Dogs are happiest when they are secure of their place in the pack, regardless of their rank. When a new dog comes on the scene, your dog may become unsure of his place in the pack, leading to jealousy. For the sake of household harmony, preventing your dog from acting jealously, without pandering to him, is essential. A few subtle alterations and adjustments to your behavior will have a profound influence on his mood and behavior.
Bringing Home a New Dog
Bring home an item carrying the new dog’s scent, such as a blanket or toy.
Give verbal and physical praise to your dog when he investigates the new scent. This helps him build positive associations with the new scent.
Find a neutral place for a new meeting, such as a park or a friend’s house. Bringing the new dog straight into your home creates unnecessary tensions. The breeder or current caretaker should understand your desire for a harmonious introduction.
Have a friend or the new dog’s current caretaker bring the dog to the neutral meeting place. Both dogs should be leashed during the first introduction. Allow them to investigate each other and use the leash to guide your dog away only if the first introduction becomes tense.
Observe your dog and look out for changes in his behavior. For example, if Lucky is jealous of the new dog, he may go off his food. He may also become protective over his toys, bed or even you. It’s also probable that he’ll seek attention by whining or nudging you with his nose when you’re interacting with the other dog.
Feed the dogs in separate rooms, but at the same time. This removes the chances of one dog finishing his food and then distracting the other as he eats. Dogs guard their food jealously and react aggressively if they think their source of food is under threat.
Set the same boundaries for both dogs. If Lucky isn’t allowed on the couch, neither is the new dog. Don’t punish Lucky for something that the new dog is allowed to do. Give equal amounts of attention to each. A University of Vienna study found that dogs were highly likely to react jealously if they felt they were treated unequally.
Curbing Jealous Behavior
Provide plenty of boredom-prevention stimuli, such as toys and chews. It’s impossible to give Lucky all of your attention if you take in another dog. By keeping him entertained, he’ll be less likely to fixate on you when the new dog is getting attention.
Ignore Lucky if he seeks attention. Reassuring him only encourages this unwanted behavior.
Wait until he is passive and then give him lots of verbal praise. This helps Lucky to learn that only when he is well-mannered does he receive what he wants.
Encourage the two dogs to play and interact together. For example, take them into the yard and throw a ball. They may initially squabble during play, but the more they interact, the quicker they’ll bond. The quicker they bond, the less likely jealousy will occur.
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Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.