As a pet parent, you might have witnessed certain behaviour patterns in your dogs that might be new or unusual in pattern. For example, if you introduce them to another pet and if they growl or push your hands away from the other animal, it might indicate that they are feeling something. But does that count as jealousy or aggressive behaviour? Let’s dive deep into what signs of change in behaviour must ring the alarm bell to take needful action:
- Aggression: According to experts one action that hints towards this emotion can be the form of biting or nibbling of the other animal or person getting attention over them. It is possible they are feeling you might not be giving them enough attention and biting is one of the ways they tend to express it.
- Pushy Behaviour: If pets are around another person or animal and they are trying to restrain them from moving freely on a regular basis, it is a sign that they are being pushy. They are trying to get their way into a situation, demanding the attention of their owner. They could be whining, long staring or clambering on your lap at every opportunity to seek your attention - these are signs of possessiveness.
- Trying to scare off visitors (both humans & animals): While some dogs choose to leave the space when they are visited by an unfamiliar being in the house as a silent protest, there can be times when things go south. They could hiss, growl and bark at the newest entrant if they feel threatened about your attention being divided or they are simply not feeling comfortable around them.
- Loitering and Toileting: This includes indoor peeing or pooping. To see a grown dog do this might be aggravating but it's a clear sign and a way of communicating that your dog feels jealous. This is their way of coming up with peculiar strategies to grab your attention.
Wondering why this could be happening?
It is important to take the emotional factors into consideration. Just like people, your dog can feel insecure too because they are extremely loving creatures who need individual attention, cuddles, and activities that keep them engaged.
How to control or stop such behaviour?
Here’s are some great and interactive suggestions by the experts to keep in mind when you are tackling with aggression or jealousy issues with your dog:
- Always be vigilant if you notice something different in their behaviour. Take notes of what causes signs of jealousy/aggression which is helpful when you consult a vet or a professional animal behaviourist in case such patterns continue.
- Make them feel loved and tend to them politely during this vulnerable time in their life. Try to be considerate of how they are feeling and avoid giving one pet more attention than another.
- Help your dog feel safe and relaxed in their crate so they see it as their own safe space. Give cats a space to call their own as well.
- Feed pets separately to avoid mealtime conflict. Give your pets the same number of goodies as you do.
- Don’t pet one animal without petting the other, keep it balanced between them.
- Avoid food based toys when you leave them unsupervised. Have at least two of all toys and beds to ensure they don’t feel differentiated in any way.
- If you catch your pets being good, acknowledge it. Give them attention and praise when they are acting calm and not showing jealous behaviours.
Please note, these are some simple tricks suggested to monitor your household pets' health. These tips should, under no circumstances, be taken or followed as medical advise. In case your pet is facing any concerning issues, we always recommend that you get in touch with your vet for proper medical guidance. Happy Pawrenting!