Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Dog Jealousy?

Smiley14
March 20th, 2007, 08:14 PM
I'm sorry if this has already been asked! I tried searching and found a few similar threads, but not quite to my situation, so wanted to ask about it if I may.

I got Petey a few years ago as a rescue. At the time I got him, they recommended I keep him as an only dog because of his need for individual attention. I had no plans of ever getting a second dog, so didn't think much of it.

But now I would really love to get another dog, however, I don't know if I can. I've "tested" Petey by babysitting friend's dogs, and I can definitely understand what the rescue organization meant. He is not agressive at all, and he has no problem welcoming other dogs into his territory and will gleefully run and play for hours. However, if the dog stays for a longer period of time, then he starts exhibiting jealousy. It's hard to explain as it's subtle, but it's definitely there. He will push the other dog away, follow me even closer than usual, pressed against my legs, suddenly acting very needy and clingy. If I pick up the other dog or pet him or let him on my lap or on the couch next to me, Petey will get agitated and whine and jump up and push the other dog with his nose. No growls, no aggression signs that I can see, but just basically being a big bully. It's like it stresses him out so much, he doesn't know how to respond, so has to shove his way in as close as possible to me to reassure himself.

He's done this a little bit with my cat, Billy, since I got him. I had Billy first and Billy is always scared to death at first of any new animals in the house, so he spent the first month running and hiding. This only gave Petey more "power" if you will, so now if he wants the attention, he will just give chase, the cat runs, and then he trots back over to me and sits down in the place where the cat was and where he wanted to be. If the cat ignores him, as he's learned to do now that he's no longer afraid of him, he will start pawing at him until the cat finally gets up and leaves in annoyance. I tell him, "NO," or "Leave it," and he stops, but stays very close and won't stop whining. The cat usually just ends up giving up and moving on. I've been working on it, but haven't been able to stop it entirely. Over time, he and Billy have worked out a truce of sorts and get along well for the most part now.

But his behavior is more extreme with dogs than with cats, so I don't know if I can ever get another dog or not. I don't know if there is a way to train him out of this behavior that I can work on or if should bring in a behavorist to help me. I don't want to unfairly bring another dog into the home if he's going to be "bullied" by Petey! I would hope Petey would adjust eventually as he did to Billy, but am not certain that would be the case. Has anyone else ever had any experience with this kind of situation?

Frenchy
March 20th, 2007, 08:26 PM
I don't know if this will help you or not. When I got Sam (as a foster) I already had Daisy and Bailey. Sam never acted jealous with them, he knew he was third. But whenever I get a foster , usually the younger ones , the ones that get excited or ask a lot of me, like pushes Sam out of the way to get pet, he doesn't like it. Or if they pace around the kitchen while I'm preparing their food or any food. He will show teeth and sometimes growl. But he NEVER bited any dog. He is very submissive. I would be very afraid of this behavior if he was a bully or dominant. But he does get use to the fosters. Molly was here for 3 months, and after a few weeks, he did accept her 100% in the pack, that means letting her near him while he's eating without any problem. Hard to say if Petey would get use to another dog, only time would tell. It's a big chance to take...if it doesn't work out, you would have to give back the dog, wich is not fair for the newbie.

Quins-mum
March 20th, 2007, 08:48 PM
I too have the same problem. but quin actucally comes and sits on you, or if you are in bed, he comes and straddles you.
I guess its just their way of being dominant. At the moment Im not overly concerned about Quins jelousy, but I guess if there were kids involved things may be different.
I honestly dont know how to change the behaviour. When I am playing with the cat, i also try to include Quin and vice versa.

Smiley14
March 20th, 2007, 09:06 PM
I was wondering if it was maybe a dominance thing. I don't know enough about reading dog behavior, other than the little bit I learned from working with behavorists with my previous dog. He had a very severe case of fearful agression.
The good thing is that Petey does not do this with people, kids, or babies. I have my little nieces stay with me a lot, for extended periods of time, and they can boss him around all they want and he just eats it up. He loves kids and people to death and is extremely submissive. My 12 month old niece can reach into his doggie bowl while he's inhaling his food and he'll immediately back off or if I'm holding her, he just sits happily at my feet.
He is normally submissive with other dogs too, so has no problems with visitors either. It's just when the dog settles in for a longer stay, that is starts to crop up. It seems to be insecurity, that then manifests into whatever that behavior is exhibiting. I'm so grateful it's not aggressive; I don't think I could handle that again!

I fear you may be right Frenchy, and that the safest thing to do is not bring another dog into the home. I just could not bring another dog home and then have to give him away. It's not in me to do that. But at the same time, it's such a shame as I feel I have so much love to give and a big home and yard with so much space and the financial means to give another dog a forever home. But I am so afraid of taking the risk for both Petey and the new dog too.

Frenchy
March 20th, 2007, 09:10 PM
If you can afford it , maybe have one meeting with Petey and a behaviroal specialist (good ones are expensive) and learn more about Petey.

Smiley14
March 20th, 2007, 09:24 PM
I think I may do that. I just wasn't sure if that would work unless I had a second dog in the house. Maybe if I arrange to babysit a friend's dog and have him there for a few days to let it build up before having the behavorist over. I think I would need to try to recreate the scenario, because he won't do it for visiting dogs or people. Those he loves all over. It's just when the visiting doggies don't go away at night that he starts to get worried and acting that way. :rolleyes: Guess I can call and ask! Thanks again!

MyBirdIsEvil
March 21st, 2007, 01:07 AM
I think your best bet is to have him evaluated by a behaviorist.
It's hard to tell what the real deal is just from your description on here, even though it does sound like dominance.

