Dogs are territorial creatures, and when you bring home a new dog, your pet may feel threatened. Whether what they feel is jealousy is a matter debated by behaviorists, vets and scientists. But we know the introduction of a new pet can make your dog feel like his position in the pack is at risk. To make sure that feeling doesn't become an issue between your old pal and your new one, introduce the two slowly and treat the two as equals.
Dogs and Jealousy
Get your dogs off on the right foot by introducing them in a neutral territory, such as a park that you haven't been to before or a friend's house. This way, your dog won't feel like his home is being invaded. Your dogs may compete for resources such as food, toys and your affection. If you don't treat them equally, your first dog may feel threatened by the new one and jealous of the preferential treatment he receives. Taking the two dogs to work with a trainer and making sure that they have equal resources -- two food bowls, for example -- can ensure that they get along without any hard feelings between them.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.