Canines can be the jealous type, according to new research. Writing for Today.com, NBC News reporter Keith Wagstaff features the study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“Ever feel like your dog was jealous when you played with another pooch? It might not have been your imagination, according to a new study.
The object of jealousy: a stuffed dog that barked and wagged its tail. Researchers compared how dogs reacted to their owners petting the faux canine with how they reacted to them showering love on a jack-o-lantern pail and reading a noise-making pop-up book aloud.
Dr. Christine Harris, an emotion researcher at UC San Diego, got the idea for the study after playing with her parents’ three border collies.
“As I was petting the dogs, what happened is that one dog would push the other dogs head from out underneath my hand so that both hands were on him, and it wasn’t just one dog who did this,” she told NBC News.”
Dr. Harris’ experiment reinforces previous studies that dogs can feel a natural, primitive form of jealousy. Some scientists attribute it to dogs who are trying to assert their dominance. In the process, the green-eyed canine may show signs of possessiveness and even aggression.
In the same article, Melissa Bain, UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital associate professor, suggests training jealous dogs to obey simple commands when they misbehave. When the dog fails to perform the task, do not punish it; simply pay no attention to it. Since some canines may become more withdrawn or aggressive when denied attention, however, it may instead benefit from professional dog training for O’Fallon, IL pets.
Once you rule out any health issues with your veterinarian, a professional trainer can assess the dog’s behavior and determine the cause. This is ideally done in the setting where the behavior is shown, such as in your home or in public parks. With an understanding of animal psychology, the trainer can tell what contributes to the stress, frustration, or anxiety that the dog likely experiences.
A specialist in aggressive canine behavior, such as Bo Harrison of Kranky K9 Dog Training, can fix the problem through O’Fallon, IL dog obedience programs. These individualized programs can help in controlling your companion animal’s behavior and in strengthening your relationship with it.
(Source: Pet peeves: Dogs really do get jealous, scientists say, Today.com, July 23, 2014)