Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do Dogs Understand Fairness?

We have four dogs. I love them all but I admit to having favorites. Trooper is clearly “my” boy and we spend lots of time together doing special things like agility. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all very dearly. Kodiak is my “first born” and his attitude cracks me up. Quinn is the queen. And Timber is my sweet rescue (always into something) baby boy.

But when it comes to picking one or two dogs to go with us somewhere I tend to prefer taking Trooper. He’s easier for me to deal with and better behaved than the rest. My mother in law HATES this and always says that it’s unfair and the other dogs are going to be jealous.


Do dogs get jealous?

I mean, I know that Trooper gets jealous in the moment…like when he sees me giving attention to Timber. Or when he’s at daycare and trying to be the center of attention and starting fights (yes it happened again the last time he was there). But in the long term? Do they really get jealous?

I have no idea.

I just called Timber inside from the yard and he came right when I said “Timber, Come” so I wanted to give him a cookie. So far we’ve averted two run away situations by shaking the cookie bag. Thank God my dogs love cookies.

So I walk to the cookie jar and the other three dogs run up to get their reward. Reward for what!?! They didn’t earn it. They didn’t do anything. I didn’t call them. So I gave Timber and Trooper a cookie and that’s it. The other two didn’t seem overly miffed. But it does make me wonder. Do you think they “know” somehow in their being that they got shafted?

They both need to lose weight (actually, so does Trooper) and I know when papa gets up he’ll automatically give them treats. It’s not like they’re deprived or anything.

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