Do dogs also feel jealousy? > Care of pets.

That dogs are jealous is something that we know many owners, but so far has never had demonstrated scientifically. Cristine Harris, a psychologist at the University of California at San Diego, has carried out the first scientific proof that affirms the existence of a jealous in the dogs behavior. Although already had been shown previously that they feel resentment to situations in which perceived a possible loss of the desired subject, with the investigation of Harris, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is has challenged the idea that jealousy is an exclusively human social construction: dogs feel jealousy, although in a way more basic than people; and they arise as instinct of protection against intruders.
The study suggests that whenever a rival usurps the affection of a loved one, the anguish seizes the State of mind of the animal, so it tries to destroy the link between his human owner and the individual who considered a rival, with the aim of protecting an important social relationship.
The experiment was based on observation of the conduct of 36 dogs in their home, while their owners interact with a series of objects: a pumpkin, a book and an animated plush dog. When such people were fond of stuffed animals, pets reacted with growls, barks, jostling and attempts to separate their masters in the snowman, realized as a rival. On the other hand, they showed less jealousy when owners interacted with the pumpkin, if were they entertained reading a book... or simply ignored them.


  • 78% of the dogs were two times more likely to push or Growl to its owner when it mingled with the stuffed dog, while only 42% showed the same behaviour when he caressed to the pumpkin or spoke with her.
  • Only 22% of the animals was upset when the human was reading the book.
  • 30% of the dogs tried to stand between the man and the toy.
  • 25% tried to bite the Teddy.
The researchers emphasize that the aggression by animals indicate that they believed that Teddy was real, since 86% of the dogs sniffed the back of the Teddy during the test. Also, given that there were no previous experiments on Doggie jealous, women scientists adapted a test used with human babies from six months of age. Research results support the theory that there is a "primitive" jealousy is also observed in infants, and its final conclusion is that this emotion is developed "to ensure resources such as food, attention, care and affection".
Yes, many had already detected this type of emotions and reactions on our pets, but is now scientifically demonstrated that they may also suffer to perceive that a relationship of affection is at risk. Once again, puts in evidence that dogs and humans have in common more things of them that believe. And it is that as you know,dogs and humans share 75% of our genetic code!
Published for educational purposes

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