Dogs act jealously even when they don't see their rival

www.sciencedaily.com
3 min read
fairly difficult
Dogs are one of humanity's most-beloved animal companions. They share our homes and seem to reciprocate our affections. But could this emotional bond extend into feelings of jealousy? To help answer that question, a team of researchers gauged the reactions of a group of dogs when their owners appeared to shower attention on a perceived rival.
Past surveys have shown that more than 80% of dog owners report observing jealous behaviors from their dogs -- vocalizations, agitated behavior, pulling on a leash -- when they give attention to other dogs. New research published in the journal Psychological Science supports these observations and finds that dogs also exhibit jealous behaviors when they merely imagine that their owner is interacting with a potential rival, in this case, a highly realistic artificial dog.

"Research has supported what many dog owners firmly believe -- dogs exhibit jealous behavior when their human companion interacts with a potential rival," said Amalia Bastos with the University of Auckland and lead author on the paper. "We wanted to study this behavior more fully to determine if dogs could, like humans, mentally represent a situation that evoked jealousy."

Dogs appear to be one of the few species that might display jealous behaviors in ways similar to a human child showing jealousy when their mother gives affection to another child. In humans, jealousy is closely linked with…
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