When you kiss your significant other, does your dog try to get your attention? And does that mean that your dog feels jealous? Threatened? Or are we just imagining that?
Many if not all dog owners are sure that their pets have feelings. And we’ve known for a while that animals exhibit behaviors that look like jealousy, shame, & guilt. But it’s hard to find out what animals are really feeling.
A study published July 2014 brings us closer to proving that dogs do get jealous. Psychologists from the University of California, San Diego adapted a test that has been used on human infants to see whether dogs exhibit jealous behavior.
They videotaped how 36 dogs reacted to their owners ignoring them and instead petting and talking sweetly to a plastic jack-o’-lantern or an animated, stuffed dog. When the study was over, 72% of the dogs expressed jealous behavior (snapping at the object or pushing or touching the owner).
These dogs were trying to draw their owners away from the stuffed animal, feeling something very similar to human jealousy.
More studies have to be done before we can definitively say that dogs feel a basic form of jealousy.
Does your dog express jealous behavior?