Jilted Dogs Get Jealous

I guess canines can fall prey to that green-eyed monster -- jealousy. Here's an interesting article from the Discovery Channel. Thanks to Jeannette W. for...

Joy  |  Aug 27th 2006


Jealous Dog

I guess canines can fall prey to that green-eyed monster — jealousy. Here’s an interesting article from the Discovery Channel. Thanks to Jeannette W. for passing it onto me via the ComparativePsychNews listserv.

Study: Jilted Dogs Get Jealous
Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Aug. 23, 2006 Dogs get jealous when jilted, suggests a new study that found canines feel especially intense jealousy pangs when in a “love triangle” involving their owner and another, more recently introduced, person or animal.

The finding suggests dogs may also experience pride, embarrassment, shame and other secondary emotions outside of basic emotions such as anger, anxiety and surprise. Scientists previously thought only humans and chimpanzees showed behaviors linked to secondary emotions.

A genetic propensity for jealousy may even run as deep as a dog’s ancient wolf ancestors.

“I would definitely think you would find jealousy in wolves,” said lead researcher Paul Morris. “For example, sexual jealousy would be an extremely powerful motivator in the wild state. Jealousy would also relate to position in hierarchy and alliances between animals within a pack.”

Morris is a University of Portsmouth psychologist and a member of the universitys Center for the Study of Emotion. He and colleague Christine Doe studied 1,000 domestic animal owners in the south of England.

The researchers asked the pet owners to report observations of both primary and secondary emotions in their animals, which included cats, pigs, horses, rabbits, rats and hamsters, as well as dogs.

All the animals received high scores for secondary emotions, with over 80 percent of owners claiming their dogs showed signs of jealousy.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.