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Weekly question: Can a dog’s barking be a sign of jealousy?

Mayra Calvani from Mayra’s Secret Bookcase said her golden retriever Amigo (not pictured) barks like crazy when her family members hug or kiss. She wonders if it’s because her dog is jealous.

What do you think? Is a dog’s barking sometimes a sign of jealousy? Is that the case with Amigo?

I think dogs do get jealous. When I’m playing games with my cats or talking to them, my mutt Ace is always watching. He usually comes over and tries to get my attention away from the felines. He will also bark or cry if he is separated from the rest of us, like if he is put in his kennel or is purposely put in another room. But  this has more to do with his longing to be with the pack than actually feeling jealous.

Whether Amigo is jealous or not, it sounds like he is trying to control the situation and demand attention. Perhaps he has learned that he gets attention when he barks. Maybe he is protective of one or more members of the family, and most likely he thinks he is in charge. It’s probably cute at this point but could be really annoying or lead to a more serious issue. If it is a problem, it could be corrected easily by making him lie down and wait for a given amount of time. Enforcing more rules with him in general will also help.

When my boyfriend Josh and I are play fighting, Ace will bark and try to get in between us. It’s not because he is jealous, it is because he gets anxious by our energy and tries to control the situation.

What do you think? Is a dog’s barking ever a sign of jealousy?

Email your dog-related question to me at, and I’ll post it for others to answer. Click here to read all my weekly question posts.

Is my Yorkshire terrier dog jealous if she's barking?

(Image is from Roxy’s Reign Ends, a whole blog about a jealous dog.)


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Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 10th of September 2008

Hi Ross. Thanks for stopping by. I know my dog is always wanting attention!


Wednesday 10th of September 2008

I definitely think dogs get jealous. Every dog I owned showed it in their own way. Dogs are always wanting our attention and affection.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 10th of September 2008

Casto, that's how I am too. Ha.

castocreations hzk

Wednesday 10th of September 2008

It's funny...yes I humanize my dogs but I also think that the 'dominance' is what I consider jealousy on their part. :)

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 10th of September 2008

Thanks for your input, everyone.

Abby, I like your comment that we tend to humanize our pets. You are right, their behavior is usually related to dominance.