9 Signs Your Dog Is Jealous of Baby (How to Stop It)

Dog owners with a new baby in the home may notice some recently odd behavior from their pet. It is not your imagination if you think your pet is jealous of the latest addition to your family. Dogs are social creatures who will recognize if you are now dividing your attention and they are not the center of your world. 

So, what are the signs a dog is jealous of a baby? Some tell-tale signs of jealousy from your pet include

  • Aggression 
  • Avoidance 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Grooming excessively 
  • House training accidents 
  • Performing tricks 
  • Providing you with more attention
  • Misbehaving
signs your dog is jealous of baby
9 Signs Your Dog Is Jealous of Baby (and How to Stop It)

Some dogs will show more than one symptom, while others may only have mild jealousy. However, you must tackle this unwanted behavior as soon as possible, so it doesn’t escalate. 

The 9 Signs a Dog Is Jealous of a Baby and Ways To Stop It

Not every animal will be jealous when a new baby comes home. However, it’s entirely normal for your dog to show jealousy. It is not beneficial to allow this behavior to continue, though.

Knowing the signs and learning how to handle it can ensure everyone in your household lives happily together. 


Some signs of aggression from your pet may include growling, snarling, barking, mouthing, biting, or showing teeth around the baby. This behavior is usually because your dog finds the baby unfamiliar and possibly frightening, especially if they did not receive socialization with children up to this point. 

How To Help?

When your pet shows aggression, immediately try to get their attention without anger. For example, use treats to have your dog sit, stay, or come to you as reward for listening to your commands. This method takes the focus off your baby and onto you and positive reinforcement. 

dog growls
A dog growls to someone coming near him.


Babies are new and strange to many dogs, making your pet nervous and uncertain. You may notice that your dog will leave the room or walk away from you and the baby when you are close. This action can indicate they are jealous of the baby and do not want to share space with them. 

How To Help? 

The best way to handle avoidance behaviors is not to scold or punish your pet. Instead, react calmly and remember to use positive reinforcement with treats each time they listen to commands and do as you want. This approach will teach your pet that existing with the baby is a positive experience and something they don’t have to be afraid of or avoid. 

Sometimes, moving a crate into the living room where you sit with your little one can help. This way, your pet will have its own space while the baby is in the same room and help them adjust to being around the new smells and noise. 

puppy growls when picked up
Reader Linda emailed us and asked “My puppy growls when I pick her up. Help!”

Changes in Appetite 

Eating is one area that dogs can control in their daily life. If they are jealous and feel out of control with their environment, you may notice that your pet is not eating or is overeating food. Some animals with jealousy will experience anxiety and refuse to eat or may compulsively eat if given a chance. 

How To Help? 

If you have a highly-social dog that has suddenly stopped eating because of a new baby, you may want to try a different approach to feeding time. One terrific way to give your pet some individual attention and divert jealousy so they will eat is to hand-feed them small amounts. 

Alternatively, if your pet seems to eat too quickly or too much since the baby’s arrival, ensure you regulate their volume of food and try a slow-feeder bowl. This way, your pet eats the proper amount and will engage in an activity that also works their mind. 

Pitbull eats
It is essential for Pitbull to eat healthy foods to have a shiny and healthy-looking coat.

Depression or Anxiety 

Sometimes, jealousy will show up as depression or anxiety in your pet when you have a baby in the home. If your attention is no longer on your dog, it may withdraw and show behavioral changes. For example, a dog may not become excited to go for a walk or play with toys as it did before if it is depressed with a changing environment.  

Anxious dogs may pace, chew, pant, or seem overly unsettled when near a baby. These behaviors can indicate jealousy, and your pet is unsure how to react to your little one.

How To Help? 

Most pets with depression or anxiety quickly recover from a little extra attention. Try walking your dog more, giving them a special toy, or just spending more time with them when you can. 

Dogs who are overly depressed or anxious may benefit from seeing a veterinarian. Alternatively, they may need temporary medication to help provide some relief while they adjust to living with a new baby. 

sad Shih-Tzu
A sad-looking Shih Tzu is on the couch.

Grooming Excessively 

Self-grooming can be an automatic response for some jealous dogs. This behavior may indicate their feeling of low self-worth or being unwanted when a baby is around. In addition, licking is often apparent when a dog is stressed and unable to communicate this to its owner. 

How To Help? 

Excessive licking can lead to other health problems in your dog, so it’s essential to stop this behavior before it worsens. If your pet begins licking when the baby is around, gently redirect their attention elsewhere by offering treats or attention so they stop licking. Eventually, your pet will recognize that the baby is not a threat, and there is no need to worry.

House Training Accidents 

Another common sign of jealousy in a pet is having house training accidents. Unfortunately, this situation can happen even with an adult dog who is thoroughly trained and has no issues up until this point. The bladder and bowels are elements of a dog’s life it can control, making this behavior a way to communicate to the owner that it is upset about its environment. 

How To Help? 

Dogs who begin to have house training accidents again after a baby arrives require proper training and attention to remedy the situation quickly. Use the same approach as you would with a puppy:

  • Eliminate food and water late in the evenings.
  • Put them outside more often.
  • Watch for accident-prone times after meals.
  • Use positive reinforcement with treats. 

This additional attention for potty breaks can provide extra attention to your pup as they adjust to living with a new baby. 

Performing Tricks 

Some animals may fall back on their training to help get your attention away from the baby. For example, if your dog knows tricks or does something that always makes you laugh or pat them, it may pull out all the stops so you will notice it. 

How To Help? 

When your dog is showing off to get your attention, it’s important to use positive reinforcement rather than scolding or discouraging their behavior. Using treats, extra petting, and snuggles on the couch can provide that little boost of the attention your pet needs during this time of adjustment. 

dog eyes closed
The dog is standing with its eyes closed.

Providing You With More Attention

If your pet suddenly becomes pushier with their actions or showering you with kisses, it may indicate their jealous feelings. For example, many dogs will aggressively push your hand or nudge your leg, so you will give them attention if they feel neglected. Others may lick your face and hands when they can, hoping you will reciprocate this attention. 

How To Help? 

Rather than scolding your pet for being pushy or needing extra attention, calmly handle their behaviors by redirecting them to sit so you can provide them with positive attention. This way, your dog will learn that licking your face will not get the attention they need, but listening to your commands and sitting will. 

Labrador Retriever nibbles nose
Labrador Retriever nibbles nose of his owner.


Animals may resort to misbehaving to gain your attention. Consequently, a dog cannot distinguish between asking for good or bad attention, so they will do what they can to have your focus. These unwanted behaviors may include chewing up your items, jumping, and other inappropriate actions

How To Help?

When a dog uses negative actions to gain your attention, you mustn’t make a big production of correcting them. Instead, calmly use positive reinforcement to adjust their behavior without giving them the extra attention they seek. Then, when they listen and behave, reward them and be extraordinary with your efforts. 

This way, your pet will soon learn that positive actions bring them more attention than negative behaviors. 

In Conclusion 

Not all pets will have problems when there is a change at home. However, knowing the signs a dog is jealous of a baby can ensure you keep an eye on your pet and stop these behaviors before they escalate into a worse situation.