My dominant dog has exhibited all these behaviors before, and will still try sometimes, though they're strictly NOT allowed. We also have 4 cats and another dog, so it is possible to keep other animals, and even another dog (or more), with a dominant dog.
A big thing in whether or not a second dog will work is how you are willing to handle your current dog.
Assuming it's dominance, when he gets petted, where he gets to sleep, when he gets to cuddle, etc., may have to be strictly controlled by you depending on his level of dominance (which can only be determined by an experienced behaviorist). For instance if he doesn't understand that he only gets petted when he's invited you have him trying to be pushy and get the other dog away from you when you're giving them attention.
Obviously any dogs will have some kind of dominance battles when a new dog comes into the household, but your dog and the way you handle him will be a huge factor in whether it turns aggressive or gets out of control.

Another thing is the personality of the 2nd dog. If your current dog is dominant bringing in another dominant dog is probably a BAD idea, so the 2nd dog will also have to be evaluated by itself and with your dog. The best bet would probably be to bring in a more submissive dog, considering your experience level in dealing with dominance. Two dominant dogs can be kept together but this is a more difficult task than a dominant + submissive dog, where the more submissive will probably not elicit the other dog to try and assert himself as often. (by submissive I don't mean extremely so, just a dog that doesn't care about asserting itself to other dogs).

I am slightly curious as to why they suggested your current dog be an only dog though. Nothing you've described is extremely out of the ordinary or what I would consider aggressive.
I think you need to figure out why they listed him as an only dog, because either there's something you're not aware of, or they were being overlycautious. Has he become aggressive before or shown anxiety/stress with other dogs?

Also, I agree that you may want to babysit another dog for a couple of days before inviting the behaviorist over, so they can actually witness the behavior. This is something a good behaviorist will probably discuss with you themselves though.

Lissa
March 21st, 2007, 11:53 AM
From your description, it doesn't sound too serious but like others have said, its impossible to know unless you've witnessed...So a behaviorist or an excellent trainer should probably be consulted.

I do think that before adding any other animals, you want to make sure you've trained Petey 100% the way you want him... Being trained no matter what the distraction is necessary when you have 2+ dogs - especially with Petey's jealousy (I just dog-sat an unruly dog for 8 nights and 9 days - Dodger being trained was the only thing that saved my sanity. Through Dodger I had some "control" overl the second dog or I could deal with the untrained dog first while Dodger was in a stay etc...)
You mention that Petey will still harass the cat and although he says he does "listen" to leave it, it sounds like the cat is always bothered enough to leave. Before bringing another pet in, I'd want to make sure that at the very least, I could call Petey off and have him COMPLETELY ignore the cat.
If there are any little issues that Petey has or that you haven't fully dealt with - do it before you get another dog.

Perhaps, a way to stop/handle the "jealousy" is by getting Petey involved in a dog sport... It could be his special time with you (away from other dogs) and it would also mean a higher level of training so you would be more equipped to handle his "jealousy" and he should be more responsive.

Odieandmaggiesd
March 21st, 2007, 12:11 PM
Odie and Maggie are kinda like that...Maggie is quite dominantand Odie is very submissive..most times...but if Odie is getting pet, Maggie will come by and climb on him and step on him..I try to push her away...since really she's stealing Odie's pettin time away...but she's extremely persistant...and strong :P

I usually try to get the GF to call her over...
Odie and Magz get along great, they never fight, they share treats and bones and whatnot...they always play together...

lately Odie learned a trick (they each have their own rooms) so when she does this, he'll go up to her room and start chewin her bone or playing with her toys...so she runs up to investigate...he waits till she sees what she's doing and he runs back down to re-take his place by me...meanwhile she forgets about me and starts playing with her toys :P

Sometimes I think Odie is to smart for his own good :P

I think for a multi-dog home,you just have to make 100% sure the dogs personality jives together....

Smiley14
March 21st, 2007, 03:53 PM
Thanks so much for all the advice! I reallly appreciate it!!!! Petey has been through 6 training courses in the past two years and does have his Good Citizen. But he definitely still has some quirks that I think you guys are right, that would need to be worked on better first. Petey is rather submissive himself, or at least seems to be, and my trainer and dog walker, who is also a trainer, have called him submissive as well. But they haven't seen this side of him since it so rarely happens. It's hard to show to people!

I think that is great advice to keep working on Petey and also re-create the situation so a behavorist can observe. I think that idea. Then they can give me proper advice as to if they think another dog is feasible or not and if so, what I need to do to work up to that point. I think I will also call the rescue where I got him from and ask why. At the time, they just told me he is very sensitive and submissive and shy and thrives on individual attention. The foster home had other cats and dogs in it, so I'm assuming they must have witnessed some of the same behaviors I have.

I've NEVER seen Petey be aggressive, and that is one thing I am extremely sensitive and aware of, having been through it with my previous dog and working with several behavorists on that issue. He never barks and I've only heard him growl once in three years...when we were camping out on a house boat in the boundary waters and there was a slight noise in the woods. So he's never barked or growled or shown teeth or the other alert and tense body language of an aggressive dog. He just gets very insecure and then gets pushy. I just don't know how to read it to know how to interpret it or correct it. Because you're right, I don't have control over him in these situations as I should. It does seem to be something very mild, so perhaps I'm worrying about it too much, but I just want to be as certain as possible before opening up my heart to another dog.

Anyway, THANK YOU so much for all your suggestions!! You guys are awesome! :)