A recent study was published last week in PLOS ONE in an attempt to show something that dog owners have known for years. Our dogs get jealous when we share our attention. The study observed 36 dogs as their owners ignored them and interacted with three different objects. In one study, they used a stuffed dog that could briefly bark, whine, and wag its tail, a jack-o-lantern pail, and a pop-up storybook.
When the dog's owner gave all of their attention to the stuffed dog, their dog tried to push itself in between the stuffed dog and/or touch its owner. A small percentage showed jealousy when the owner talked to the jack-o-lantern. They showed little concern to the pop-up storybook.
Researchers state this is not definitive proof that our dogs have the ability to feel jealousy. It is sometimes hard for scientific minds to accept the fact that dogs have real feelings. From a dog mom’s point of view, I have zero doubt that Bentley and Pierre both feel and display jealousy.
In this photo, I am giving hugs and kisses to Bentley. Pierre observes intently when Bentley sits up for a belly scratch.
Pierre jumped on my lap to get his own hugs and kisses. You can see Bentley leaving his upright position to lean into me and prevent Pierre from getting my love. Jealous dogs!