Can dogs 'feel jealousy?'

Posted Jul 26, 2014 by Tim Sandle
Dogs may have the capacity to feel human-like jealousy, according to a study. The study included diverse small dog breeds such as chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, and several mutts.
Some of the dogs seized from a B.C. puppy mill in September 2010
Some of the dogs seized from a B.C. puppy mill in September 2010
With the new study, when people give their attention to a stranger dog their pets do not like it, the new research shows. In the case of the study, the participants pretended to play and pet stuffed, animated dogs.
According to The Guardian, the three dozen dogs of the study tended to growl more and some even snapped or inserted themselves between their owner and the toy dog. The researchers conclude that these are behaviors that may represent a form of jealousy. In contrast, the dogs did not react violently when their owners ignored them to read a children’s book aloud.
Expanding on the outcomes further, Christine Harris of the University of California, San Diego, told BBC News: "Our study suggests not only that dogs do engage in what appear to be jealous behaviors but also that they were seeking to break up the connection between the owner and a seeming rival. We can’t really speak to the dogs’ subjective experiences, of course, but it looks as though they were motivated to protect an important social relationship."
The study was apparently inspired by research showing that six-month-old babies displayed jealousy when their mothers ignored them in favor of a life-like doll. Just like the dogs, however, the babies did not seem to be jealous when their mothers read a book.
The research has been published in the journal PLOS One. The paper is titled "Jealousy in Dogs."