Ask a Trainer - Jealous dog

Ask a Trainer - Jealous dog
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Ask Colleen Paige

Q: I think my dog, Dylan, is jealous of my boyfriend. Can dogs be jealous? - Alexa, El Paso, TX

A: Dear Alexa, Yes, dogs can absolutely be jealous! I even had a friend whose ex-husband looked like a St. Bernard and he was jealous of everything from her friends to her gerbil! The great thing is that, unlike with the ex-husband, you may not have to get rid of Dylan to correct the problem. Dogs are pack animals by nature, but if they're used to being the only object of affection in your world, they can become ill at ease when a new person arrives on the scene.

The best way to help your pooch perk up is to importune your boyfriend to take Dylan regularly to a place the dog enjoys, such as the beach or the park. Encourage your boyfriend to offer Dylan treats and lots of affection. You can help assuage Dylan's jealousy by including him into your "pack;" for example, while watching TV, you and your guy may wish to invite Dylan up onto the sofa or get down to Dylan's level to cuddle with the both of you. Make sure you both take Dylan out for fun together and give him lots of love. If all goes well, Dylan will soon be singing a new tune when he sees your boyfriend. ■

Colleen Paige is an animal behaviourist, author, TV personality, and the founder of National Dog Day. Her websites include www.universitydog.com, www.colleenpaige.com, and www.nationaldogday.com.

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