14 Subtle Signs That Your Dog Is Jealous

You’ve probably seen it: that little side-eye when you pet another dog, or the nudging they give when you’re paying too much attention to your phone.

Could it be…


Dogs have a myriad of emotions, and sometimes, the green-eyed monster peeks out from their furry faces.

Dive into this article and spot the 14 subtle signs that might just reveal your pup’s envious side.

Let’s decode those canine feelings together!

The Signs That Your Dog Is Jealous

Pushy Behavior

Dogs are naturally expressive creatures.

When your canine friend starts to forcefully push their way between you and another pet or person, it’s more than mere enthusiasm.

This pushiness can stem from a need to assert their prime position in your life.

If you’re sitting down, they might wiggle between your legs or nudge another pet away with their nose.

This behavior shows they’re trying to re-establish their connection with you, and they might see others as potential threats to the bond they share with you.

Whining And Moaning

A dog’s vocalizations, such as whining or moaning, have different meanings based on context.

When they moan or whine while you’re engaging with someone or something else, it’s not just about wanting attention.

This sound can represent a longing or feeling of being left out.

It’s a vulnerable sound, designed to tug at your heartstrings.

It might be paired with them looking up at you with those irresistible eyes, making it a potent combination for grabbing your attention.

Now, back to the content.

Increased Clinginess

Dogs have an innate need for social connection.

When they suddenly become overly clingy, it isn’t just them being cute or affectionate.

This behavior signals a fear of abandonment or being replaced.

It’s an instinctual response to ensure they maintain their connection and status within the ‘pack’, which is your family.

By staying close, they’re also ensuring that potential ‘rivals’ don’t get the upper hand in terms of your attention.

Staring Intently

Those deep, longing stares aren’t always about hunger or wanting to play.

When your dog stares at you, especially during moments when you’re preoccupied, it can be a silent way of communicating their need to be acknowledged.

This intense gaze seeks validation, making sure they’re still an integral part of your world.

Sudden Display Of Affection

While dogs are naturally affectionate beings, a sudden outpouring of love might have deeper roots.

When they shower you with unexpected licks and cuddles, they’re not just displaying affection.

It can be a strategy to reclaim their territory.

By giving affection, they’re subtly reminding you and others about the strong bond they have with you.

Toys Hoarding

Toy hoarding isn’t just about playfulness.

By gathering and protecting toys, they’re emphasizing their ownership and possibly showing signs of insecurity.

In multi-pet households, this behavior can be a way for dogs to assert dominance and show other pets that they have claim over resources.


On the flip side of clinginess is avoidance.

If your dog suddenly becomes aloof, it’s not mere moodiness.

Feeling neglected or replaced, they might resort to self-imposed isolation, signaling their displeasure and possibly hoping that this change in behavior will get them the attention they miss.


Your usually friendly dog becoming overtly protective can be disconcerting.

This heightened protection mode is a primal response.

They’re trying to shield what they consider theirs (which includes you!) from potential ‘threats’.

It’s their way of ensuring that their bond with you remains uncontested.

Destructive Behavior

Dogs don’t have the luxury of verbal communication like we do.

When they resort to chewing your favorite shoes or ripping apart cushions, it might be their way of acting out due to feelings of neglect.

Destruction can be an outlet for their pent-up emotions, a loud cry for attention, and a sign that their emotional needs aren’t being met.

Mimicking Behavior

Imitation isn’t just a form of flattery in the canine world.

When your dog begins copying another pet’s behavior, it’s a tactical move.

By mirroring actions, they’re trying to show you that they can be just as endearing or useful as the newcomer, making a bid to reclaim the spotlight.

Excessive Licking

Licking, whether directed at themselves, you, or objects around, can indicate several emotions.

In the context of jealousy, it’s a self-soothing mechanism.

Like how some humans bite nails when anxious, dogs might lick excessively when they’re stressed about changes in their environment, signaling unease.

