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Dogs have ability to get jealous, new research suggests

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

New research suggests that dogs may feel jealousy inherently, which opens up the suggestion that humans may not be the only species hard-wired to feel jealousy and frustration towards things that may be considered outside threats.

The study, recently published in the journal PLOS One, outlined dog reactions to their owners interacting with various objects and ignoring the dogs, reports Health Central. The dog owners were required to focus on the inanimate object and act as though it were real. They were given an animatronic dog, pop-up book, and jack-o-lantern.

The results showed that the dogs reacted through light touches or whines, especially when the owner's attention was focused towards the fake dog. Some dogs even attempted to push themselves between the owner and the fake dog, and others snapped at the fake dog.

According to Newsledge, the dogs were not simply aggressive to the inanimate objects at first. "They tried positive things like being more affectionate to regain their loved one's attention, to try and gain their relationship back," explains Christine Harris, an emotion researcher at the University of California in San Diego.

She says that the results of this study challenge the presumption that jealousy is only linked to romantic relationships between humans, and that other animals have the capability of recognizing the feeling of jealousy and reacting to a change in affection from a loved one.

 
 

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