Thread: Dog Jealousy?
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Old March 20th, 2007, 08:14 PM
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Smiley14 Smiley14 is offline
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Dog Jealousy?

I'm sorry if this has already been asked! I tried searching and found a few similar threads, but not quite to my situation, so wanted to ask about it if I may.

I got Petey a few years ago as a rescue. At the time I got him, they recommended I keep him as an only dog because of his need for individual attention. I had no plans of ever getting a second dog, so didn't think much of it.

But now I would really love to get another dog, however, I don't know if I can. I've "tested" Petey by babysitting friend's dogs, and I can definitely understand what the rescue organization meant. He is not agressive at all, and he has no problem welcoming other dogs into his territory and will gleefully run and play for hours. However, if the dog stays for a longer period of time, then he starts exhibiting jealousy. It's hard to explain as it's subtle, but it's definitely there. He will push the other dog away, follow me even closer than usual, pressed against my legs, suddenly acting very needy and clingy. If I pick up the other dog or pet him or let him on my lap or on the couch next to me, Petey will get agitated and whine and jump up and push the other dog with his nose. No growls, no aggression signs that I can see, but just basically being a big bully. It's like it stresses him out so much, he doesn't know how to respond, so has to shove his way in as close as possible to me to reassure himself.

He's done this a little bit with my cat, Billy, since I got him. I had Billy first and Billy is always scared to death at first of any new animals in the house, so he spent the first month running and hiding. This only gave Petey more "power" if you will, so now if he wants the attention, he will just give chase, the cat runs, and then he trots back over to me and sits down in the place where the cat was and where he wanted to be. If the cat ignores him, as he's learned to do now that he's no longer afraid of him, he will start pawing at him until the cat finally gets up and leaves in annoyance. I tell him, "NO," or "Leave it," and he stops, but stays very close and won't stop whining. The cat usually just ends up giving up and moving on. I've been working on it, but haven't been able to stop it entirely. Over time, he and Billy have worked out a truce of sorts and get along well for the most part now.

But his behavior is more extreme with dogs than with cats, so I don't know if I can ever get another dog or not. I don't know if there is a way to train him out of this behavior that I can work on or if should bring in a behavorist to help me. I don't want to unfairly bring another dog into the home if he's going to be "bullied" by Petey! I would hope Petey would adjust eventually as he did to Billy, but am not certain that would be the case. Has anyone else ever had any experience with this kind of situation?
No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does. --Christopher Morley
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