Dogs feel Jealous and Seek Attention: UC Study

Jealously is not an emotion that is exclusive to humans as dogs also feel jealous, finds a new study. Dogs feel jealous if their owner shows affection towards other pets or stuffed pets.

Lead researcher Christine Harris from the University of California said that to have emotion of jealously, one does not require having a complex mind. Researchers carried out an experiment in which 36 puppies were involved.

While the tests were carried out on dogs, researchers videotaped their reactions. As a part of the test, dog owners were required to ignore their pet dogs and give all the attention towards stuffed dogs that wagged their tails and barked as well.

The experiment also dealt with jack-o'-lanterns and musical children's books. It was noticed that dogs reacted more aggressively when the owners showed affection towards stuffed toys when compared with other objects.

In fact, dogs' chances to touch or push their owners when they interacted with dog toys were almost double when compared with the jack-o'-lanterns. In one out of three instances, the dogs tried to interfere when the owners' were busy with the stuffed dogs.

Dogs tried different measures to regain the attention of their owners. As per the findings, it seems that dogs considered the stuffed dogs as their rivals. However, there were some dogs that did not display any sort of jealousy.

"We can't really speak to the dog's subjective experiences, of course, but it looks as though they were motivated to protect an important social relationship", affirmed Christine Harris.

San Diego
Christine Harris