Dealing With Jealousy Between Dogs

dogs getting alongAre you having problems with jealousy between your dogs?

This can be a very common problem for some households, and since dogs have a natural social hierarchy, it can become quite difficult to resolve when the order hasn’t been naturally established.

This is especially common when you bring a new dog into the house, when you already have a ‘resident’ dog who may not like the new addition to the family just yet. But despite this, there’s several things you can do to ease the problem or even overcome it entirely.

With this in mind, I’m going to share some tips and advice on how to deal with jealousy, so let’s get started.

Proper Introductions

When you first introduce a new dog to your home, your other dog can often become jealous. This is usually because the natural hierarchy has been unbalanced, but it usually isn’t something to worry about, because before too long the dogs will learn to bond and enjoy each others company.

You can reduce problems in the early days by keeping things as normal as possible for the resident dog. You should make sure to give the resident dog plenty of attention in the presence of your new dog. This way, your resident dog will associate the presence of your new dog with rewards and attention, and this should help to diminish any feelings of jealousy he may have.

It’s important to realize that it needs to be this way round to establish an initial dominance hierarchy between the dogs in a way they can accept. If you always lavish attention on the new dog and neglect the old one, you’re more likely to run into jealousy problems.

Additionally, if the new dog isn’t yet there, you can try ignoring the older dog. This will speed up the association of your new dog being there and your old dog having extra attention. This will lead to your older dog into accepting  the new dog quicker.

Feeding Together

One of the most common times for jealousy to emerge is during feeding time. The best solution is to feed the resident dog and the new dog together, but make sure they face separate directions so there’s no eye contact. This should prevent any dominance displays or aggression over food, but at the same time, you’re not showing preferential treatment by feeding one of the dogs first.

Making Allowances For Puppies

If the new dog is still a puppy, you need to realize that puppies can be tiring for an older dog to be around, so this is something you need to keep in mind. The older dog may become tired of the constant pestering he will get from your new puppy, and this can sometimes cause hostility.

One of the easiest and most effective things to do is to create a barrier so that the older dog can escape from the puppy whenever he wants to. This will cut down any growling and aggression from the older dog, because he can simply get away into his own private space if he’s had enough of the puppy.

Additionally, you should provide each one of your dogs with his own bed, and never let one dog use the other’s bed. This will give each dog his own private space to get away from the other if he wants to, and it’ll cut down any potential disputes over the bed area.

For more advice on dealing with jealousy between dogs, I recommend you check out the ‘secrets of a professional dog trainer’ guide which can give you some excellent solutions and strategies for introducing dogs, and dealing with other jealousy issues – as well as professional advice on a range of other potential behavior issues that can arise. I highly recommend it.