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Dog jealous over owner.

Species: Dog
Breed: Black Lab
Age: 1-2 years
My female dog is 2 years old. She's a black lab. She had puppies and my boyfriend and I kept one of them which is a male and a black lab also who is a year old. Well recently for the past 3 months whenever she is laying next to me or really close to me and he tries to get close she starts growling at him and then snaps at him but never bites or anything. She's been doing it lately to my brothers male dog who is 4 years old whenever he gets close to me but she's a very good listener to everything, trained really well, is very social with other dogs including the 2 males and with humans. She's never mean to humans or other dogs and whenever she does do what she does to the 2 males when they get close, after the incident she licks them and acts like it never happened. I just don't understand why she all of a sudden is doing this but only when she's close to me.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi and thanks for your question.

These types of problems can be difficult to deal with. Sometimes it's hard to know why a dog is starting to get a little growly.

My first question for you is whether Keila is spayed. If not, then getting her spayed may help. This will reduce the hormones in her system and as we all know, hormones can cause grumpiness!

It sounds like she is jealous over you as she is growling when your boyfriend comes near or if the other dog wants to get near to you. This is kind of like how a dog can be jealous of having a bone and doesn't want anyone else near it.

This usually happens when a dog becomes totally dependent on one person. So, I would suggest that you do all you can to have your boyfriend interact with her. If you and your boyfriend live separately you could consider having her live with him for a couple of weeks. Similarly, have him do all of the feeding, petting, walking, etc. During this time period, as hard as it is, try to make sure that you are not paying much attention to her. The idea is to get her to realize that she can get affection from people other than you. Then, she may not be so jealous about sharing you with other people (and dogs).

If this is not working there are a number of other things you can do, but it would be too much detail for me to go into in this forum. It would be great if you could talk to your vet about a referral to a behavioral specialist. It's better to do it now before the behavior gets worse!

I hope everything works out ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.