Potty Accidents

If your dog starts having potty accidents inside the house, it’s a clear sign that something might be amiss.

Dogs are usually good at following their bathroom routine, so when they deviate from it, it can be a sign of discomfort or distress.

Keep an eye out for this behavior and consider whether changes in their environment or routine might be causing them to feel anxious or jealous.

Loss Of Appetite

A sudden loss of interest in food can be a concerning sign of jealousy in dogs.

Dogs are known for their love of meals, so if they stop eating as eagerly as usual, it could indicate emotional distress.

Jealousy might be affecting their appetite, making it essential to address the underlying causes and provide reassurance to help them regain their healthy eating habits.

Depressed Behavior

Dogs are typically known for their lively and joyful nature, so when you notice a general sense of sadness or lethargy, it’s essential to pay attention.

Depressed behavior can be a result of jealousy, especially if your dog feels neglected or left out.

Take the time to understand their emotions and work on building their confidence and security in your household to help alleviate their sense of sadness.

Common Reasons Why Your Dog Is Jealous

Introduction Of A New Pet

Just like humans, dogs can feel threatened or insecure when a new member enters their territory.

A new pet can lead to competition for resources, attention, and space.

Your dog might perceive this newcomer as a rival, leading to feelings of jealousy and protective behavior over their domain.

Changes In Routine

Dogs thrive on routine.

When there’s a sudden change in their daily activities, like a change in walk times or feeding schedule, it can make them uneasy.

This unpredictability can cause them to vie for attention, trying to ensure their needs will still be met.

Bringing A New Person Into The Home

Dogs are very perceptive of their human’s attention.

Bringing a new person, especially a baby or a partner, might mean they’re not the sole center of attention anymore.

This shift can trigger feelings of neglect and jealousy.

Giving More Attention To Another Pet

If there’s a sudden imbalance in the attention given to pets in a household, the one getting lesser attention might display signs of jealousy.

They might feel they have to compete to regain their previous status.

Not Spending As Much Time With Them As Before

Whether it’s due to work, personal commitments, or other reasons, spending less time with your dog can lead to feelings of abandonment.

Dogs are social animals, and a decrease in their interaction time can manifest as jealousy.

How  To Help Your Jealous Dog

Use Positive Reinforcement

Rewarding your dog for good behavior, especially when they’re displaying patience or sharing attention, can reinforce positive reactions.

Whenever they act calmly around the ‘jealousy trigger’, whether it’s a new pet or person, give them a treat or praise.

This will associate good behavior with positive outcomes.

Spend A Lot Of Quality Time

Ensure that despite the changes, you’re dedicating quality one-on-one time with your dog.

This can be in the form of playtime, walks, or simple cuddling.

This reaffirms your bond and reduces feelings of neglect.

Dog Training

Revisiting basic training commands can be a boon.

Commands like ‘stay’, ‘sit’, or ‘down’ can be employed to manage and control jealous outbursts.

This not only redirects their energy but also strengthens the dog-owner relationship, emphasizing trust and understanding.

Introduce Changes Slowly

Whether it’s introducing a new pet or changing routines, do it gradually.

For instance, if you’re bringing in a new pet, start with short supervised interactions, gradually increasing the time they spend together.

This allows your dog to acclimatize to the new situation without feeling overwhelmed.

Consult A Professional

If the jealous behaviors escalate or become aggressive, it might be time to consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

They can provide expert insights, tailored training techniques, and support to help address the root causes of the jealousy.

In conclusion, understanding and addressing jealousy in dogs is crucial for their well-being and maintaining a peaceful household.

By recognizing the signs early and implementing these strategies, you can ensure a loving and harmonious relationship with your furry friend.

Remember, patience and understanding go a long way.

Thanks for tuning in to today’s tail-wagging topic!

It’s clear our four-legged friends have feelings more intricate than we sometimes realize.

Now that you’re equipped to spot those hints of envy, you can better ensure harmony in your furry family.

Before You Go…

You now know the subtle signs your dog is jelous.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.