Did you know that dogs get jealous? I guess we all may have thought generally that dogs would get jealous but who doesn't from time to time. I am not sure if jealousy is only for mammals, do you think insects get jealous? Do you think one ant is mad because the other ant is carrying a big piece of sugar than him or her? What about reptiles? Because they are unable to change facial expression, do they burst inside with jealousy when one reptile has a better place to sleep or a bigger piece of meat to eat? I would gather that all living beings that work in a social setting with their species must experience jealousy. I know for a fact it goes on in my house.
The first time I really noticed this is when i was doing a pet sitting job about 5 years ago. I had been pet sitting about 7 dogs at one time. A couple of the dogs were challenged socially, to say it mildly. One dog has extreme anxiety, and one suffered from a condition where it would see double, ( at least that is what we supposed). So one dog whimpered all of the time and the other was always hiding in a closet or finding a box or somewhere to hide so he would not see double. Well, at the time, i had a brand new puppy who was watching me take care of the troublesome dogs, the anxiety dog and the hider. The anxiety dog had an incredibly high pitch cry, it was like hearing nails on a chalk board. Well, one day after taking care of these dogs, I was walking in my home and heard this high pitch cry, I had a terrible thought, I am sure I am not pet sitting anymore, but I hear this same dog that I take care of, and I hear this whimper however I cannot find out where the noise is coming from. I was looking all around the house, I was looking from room to room. Finally, I found the culprit, my new puppy. He was hiding in the back closet whimpering to high heaven.He had figured out a way to get attention by imitating the most troubling dogs that I was pet sitting, because they were getting the most attention.
Fast forward to today. I noticed between the two dogs I have, one is definitely jealous of the other. One believes one gets more attention the the other and so he watches him and imitates his actions. Well recently, one of my dogs had a terrible attack of mange. I had google a natural way to take care of it, which takes about 3 days for it to kick in. My poor dog who had the mange was suffering, and I felt so bad, so I gave him attention. Well the dog who did not have the mange started imitating the thing that the dog with the mange was doing. One thing my dog did was to hide in the broom closet. Of course after about 3 days he was back to his old self. However the dog who did not have a problem starting sleeping in the broom closet, and starting making noise so we could find him in there. We knew he was doing it to get attention, it was at this time we started watching closely the behavior of our animals.
I challenge you to watch your animal's behavior if you have more than one to see who is really imitating whom. Just another interesting thing I am learning about dogs.
What about you? What have you learned about your own dogs?