How to Stop Jealous Dogs

Jealousy and possessive behavior often go hand in hand.
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If the green-eyed monster is stalking your furry ones, don't despair. Jealousy in dogs is more common than you might think. Since you can't sit Rover and Fido down for a talk, you'll have to design a plan to deal with the jealousy. Whether you're dealing with jealousy between dogs or jealousy that involves you or an object, the sooner you address the problem, the better. Unresolved jealousy can lead to all-out fighting matches -- not fun for anybody involved.

Establish what the jealousy is about. Is Rover protecting you -- is he unwilling to share you with other animals or people? Or is the jealousy more about objects like toys or a dog bed? Possessive behavior can appear in the form of aggression or it can also cause Rover to feel depressed -- "Why am I not the only one anymore?" -- and lose his appetite.

Try to "recover" the routine you used to have. If Rover's jealousy is a recent development, then something has changed in his life. Did you recently bring a new puppy home and are now oohing and cooing over the new ball of fur all the time? No wonder Rover feels jealous. Maybe you recently changed your job and no longer take long morning walks with him. Or perhaps, worst of all, you just brought a new boyfriend home or had a baby -- and Rover is suddenly having to share your love with somebody else.

Spend more time with Rover. If you now have another doggie at home, make sure Rover gets some "alone time" with you when you can play ball, go for a walk or cuddle up on the couch without "new dog" being around. Is the new doggie also experiencing jealousy? Then give both doggies their own private time with you. When you're all together, make sure you divide your attention equally between the dogs. Don't play favorites -- even if you do have a favorite dog.

Eliminate whatever's causing the jealousy. Are the dogs fighting over who owns a certain toy? Either buy a second toy that looks exactly the same or put the toy away. If you only have one jealous dog -- and one suffering the wrath of that jealousy -- make sure you pay more attention to the jealous one. Make sure he doesn't feel displaced. Pet him in front of the other dog. And don't let new doggie suddenly start stealing all the toys, beds and bones. If you see stealing in action, recover the stolen object and return it to the jealous dog. He'll see that you respect his position and relax a bit more.