You and your new puppy love each other but what can you do when the jealous puppy hates your date? Whether it's your boyfriend's dog or your girlfriend's dog, for your relationship to continue to be a loving one, the fur-kid needs to get on board with the program. Your soul mate won't be pleased if he or she isn’t welcome and the puppy greets him or her with snarls or hides in fear.
Jealousy is about fear of losing the one you love. When you have a new family member, don’t exclude your resident dogs. Try to maintain the old, familiar schedule, and if you must change the routine, do so gradually several weeks before the newcomer arrives. Get the dog acclimated to the new schedule before you bring home someone new.
Pups can behave as though they’re jealous of the other pets or the people in your life. Dogs truly believe you belong to them and may not want to share. What can you do when the puppy turns into the green-eyed monster over your new boyfriend, his new pet, or a human infant?
When family members visit over the Christmas holidays, puppies may get their nose out of joint for the duration. Of course, visitors for a few days or weeks are a bit different than having a new family member move in permanently.
Moderate jealousy usually goes away once your puppy adjusts to the new person or pet, but serious cases can escalate to aggression to keep that “interloper” in the proper place. Proper dog introductions go a long way toward keeping the peace between dogs, introducing puppies to toddlers, as well as to the new baby’s arrival.
People they love most are the ones that cause such reactions, and maybe most desired and guarded. Jealous-acting dogs can seem depressed and mope around the house, or become more rambunctious or destructive to get attention.
Why Is My Puppy Jealous?
Before anything else, have a heart-to-heart with the new person. Explain how important it is to you for all the loves in your life to accept each other and get along. If the human relationship is to succeed, you must know what to expect. What happens if your latest boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t willing to make friends with the pet? That may impact whether or not you want to make it a long-term relationship! Of course, people who love pets like you do also tend to be attracted to other pet lovers. These folks will be just as interested in making all the relationships work, even if they may not know how. Use these tips to smooth the introductions and provide a solid basis for years of happy times together.
Introducing Puppies to Adult Strangers
- Choose Neutral Territory. Dogs feel proprietary about their house and yard as well as you. Introduce your dogs to your new “beau” on neutral territory, at a dog park—in the same way; you’d introduce your dog to a new canine friend, one dog at a time. Give your human love a chance to play ball and make friends with your dog before entering your house and becoming a threat.
- Let Pets Make the First Move. Don’t force introductions. When the puppy does approach, demonstrate how to greet your pet. Offer a closed hand below the pet’s chin level for a proper dog sniff. Pets feel intimidated by strange hands coming down toward their heads, so avoid petting unless the pup asks for it. Also, a puppy used to a female owner may feel intimidated by a male visitor who is taller, smells different, has a louder and lower-pitched voice, and walks with a heavier tread.
- Boost Pet Confidence. Many puppies feel shy or even fearful around strangers. Ask your human guest to avoid making eye contact, which can communicate a threat to shy dogs, and instead ignore the pet. That can generate curiosity and build confidence, so pets want to investigate further.
- Make Them Smell Alike. Help your pup feel less fearful by making the new person smell more like you—in other words, safe. Have the new person use some of your familiar hand lotions, for example, or wear a T-shirt that you’ve first worn but not yet washed.
- Diffuse the Angst. Fearful dogs may benefit from using a canine pheromone product called Comfort Zone with DAP that helps diffuse fear.
- Love Pets With Goodies. Help your pets associate the new person in your life with only good things. For instance, ask your soul mate to fill the food bowl, offer tasty treats, and engage in fun interactive games. The one who controls the resources (food and fun) is most respected in dog society. You want jealous pups to associate the new person in your life with only good things, and be the key to tasty treats and Frisbee fun.
- Don’t Ignore the Fur-Kids. Make time for your pets when you pay attention to the newcomer in the house. Ignoring the pup in favor of the new person tells your pet he must compete for your attention. While you snuggle with your beau, make room on your lap for the puppy or toss tasty treats for it to fetch, so it associates the new person with good things. If pups only get these “special” bonuses when your soul mate is present, the dog will be more likely to open its heart to the new person's presence.
- Offer a Consolation Prize. If you must change access to certain rooms or furniture such as the bed, do so gradually and give your pup a better alternative. For instance, offer it a puzzle toy filled with scrumptious treats that the pup only gets when your fiancé visits. Instead of closing the door, set up a baby gate so the pup can still keep an eye on the situation and doesn’t feel left out.
In the perfect romantic fantasy, you meet the person of your dreams, fall in love, and your pets welcome the relationship with howls of delight. But when love potions, animal magnetism, and charm fail to win over reluctant pets—or your new human “soul mate” refuses to make an effort—consider this: Maybe you should listen to what the pets are trying to tell you!