonhuman animals’ emotional experiences.

“While it is still too soon to say whether dogs experience jealousy in the same way that humans do, it is now known that they react to situations that cause jealousy, even if these take place out of sight.” “.

Clubs Offering:

Do dogs feel jealous?

Feelings of envy and jealousy are common in social settings. You could say it’s the ability to focus on someone else’s blessings rather than your own. Some scientists don’t believe that dogs can feel these emotions.

A dogsled racer I met outside of Dawson City, Canada, offered a different perspective. They were milling around in a friendly, excited way as he prepared to harness his team. If you pet one, you have to pet them all, the musher warned me as I reached out to pet a handsome blue-eyed Siberian Husky. They get really jealous. They turn into green-eyed monsters if they believe that one of them is receiving more of anything, such as attention, food, or anything else. ”.

There are inequities in every social situation, and some people benefit more than others from the rewards. Scientists frequently divide emotions into primary and secondary categories. Primary emotions are regarded as being universal, including fear, anger, disgust, joy, and surprise. It is believed that secondary emotions like guilt, shame, envy, and jealousy call for more sophisticated cognitive functions. For instance, in the case of envy, you have to actively consider what the other person is receiving and contrast it with what you are receiving in exchange for your efforts. The argument has been made that it would be unlikely to find jealousy and envy in an animal like the dog because it involves self awareness at a level that, until recently, was questioned in dogs, even though there have been observations of clear cases in primates like chimpanzees and baboons. However, those who live with dogs frequently notice it in their own pets.

The complicated bond between a mother dog, her puppies, and her owner is one frequently reported instance where jealousy seems to manifest in dogs. Canine mothers do not have the same maternal instinct for their offspring as human mothers do for the rest of their lives. Her maternal instinct for the current litter fades as soon as the puppies can survive on their own, and is definitely gone by the time she goes into heat again.

Do dogs feel jealous?

Young puppies are obviously very cute and cuddly, so it is only natural for people in the house to show them a lot of affection. Owners with more knowledge might try to give each dog in the house the same amount of care and attention, but this usually doesn’t work. The mother dog becomes envious when she observes that her owner is paying more attention to the puppies than to her. She might start ignoring the puppies and attempting to keep them away from the mother’s nest. It is odd that behavioral scientists frequently disregard such routine observations.

However, some investigators are rethinking these social emotions. They acknowledge that dogs experience a variety of emotions. They go on to say that because dogs are social creatures, social interactions can cause feelings of envy and jealousy. Also known to exist in dogs is the hormone oxytocin, which has been linked to the expression of both love and jealousy in human studies.

9 Signs of Jealousy in Pets

The following jealous pet behaviors are ones you should watch out for:

“This can frequently take the form of the animal or person getting attention over them biting or nibbling,” says Dr. Scarlett Magda, founding president of New York City-based Veterinarians International.

New Partners or Family Members

Dogs may feel very overshadowed if you meet a new partner or have a family member visit who hasn’t been there before. Involving the new person in the dog’s favorite activities, such as eating, walking, and playing, is the best way to handle this.

Instead of rewarding intrusive behavior with a treat, let the dog know that you intend to stay. Allow them to give the dog treats when it behaves well rather than being tempted to give the new family member lots of treats to bribe the dog. When the puppy develops a favorable attachment to them, they’ll become a regular member of the family.


How do you know when your dog is jealous?

Here are some jealous behaviors in pets that you should be on the lookout for:
  1. Aggression. …
  2. Going to the bathroom indoors/outside the litter box. …
  3. Paying extra attention to you (being “clingy”) …
  4. Pushy behavior. …
  5. Growling, hissing, or getting into a fight with another pet.
  6. Trying to scare off strangers. …
  7. Doing a trick.

Do dogs get jealous of another dog?

Dogs do exhibit envy, according to a formal study on animal behavior that concentrated specifically on the subject. This study on dog jealousy concentrated on a dog whose owner’s attention was diverted by another dog, but researchers think that dogs can exhibit jealousy toward any type of social animal.

Can a dog be jealous of a person?

In a recent study on dog behavior, psychologists discovered unequivocally that dogs do experience jealousy. Dogs do feel jealousy, whether it’s human-style envy or a result of deeply ingrained behaviors like resource guarding or inappropriate excitement.

Do dogs get jealous of their owners partners?

Many dog breeds, according to experts, are prone to jealousy when their owners’ focus is diverted. Their innately affectionate natures may prevent them from withdrawing, which frequently results in your dog acting jealous of you or your partner.