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Can you help me figure out what to call this behavior?

Lillie May

Good Dog
This behavior is related to dogs not being jealous. After I explain dogs don't get jealous, I'm asked the following question. "Then why do they act like they are?" I explain it's more of dogs viewing us as a resource/caregiver.

"So when I'm petting one dog, why does the other come over to get petted too?" Or, "if I'm walking my dog and I stop to pet another dog, why does my dog get mad?"

I really don't know what to call the behavior. Especially the first question, as my dogs do it too. I'm looking for what you would call it. Would seeking attention/affection be correct? Also I need help with the WHY one dog will come to get what the other is getting. I'm frustrated trying to explain it, because most of them are dolts. While others (like my idiot husband, who I love) insist, they have to be jealous.
 

_unoriginal

Cow Dog
So I might be reaching here but based on my own experiences, if you look at the behavior of Dog 2 when he comes over to get pets while Dog 1 is already being petted, you'll see that Dog 2 is somewhat tense and possibly with a little dominant posturing toward Dog 1.

It's resource guarding (human being the resource that provides affection) and butting in to say "this resource is mine".
 

_unoriginal

Cow Dog
I don't really think age makes a difference. Do you? Some dogs are naturally more dominant than others. Age isn't necessary always a factor.

For instance, my brother has 2 Goldens. One is 6, the other 2. The 2 year old is much more dominant while the 6 year old is extremely submissive.
 

_unoriginal

Cow Dog
I should add, where the dogs are the same age and none are dominate.

IMO, even if the dog is not always dominant all of the time, he still may have a tendency to want to have things his way. And that's the guarding behavior.

My mom's dog Carter is much more submissive than Bentley. Bentley is very dominant toward all other dogs. However when Bentley is being pet and Carter wants in on it, he pushes Bentley out of the way to get to the source of the petting. I would call it guarding.

You can think of it in terms of being selfish but ultimately it's the same thing. Dogs can't feel resentment so they can't be jealous.
 

Lillie May

Good Dog
No, it depends on the dog(s). Here the 8 yr old female husky/shepherd was the only dog for 5 yrs. She's queen bitch in her mind. The others do defer to her with the exception of the 2yr old female Basenji/mix. However, if Molly (queen) is outside, all 3 others crowd for affection. I do view it as resource guarding, however it presents itself. The dolts and fur parents just don't get it! And I was feeling perhaps I wasn't explaining properly. Act like you were explaining to a toddler, lol. It's the best way to describe what it's like when I'm explaining!
 

Jazzy

GRCH Dog
I think sometimes it would not be incorrect to term it "jealousy". I think we've become so careful of not anthromorphizing dogs, that we're afraid to use certain terms for fear of the nutters who will run with it and assume dogs are just like humans...instead of realizing that they have a full range of emotions - which are like those of humans but different as they are experienced, processed and expressed through the brain of a dog.

So...one definition of jealousy is simply:
fiercely protective or vigilant of one's rights or possessions.

Which is not very different from resource guarding.

So it translates into "Hey, you're getting something good. I want the something good. Get the hell out of my way that's mine".

Here's another variation:
We joke that Veronica is jealous of other's getting affection. No one in the house can give anyone else any sort of sustained affection without V. gleefully and enthusiastically jumping into the mix. Is she jealous? Not in the sense of resource guarding and protecting what is hers - it's not about wanting all the attention from a particular person and not wanting anyone else to have it. (Okay actually maybe it is, all attention from everyone should always be fully focused on her :lol:)

Is she envious of what someone else is getting - which is another definiton of jealousy:
feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.
with synonyms of:
desirous and covetous.

Yes, she is seeing 2 valuable resources give affection to each other and she is desirous of it for herself. She sees the resource of affection being doled out...and she wants it. She covets (
having or showing a great desire to possess something, typically something belonging to someone else.) the attention and wants it for herself...

which sounds an awful lot like a form of jealousy.
 

