What Does Dog Jealousy Look Like?
Mary described it this way: I was petting Maggie when Sunshine decided to stand in my lap and snap at Maggie.
It was as if Sunshine was jealous and saying: Don’t pet Maggie – I’m your baby – pet me instead.”
This sounds cute, but it’s not. But, it might have made Mary feel “special”.
It was a red flag of a disaster waiting to happen.
If Mary’s love was given without either dog earning it then both dogs got the message Mary was there at their “beck and call” and they didn’t need to earn anything.
In their world, if Mary’s affection was theirs for the taking, they may fight over that affection.
In the example above it is obvious that Sunshine was the bossier dog and the jealous dog.
Signs of Bossiness That Can Create Jealousy
- Wins tug games with its sibling
- The bossy dog never seeks attention from the subordinate dog. It is always the other way around.
- Bossy dog usually commands and gets the best resting areas and tends to guard and covet toys
- Bossy dog hogs his way through doorways going in or out of the house
- Bossy dog gets jealous when you pet the other dog(s) and can growl, snap or bite.
- Your dominant dog humps your other dog.
How the Trouble Begins
When two dogs live together, as a general rule, they instinctively work out – and respect – their own pecking order.
But when owners, like Mary muddy the waters then the bossy dog gets confused about his status and can get jealous.
Let me show you how this can happen.
Mary treats both dogs equally and doesn’t support the bossier dog. Mary doesn’t feed Sunshine first for example.
What Do You Do?
Know the behavioral signs given above, so that you can clearly identify your dominant dog. Then respect his position by doing the following:
Feed your dominant dog first but require a sit for food. Do not let him steal your other dog’s food.
Give your bossy dog his stuffed Kong or treats first. Require him to sit for his treat and do not let him steal your other dog’s Kong or treat.
Let your dominant dog go in and out doors first. Control the doors and require a sit before he and your other dog go in or out.
Give your bossy dog attention and affection – requiring a sit first and then give affection and attention to your other dog.
If needed, put your dominant dog in a down/stay to prevent him from trying to monopolize your affection. Don’t go overboard with the affection.
Obedience Training Works Wonders
You and only you know how good your dogs are at obedience commands – sit, down and stay.
Obedience commands become very useful in controlling your dominant dog in situations where he may want to be more expressive of his dominance. A good down/stay comes in handy.
Dog owners that consistently train their dogs will say, “I’ve seen a dramatic change in our dogs’ behavior when I remember to train.”
On the other hand, this owner recognized that the opposite was also true: “It is clear to me how we confused our dogs by our family members giving in and not being consistent.
Now that we have started to work together as a family on being consistent with the dogs, things are much better.”
Daily practice on commands with your dogs individually will keep the stress level down in your house. It also reinforces your leadership over both dogs.
You can avoid fights by maintaining daily obedience exercises with each dog individually, giving them plenty of exercise and supporting your dominant dog consistently every day in the ways I’ve recommended.
Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog
You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.
I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back no matter where you live. We’ll do private lesson in your home OR we can do private video lessons where geography is no longer a roadblock.