New research suggests dogs show jealousy in a similar way to humans.
Twenty canines and their owners took part in the Auckland University study.
The study analysed how the dogs reacted when their owners patted a fake four-legged friend.
“What we found is that dogs react as if they're jealous so they show jealous behaviour when their owners are petting a social rival, so something they believe is another dog that’s trying to steal their owners attention,” Auckland University’s Amalia Bastos says.
In the study canines’ leads were attached to a force gauge. Their owners then patted a fake dog and an inanimate object.
The dogs pulled three times harder when their owners appeared to be patting a rival.
Dog owner Lydia McLean wasn’t surprised by the results.
“We all know that our dogs get jealous, but it's nice to have formalised it in a study.”
What was surprising is how that jealousy was displayed with the canines trying to approach their humans. It's the same way infants and children demonstrate the emotion.
The university plans on exploring the phenomena more.