If you own multiple dogs and have ever noticed some “sibling” rivalry, you might not be wrong. Recent findings from the University of California, San Diego study suggest dogs are capable of displaying jealous behaviors.
The study, lead by scholars Christine R. Harris and Caroling Prouvost, examined the reactions of thirty-six different dogs while their owners praised, spoke lovingly, and petted animatronic dogs. The fake dogs barked, whined, and wagged their tails to mimic canine behavior. The real dogs displayed several behaviors indicative of jealousy, including barking, snapping at the robotic canines, and trying to push themselves between their owner and the fake dog.
The study also examined what happened when the owners ignored their canine companions to read aloud from a book. This activity didn’t elicit the same magnitude of jealous responses, suggesting that social interaction is key to triggering jealousy in dogs. It’s not just that dogs don’t like to be ignored, they don’t like their owner’s attention to be on another animal.
Does your dog ever express jealous behavior? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section.