How do you stop a dog from being jealous?

When I'm out walking Roman, if I stop and pet another dog he gets jealous/protective. If I'm just petting the dog he'll nudge his way in and try to get the attention instead. If the dog starts jumping up on me he usually starts to get aggressive and may nip or bark at the other dog. What can I do to stop this behavior while we're on our walks?

Asked by Roman on Oct 1st 2008 in Behavior & Training
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Mocha Bear (Mokie), VGG, KPA,

Has Roman been socialized to other dogs? Does he have this reaction on leash to other dogs when you do not stop and pet them?

It sounds like Roman is not "jealous" but is resource guarding you from other dogs. This is very common with dogs, as to many dogs the handler is the ultimate resource (source of food, walkies, play, etc.).

You should reinforce calm behavior around other dogs. I would have treats with me and feed both dogs. By doing so, you are conditioning a positive association with the presence of another effect, making the other dog a predictor of reinforcement.

Also, many dogs are not comfortable meeting other dogs on leash face to face. This is very unnatural and is intrinsically a confrontational way for strange dogs to greet each other. It wouldn't be a bad idea to talk to a competent local trainer for tips on appropriate on-leash introductions in dogs.

Mocha Bear (Mokie), VGG, KPA, answered on 10/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Dogs do not really get jealous, so that isn't the case here. The actual issue is that you are not Roman's leader, and he feels that HE has to protect you from everything, which is why he is doing this when other dogs come into play. If you reach down to pet another dog, don't let him get in your space. Touch him on the neck and tell him 'no'. He has to be okay with you petting another dog. Make him move away, and continue petting the other dog. If he gets aggressive, pull on his leash instead and tell him 'no'. When he calms down, pet them both at the same time. Make sure that the other dog does NOT approach Roman head on. This will only end up in a fight, and will bring you back to where you were to begin with. Allowing the other dogs to sniff one another is okay, but you need to make sure that both you and the other handler are in the right state of mind to do so. If one of you is nervous, you will cause a fight. You will need to do this numerous times so that he understands what you want. You have to discipline him EVERY time he does something wrong because otherwise he will continue to do what he has developed as a habit, and you will never get the results that you want. Do not get frustrated with him, or you will only intensify his behavior. Be calm, and take your time. He will understand what you want. Please message me if you have any other questions - I would be glad to help you.

Sergeant answered on 10/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I would do three things.

First, give him lots of off-leash play time with other different doggy friends. That will help him feel comfortable around other dogs. Also, just about nothing tires a dog out like playing with other dogs. Physical exercise and mental stimulation (new experiences and smells) go a long way towards creating a happy, calm (tired!) dog.

Second, I would carry treats and gradually practice making him sit and getting treat while you pet another dog. Take this very slowly. First, when you meet another dog, ignore the other dog, have Roman sit and give him a treat (or two!) A week later, when you meet another dog, have him sit, treat him and greet the other dog verbally. Continue, until Roman will sit and wait for a treat while you pat the other dog.

Third, modify expectations. Maybe Roman has a strong drive to be your center of attention and really loves your affection. Be satisfied if you can just pet the other dog briefly and say hello to it.

Andre answered on 10/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer