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Dog study reveals canines get jealous: Is this news to dog owners?

Dogs get jealous, reveals a new study. Dog owners didn't need a study to tell them that!
Dogs get jealous, reveals a new study. Dog owners didn't need a study to tell them that!
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Does a dog owner really need a study to tell them that a dog can feel jealousy too, just like people do? Anyone that has a pet dog can tell you jealousy is a big part of their canine's personality.

According to CNN News on July 26, a new study coming from “scholars” at the University of California, San Diego now shows evidence that dogs get jealous. They conjured up a test using stuffed animated dogs and this study is considered "significant" evidence that dogs get jealous.

The findings of this study is that dogs showed signs of jealousy when their owners displayed affection towards these real sounding stuffed animated dogs. The realistic-looking dogs barked, whined and wagged their tails as the pet owners sat in front of their real dogs and were affectionate with the fake dogs.

The real dogs “snapped at the stuffed dog and pushed against it to move so the dog could get between it and their owner. This is a scene that plays out in thousands of homes across the nation every day, just ask any dog owner.

NPR News reports that the study was released in PLOS ONE on Wednesday and this has brought the world a “tiny bit closer to proving that dogs do get jealous." While dog owners out there are probably scratching their heads right now thinking they have known this for years, this study is considered “significant” in discovering emotions in dogs.

With the millions of dog owners out there all the researchers had to do was ask and the stories they would hear are plentiful. Dogs are not only jealous of other pet animals, but also of humans. Animal behavior experts state that this study is a “significant step forward in understanding our dogs emotional lives.”

The setting for this study was in the dog’s home. The researchers videotaped 36 dogs at home while they were ignored by their owners. The owners interacted with three different objects so the researchers could see how the dogs reacted.

The owners interacted with the fake dog, a children’s book and a plastic jack-o-lantern while in full view of their dogs. The researchers specifically chose the smaller breeds of dogs because they were easier to control if they acted out violently during this research.

Pugs, corgis, terriers and dachshunds were the dogs used for this experiment. The dogs did just what any dog owner might expect. They reacted by demonstrating jealous behavior when their owners talked softly and sweetly to the fake dogs. They didn’t pay that much attention when the owners did the same thing with the jack-o-lantern and children’s book.

It seems 86% of the dogs sniffed the fake dog’s rear end. Just ask a dog owner, as most would expect close to 100% of the dogs to do that. While the jealousy factor is now scientifically documented in this controlled study, again it is something any dog owner could have verified for free.

There are numerous couples out there that will tell you how their dogs try to get in between them and their partner while watching TV together on the couch and even in bed at night. The most docile of dogs have been known to growl when their owner cuddles up to their mate, even if they know the mate very well.

Of course dogs get jealous, they have a bond with their owner. Most dogs want their owner’s undivided attention, but learn early on that is not always going to happen. It is too bad they didn’t have the research subjects’ talk on the phone in front of their dogs. Many dogs are like kids in that aspect, they want your attention even more when you’re distracted, like when you are on the phone.

So what do you dog owners out there think, did this research spend a lot of time and money on something that is fairly common knowledge? Or did they make a “significant” find on dog behavior?

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