When you bring a new partner home, you may notice your dog behaves strangely or in an unusual way. This may be the result of jealousy.
In this blog, you will learn why your dog behaves in this way and how you can prevent him from being jealous of your husband.
He Sees Your Husband as a Threat (Stealing Your Love for Him)
Jealousy is a strong emotion that can cause dogs to become possessive and that naturally drives them to guard their territory and protect their resources.
Your dog considers you as his valuable resource, and he wants to safeguard it. This makes him perceive your husband as a threat to his possessions and fear that he will lose you.
Whenever your husband distracts you from him, he feels threatened, and he begins to be wary of your partner out of instinct.
As a way to correct this behavior, you must teach him that you are NOT his property. You can accomplish this by making your dog see you as his leader and setting up a pack structure and hierarchy.
You must establish dominance over your dog and make him know that you are in control of all his resources, and he is dependent on you to provide him with all his needs, such as shelter, food and protection.
Make him feel as if he is a member of your pack, and respect you as his leader. You need to command him with a firm voice and show confidence in your management skills. Even when your dog acts up, you need to remain calm and in control.
Being assertive will make him respect you, follow your lead, and see you as his superior.
It is vital to establish dominance over your dog and to make him submissive to you if you want to be an alpha dog.
Rivalry Between “Siblings” Triggers His Jealousy
There is often competition among dogs for family resources when they consider us (humans) to be their siblings. This might account for the jealous that your dog had towards your husband when he considered your partner as a rivalry in his family.
So, if your dog sees you as his parent and your husband as his sibling, he will naturally be jealous when he is no longer the center of attention. He will see your partner as a threat to his position in the pack.
To address this issue, spend more time with your dog and reward him whenever he behaves well while you are with your husband. This will help to alleviate his jealousy.
Through positive reinforcement training, it will help your dog to understand that your partner is not a threat to him, and in fact, he will benefit (getting reward) from staying calm when being with your husband.
You can also have your husband take over the role of feeding your dog so that he will no longer see your partner as a threat but rather as someone who is taking good care of him.
When he is more relaxed around your husband, you will be able to take him on family outings and events more easily.
By allowing your dog to be involved in your family activities, he will not feel that he is being left out because of your husband and that will improve his relationship with your partner.
Keep in mind that positive reinforcement is the key to helping your dog feel more secure and confident in the relationship.
Any form of punishment, be it verbally or physically, should be refrained as that would only increase his stress and would not improve the situation.
You should instead reinforce your dog’s good behavior through praising and rewarding him and that will encourage him to repeat his good behavior consistently.
An Acquired Behavior (Jealousy) That He Finds Rewarding
Conditioning refers to a learned behavior that your dog has discovered to be rewarding. As a result of his behavior, your dog has learned that he gets rewarded when he does a certain thing.
This can be anything from a treat, to a pat on his head, a nice scratch behind the ears or even just catching your eye.
As an example, this could happen if you have neglected your dog, and he learns that by expressing jealousy towards your partner, he can get your attention and focus back.
This leads him to act aggressively and display pushy behavior towards your husband.
Whenever he gets the chance, he will also try to crowd your space by getting between you and your husband.
The best thing to do is to ignore him and leave him alone when he starts to exhibit jealousy. Be clear to him that if he responds in this manner, he will lose all your love and affection.
This will make him associate reacting in this way with an unpleasant experience of being left alone and that will deter him from repeating this act.
Be firm and assertive when you are trying to correct his undesirable behavior, and you should never yell or scream at him.
The Act of Protecting You Is Mistaken For Being Jealous
A dog’s protection instinct is bred into his genetic code. In fact, dogs are born with this instinct, and it’s part of what makes them such loyal pet.
It’s also for this reason why a dog will protect his family even when it means sacrificing himself.
Because of this, when your dog considers you as a family member, he will do whatever he can to protect you. He will be concerned about your safety if he sees your partner as an unfamiliar person in the house.
And as your protector, he will start to carry out his guarding duty and that behavior resembles jealousy.
Your dog’s aggression towards your husband shows that he sees him as a threat and will do anything to protect you.
This is especially so during the time when you have an argument with your husband. Your dog will perceive it as an immediate threat to you and will react aggressively.
It is important for you to understand that dogs don’t think like humans do. Your dog is not concerned about who is right or wrong, he will just focus on what is happening right now and protect the ones he loves.
To solve this problem, you should avoid having any arguments with your husband in the presence of your dog or limit them to a minimum.
Make your dog feel the wonderful relationship that you had with your husband and that will make him more likely to “release” his guarding duties and be a calm and relaxed dog.