My Dog is Jealous of My Partner – What to Do?

New partner – new luck! At least that’s how it should be when you enter into a new partnership, deeply in love. The only question is whether your dog sees it that way too. If your dog got along very well (alone) with you and your habits for a long time, it does not mean that he is enthusiastic when his or her favorite new partner breaks the rituals and shares the couch with you…

Is There Jealousy in Dogs?

The topic of jealousy is an exciting field in the dog scene and every dog ​​owner will occasionally ask themselves whether their dog can be jealous. Jealousy is well known to us humans. It’s something most don’t want to be, but there are always situations in life where you catch yourself being jealous. The feeling can vary in intensity – depending on what it is about. Behind this is actually a laudable need, namely to protect what is dear and valuable to you: often your own partner. So it is understandable why this behavior can be so intense. At the same time, it becomes clear that this often (perceived) rather annoying characteristic serves a good purpose. But how is our dog doing?! Scientists also like to do research on this topic. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that dogs and humans have shown analogies. The chances are not bad, after all, dogs can bond with us humans and we with them, and dogs have cognitive abilities. And several studies have confirmed that dogs can experience the emotion of jealousy.

When do Dogs Get Jealous?

You become jealous when something is taken away from you that is (emotionally) important to you. These can be objects, but also essential things like the social partner. Also, someone else is dealing with it. That doesn’t make it much easier for the dog. Consequently, one also likes to speak of a mixture of fear of loss and an uneasy feeling towards a third person.

What Can We Do if Our Dog is Jealous of Our New Partner?

First, you should notice if your dog is jealous. You can recognize this, for example, by increased signs of stress when your new partner is nearby, as well as an intrusion, for example when you hold your partner in your arms. There are dogs that nip, bark or snap when their partner gets too close. Everyone should not be overly stressed. The nice thing is that you can regulate a lot yourself. As described above, your dog is concerned that you will be taken away from him (completely or temporarily) and that something will change between you.

Give your dog the feeling that you are still his rock and that the relationship between you and him is not supposed to change. In order for the dog to understand this, he has to get proof that you are still there for him, rituals should remain. That conveys security. At the same time, you shouldn’t sit between two chairs, but should also be able to experience the new partnership as a matter of course. After all, the new partner should be an enrichment for both of you. Reflect that in your thoughts and actions. You should also make sure that you offer your dog orientation in all situations. He wants security. If you can give him this through structure and clarity, you will find that your dog will naturally become more relaxed. If you become his rock solid there is no reason for him to doubt your relationship no matter how your family grows. Your dog knows you very well, he will notice if you play something for him. So if you brood too long and too hard about whether the relationship is going well, how you can make dog and partner happy, etc., your dog will not feel safe. Try to find a healthy balance. If you want togetherness with your partner, you have the right to do so.

If things get really tough – this usually happens on the days when everything is going wrong, so ensure that there is a friendly spatial separation so that there can be no conflict and nothing escalates. At the same time, you don’t have to manage anything on a bad day. Teach your dog to lie down on a blanket when given a friendly signal. You can put these down at a distance from you/your partner. The dog will relax, the partner should not want to make contact with the dog and everyone enjoys their freedom, but everyone can be integrated. This is a rewarding exercise if you don’t have a clear head and don’t want to troubleshoot.

In addition, give your dog small units of time just for the two of you. He will enjoy that too. If you find that you would like to get professional help, ask a dog trainer to visit you and look at the domestic structures and processes. Then it usually goes a little faster – especially when you have the feeling that you are thinking too intellectually. I wish you much success and fun with your dog.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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