Until recently scientists thought that dogs could only experience simple emotions such as anger, anxiety and surprise.
However recent tests have proved what we, as dog owners, have always known. That our pooches are very self-aware and capable of emotions such as embarrassment, jealousy, empathy and guilt. You can read more about the tests that took place in Vienna here.
As responsible dog owners the key emotion to look out for is jealousy. Jealousy usually manifests itself when a new person enters a household and spends more time with the dog's owner.
Common examples are new partners and the arrival of a new baby. These new 'intruders' can be seen to invade a dog’s territory and take away that precious ‘alone’ time the dog had with its owner. Subsequently they can feel neglected.
So how do you cure a jealous pooch? Here are some tips to make sure that the only thing that’s green this Christmas is the tree!
· If you do have a new ‘intruder’ in your life it is important to spend extra time with your dog. Give the dog extra healthy treats extra petting and maybe some extra exercise to take away that pent up energy. Don’t forget that routine is extremely important for a dog: walking, playing and feeding at the same time each day is important to your dog’s wellbeing.
· If your dog is jealous of a new boyfriend or girlfriend then (under your supervision) begin making your partner interact with the dog by giving a treat or playing fetch. Include the dog in your normal daily couple activities. If you're watching TV together, call the dog over and pet him/her while the new person is present. This should break down barriers between them and the dog.
· If you have more than one dog and you are introducing a supplement, like Mobile Bones for mobility or Bionic Biotic for condition & digestion to one their diet then it can be wise to sprinkle a little on all of your dogs’ food. This will stop the others getting jealous that one of their housemates is getting something that they are not.
· Introducing your dog to a new baby in the family is a very delicate matter. Be sure to do this the right way. Don’t allow the baby to take the dog's toys or sit where the dog sits. Get a crate or kennel for your dog so that he/she has a safe space away from the baby and never leave the two of them alone. You can read more about this on ivillage.co.uk.
· Try consulting a professional Dog Behaviourist so that you can figure out exactly what the root of the problem is. Sometimes we may think that we are treating our dog the right way when we may be actually creating a monster! Try Talking Paws-Dog Listener or canineconnection.co.uk.
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