Dogs Feel Jealousy

Jul 24, 2014Dog Behavior, Emotions

It’s been found that dogs feel jealousy. Many years ago someone told me not to anthropomorphize dogs. Basically what they were telling me was that while humans have emotions, dog were incapable of expressing emotion. A study done by UC San Diego professor Christine Harris and honors student Caroline Prouvost shows that dogs may feel a basic type of jealousy designed to protect social bonds from interlopers. Owners were asked to ignore their dogs and instead interact with a pail or a stuffed animated dog. They were also asked to read aloud a pop-up book that played music

The owners treated the two objects like they were dogs (petting, talking to them, etc.). 78% of the time the dogs would push or touch their owners when they interacted with the stuffed dog with 30% actually trying to force their way between the owner and the stuffed dog. Only 42% of the dogs touched or pushed their owners with the pail and fewer still (22%) did this with the book reading. Interesting to note is 25% snapped at the stuffed dog while only one did this with the pail and the book. One statistic that I think any dog owner would not be surprised about is 86% of the dogs sniffed the stuffed dogs rear during or just after the test was run. Dogs will be dogs. Click the link below the read the full article. It’s a good read and a good conversation starter the next time you are with your fellow dog owner friends.