My dog, Dingo, is jealous of my 1-year-old daughter. Whenever I play with her, he comes over and pushes her away, even though I give him attention at other times. How can I stop him from being so jealous?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
You didn't mention how old Dingo is or how long he's lived with you, but if he was the "baby" of your house before your daughter came into the scene, this type of jealousy over someone changing the dog's previously cherished routine is quite common. In this regard, dogs aren't so different from humans.
But dogs are hardwired to live in packs with a strict social order, unless one member challenges another to move up in rank. Since your daughter cannot really fight back, Dingo is getting the upper paw in this case.
Ideally you should have reinforced "down" and "stay" commands at least a few months before your daughter was born. Right after that time, you should have given your dog positive attention -- verbal praise, treats, a rubdown -- whenever your daughter was present. By doing this, you would have helped him link your daughter with happy, desired moments.
Other important commands to reinforce are "sit" when Dingo is near your daughter; "come" so he will approach you when called; and "let's go" to leave the area, should the jealousy arise again.
At least it sounds like Dingo is not showing any dangerously threatening, aggressive behavior. Nevertheless, you should still supervise interactions between your daughter and Dingo. Your dog is used to the way you handle him, but your daughter's less predictable touch could cause your pet to react negatively.