What To Do If Your Dog Gets Jealous & Starts Misbehaving
Jealousy, even in the goodest of doggos, still isn't a good trait for any animal. It may seem humorous and adorable when they paw your hand away from another dog, but there's potential for that to become a bigger issue. If your dog's jealousy has spiraled from cute-video-to-share-on-Instagram to can't-take-this-dog-anywhere, you should know what to do if your dog gets jealous. While we can't sit our dogs down to have a comprehensive, constructive talk about why petting another dog doesn't mean you don't love them any less, there are other ways to rectify the situation.
It helps to understand what's considered a sign of jealousy. And they range from adorable affection to not-so-cute aggression. According to PetMD there are nine ways to tell if your dog is dealing with the green eyed monster. These include, "aggression, going to the bathroom indoors, paying extra attention to their owner, pushy behavior, growling or hissing, trying to scare off strangers, doing a trick, crowding your space, leaving the room." Because dogs can't use their words, they'll take action.
Unfortunately, whatever way your dog displays their jealousy could impact your relationship with them and those around you. Perhaps you can't leave them with other dogs, you don't trust them at the park, or you're just cleaning up a lot of pee in the living room all the time. With help, this can be resolved.
Sure, it is nice to be very loved by your dog. But if your pup is crawling on your lap to growl at passerbys or is launching teeth first at another dog, it's time to do something about it. Rover, a network of dog walkers and pet sitters, advises to dust off the training commands. The site writes, "Reinforcing behaviors like “leave it” and “go to your rug/crate” will help establish your leadership and polish up the skills you’ll need to manage jealousy situations." Nothing like a little re-education to curb jealous behaviors.
Another thing to do is monitor how your dog is being rewarded. Sometimes, when this behavior is displayed as snuggly instead of aggressive, there is a higher chance of ~accidentally~ rewarding them. If your pup is wiggling their way between you and a friend that you're directing more of your attention to, we typically tend to laugh, ultimately giving the pup what they want: attention with a side of Instagram fame when, surely, you upload the incident to your story.
It happens! I am guilty of oopsie-daisy rewarding my jealous dog. But this can be solved simply. Just by ignoring this particular display of jealousy. However, If your dog is jealous of another dog, which could become aggressive, Rover suggests, "take both dogs on walks together every day." The site continues, "Nothing gets dogs in a pack mindset like getting out in the world and peeing on stuff. Experiment with different tricks, treats, and timing. Eventually the dogs learn that calm compliance is the most rewarding behavior of all."
If jealousy persists, PetMD advises to keep a journal to record the times when your dog acts out. This will help identify a pattern. If your dog has become difficult to train, it could be worth seeking an obedience trainer to further understand your specific situation. Hopefully, after taking the necessary steps to develop healthier emotional habits in Fido, there will be a lot less pee in your living room to wipe up.