I got a chuckle out of a recent study done at the University of Vienna in Austria. In the study, they were evaluation dogs’ reactions to tricks and treats. They took a number of dogs and ‘asked’ them to do certain tricks, like ‘shake’ then some got treats and some didn’t. Some got better treats than others.
What they found out was that if one dog got a treat and the other didn’t, the dog that didn’t get the treat would either stop doing the trick, ignore the person, or at least not do the trick as often.
For treats they were using bit of sausage and bits of bread but it didn’t seem to matter to the dogs which treat they got just so long as they got a treat.
Dogs that didn’t get treat also showed elevated stress levels, licking and scratching.
It can be further postulated that this jealousy goes beyond just food too.
The reason this gave me a chuckle was that I certainly don’t need a study to prove this to me. I have two dogs and if one if getting attention, the other will push their way in to get attention too and if I don’t comply, they will go flop on their pillow and sulk.
Same with treats, there is no way I can get away with giving just one a treat even if one got a treat while the other one wasn’t around, when the other shows up to get its treat, I better have another treat for the first dog.
They both vie to be the closest to me when we’re sitting on the couch cuddling too.
And if any of you have more than one dog, I bet you could have save the researchers time in conducting this experiment too.
By the way, I bet if they could actually get cats to do this experiment, they would find the same thing to one degree or another. When to comes to treat time or attention time, my two cats show up pretty quick and sit there and just watch until they get theirs, whether it’s treats or pets and cuddles.
So, no one needs to tell me dogs feel jealousy and envy, all someone needs to do is own (or be owned by) a couple of dogs. 🙂
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!