Nik

Little Dog
Jazzy - awesome explanation. I see both forms in my own dogs


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

BCdogs

Good Dog
Super Moderator
Great post Jazzy.

I don't really see anything wrong with calling it jealousy, so long as the person is aware that we're talking about a dog, and they don't experience emotions in the same way a person does.

Yes, technically it's resource guarding, but jealousy is an acceptable word to use (IMO) if we're just talking definitions here.
 

Novy

Little Dog
Premium Member
I agree with Jazzy that their actions fit in the definition of jealousy.

I think where the distinction comes in between dog jealousy versus human jealousy is that for them it is a short term, impulsive "want" while for humans it can trigger other thoughts and emotions that can linger for moments or years.
 

Jazzy

GRCH Dog
I agree with Jazzy that their actions fit in the definition of jealousy.

I think where the distinction comes in between dog jealousy versus human jealousy is that for them it is a short term, impulsive "want" while for humans it can trigger other thoughts and emotions that can linger for moments or years.

I agree. I think human emotions are more complicated b/c they get mutated by cognitions. Humans can complicate things even further by experiencing secondary emotions and not even themselves being aware of what the primary emotion is. (The best example is when someone feels hurt and the hurt immediately turns to anger - and all they are aware of is the anger not even themselves realizing that having felt hurt underlies everything and is the real issue.)

I think dogs and animals experience of emotion is more...pure.
 

Lillie May

Good Dog
Jazzy I think your first paragraph says it best. We all know dogs experience emotions (or feelings maybe.) I think we've all said and heard they get jealous. Both jealously and envy are extremely complex emotions. I don't think a dog thinks, "does she love him more than me?", or , "why isn't he petting me? Is that other dog prettier than me?" I relate jealously to self esteem issues and envy more of a lust for what someone else has.
 

Lillie May

Good Dog
I agree. I think human emotions are more complicated b/c they get mutated by cognitions. Humans can complicate things even further by experiencing secondary emotions and not even themselves being aware of what the primary emotion is. (The best example is when someone feels hurt and the hurt immediately turns to anger - and all they are aware of is the anger not even themselves realizing that having felt hurt underlies everything and is the real issue.)

I think dogs and animals experience of emotion is more...pure.
Dammit! I was typing and you posted what I was saying!!! :lol:
 

Leslie H

Good Dog
Great post Jazzy.
I see jealousy as a pretty straight forward emotion. "I want something that someone else is getting."
When I brought Soleil back to the car today after her turn in the agility ring, there was a woman walking away from my car. She'd been making sure the heinous shrieking coming out of my car was not a dog that had gotten injured or trapped somehow. Nope, just jealous Scheme making sure everyone knew of the injustice taking place. That's why I don't park near the ring. And to make matters worse, Scheme had already had her turn first.
 

Jazzy

GRCH Dog
Great post Jazzy.
I see jealousy as a pretty straight forward emotion. "I want something that someone else is getting."
When I brought Soleil back to the car today after her turn in the agility ring, there was a woman walking away from my car. She'd been making sure the heinous shrieking coming out of my car was not a dog that had gotten injured or trapped somehow. Nope, just jealous Scheme making sure everyone knew of the injustice taking place. That's why I don't park near the ring. And to make matters worse, Scheme had already had her turn first.

LMAO


Haven't you read about dog emotions? Perhaps you can share with us, so we may discuss it.

I was looking for a link to McConnell's book - which I thought was excellent...and I googled and I found this article...which I can't read now because I have to go to bed but apparently McConnell - who I really respect -is now saying that there is some controversy around animals experiencing some SECONDARY emotions!!!!! Well Shut The Back Door!!! (I bookmarked it to read later):
(FYI the article from my skim talks a lot about jealousy)
Secondary Emotions in Animals

Here's the book I was referencing:
Patrcia McConnell, For the Love of a Dog
 
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