Dogs feel jealousy according to new study

Thu, 14 Aug 2014

Evidence has been gathered to show that dogs do, indeed, feel jealousy.

It is a widely held belief that jealousy isn't found in animals other than humans, as it is a result of a combination of factors and understandings that only people are aware of, such as relationships and the intent of others. However, a study from the University of California, has indicated that jealousy has a "primordial" form and that your pups, can in fact, get jealous.

Researchers brought in owners of dogs, and set them in a room with their pet. They then instructed the owners, who were not told what the study was trying to find out, to interact with a fake dog that barked, as if they were playing with a real dog.

They repeated this with a jack-o-lantern and a book, which again, they treated like another dog.

By recording the movements and behaviours of the dogs in the room, which were ignored by their owners in preference to the objects, the researchers interpreted behaviour as a form of jealousy.

The dogs were found to snap, force their way between the object and their owner, push or touch their owner, whine and bark in an attempt to attract attention to them.

It is thought that in social animals, like humans and dogs, jealousy could have developed as a method to strengthen social bonds and stop outsiders from forcing their way into groups so easily.

What this means is that if you have several dogs, remember that they can get jealous! You may even have seen evidence of this yourself, if you are petting one and the other comes over, looking for some attention. Treat them both equally and remember they can feel like we do!

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