Rescue Tails – Week 2 – Don’t be Jealous.

Country walk. ©agsmaoineamh.com

Bane enjoying a country walk. ©agsmaoineamh.com

There’s something invigorating about Autumn walks and bearing witness to Banes’ new life. He is mixing well with the other dogs, but I still give the older dogs a walk on their own to let them know I haven’t forgotten about them.

Run! They're coming! ©agsmaoineamh.com

Run! They’re coming! ©agsmaoineamh.com

I mean, dogs don’t get jealous, do they? Traits humans would describe as jealousy only apply to people, right?

Well apparently not, according to a recent study published in July entitled; Jealousy in Dogs, by Christine R. Harris and Caroline Prouvost of the University of California.

They studied 36 dogs and their owners in their own homes undertaking three tasks (The dogs were mostly small terrier types and mixed breeds).

The owners had to read a childrens’ story book out aloud, ignoring their dog.

They were then asked to interact with two objects (separately) as if they were real dogs. One was a novelty jack o’ lantern, the other a stuffed toy dog that barked, growled and wagged its’ tail.

What the study found was that the stuffed dog elicited the most changes in behaviour from the dogs. Some dogs placed themselves between their owner and the stuffed toy, others snapped and barked aggressively at the teddy. The findings were summarised as follows;

We found that
dogs exhibited significantly more jealous behaviors (e.g., snapping, getting between the owner and object, pushing/
touching the object/owner) when their owners displayed affectionate behaviors towards what appeared to be another dog
as compared to nonsocial objects. These results lend support to the hypothesis that jealousy has some ‘‘primordial’’ form
that exists in human infants and in at least one other social species besides humans.

Click here to read the full study.

I was asked to create a facebook page for Bane the rescue rottie, but I thought it would be much more fun to give him a blog.

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