Dogs Get Jealous: Study

But canine envy is simpler than that felt by primates
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2008 2:32 PM CST
This photo provided by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one dog watches another receiving a food reward for its action.   (PNAS)
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(Newser) – Dogs can indeed get jealous, a new study shows. While it’s known that other primates feel envy, the report offers the first evidence of the green-eyed monster in canines. Dogs were paired up and commanded to put their paw in an experimenter’s hand, and then given unequal rewards: either sausage and brown bread, or brown bread and nothing.

Though sausage and brown bread provoked equal responses, those dogs given nothing while their partner received bread quickly stopped offering their paw, LiveScience reports. They also showed signs of distress: frequent scratching, yawning, and avoiding eye contact. Unlike primates in similar studies, however, the dogs never got so fed up that they rejected the food when offered, suggesting jealousy does not run quite as deep.