Updated: Mar 4
I love you today, tomorrow and forever; loving words plus a big kiss for my Hera every night - still, I am not allowed to touch another dog. When I pet others, I would either get "that look" or she would hurriedly come to me, and knock my hand away from the other dog... or they get a nasty growl which translates to, "Get lost, dog!"
I have done my fair share of research on jealous dogs. Some experts believe that pets don't experience jealousy in the true sense of the word. Instead, they believe that these "jealous" pets are simply rude. Perhaps, this may be so for some pets. But this is not the case with my dog, Hera. I speak from experience, and I have experienced the same thing with other pets many times before. I can tell you with all certainty that Hera is a jealous dog.
Love - Hera loves me very much, that she feels very territorial of me. Although I am very much flattered, I still say that territorial behavior in pets is unhealthy. Her mindset is fixed, where her world revolves around me and me alone (plus food!). Being territorial is synonymous to having an aggressive behavior; this aggression makes it an unsafe environment for other pets. In my case, I have six female dogs that all compete for my attention. They fight for my kisses and hugs; this triggers her to be aggressive towards them. It becomes a battle of "mother is mine and not yours."
Disposition - Genetic disposition can cause jealous-like behavior in pets. However, I cannot say for sure if Hera's temperament is inborn or effects of the negativity present in her life before me. Whether it be inborn or not, the only thing I can do to help her is to continue to make her feel special.
Special - Hera knows that she is s-p-e-c-i-a-l. She knows this so well, and this my dear readers is the number one reason to why Hera is a jealous dog.
There are several tips on how to stop jealous behavior in pets and there is one tip that stands out among the rest; that is to ignore your pets when you arrive home so they do not feel like one is getting more attention than the other. Wow! This is one tip that is impossible.. it will never be even if I were to try. Imagine this - soon as I am home, they begin to bark and call for me. The next step is to open the door and what I get is a stampede of fur babies. Lastly, I am smothered with kisses.. or slobbered with saliva. So, how do I ignore them??? Besides, I myself can't do such a thing. When I am home, I just want to squeeze them, cuddle them and call them mine.
I can praise them, feed them separately and give them an equal number of kisses. But none will help manage unwanted behavior when it comes to who mama's number one is.
So, what do I do about Hera's jealousy?
Personally, all I do is say "no" or "stop it" to Hera. Most times I would need to repeat myself, and in a tone more stern than the previous one. Fortunately for me, she does listen to me... but when she doesn't, I get in between her and the other. In my opinion, it is very important to establish dominance. Your pets need to know who the boss is. In my house, I am the alpha and Hera is my beta; this gives her more reason to dominate the rest though. The key here is how I stop her from hurting them - I interrupt her bad behavior and redirect her attention towards me.
Pets are like children and just like them, some are obedient; some are not. If your pet is disobedient, it is important to curb their bad behavior. When doing so, you need to consider how you respond to its bad behavior. Spank if you must but be sure to maintain the trust between you and your pet. Do not overdo your spanking! Always remember that there is a difference between a disciplinarian and a bad parent.
Pay attention and understand why your pet is misbehaving. Be its master - or better yet, be its parent. Whichever you choose, do not forget to love and respect your pet.
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