Jealousy in Collies and How to Manage It

Collies are emotional beasts and can be prone to jealousy if they feel you aren’t giving them your full attention. Luckily, collies are also highly intelligent and it’s easy to manage their jealousy by altering their environment and with some simple training.

In this article, we’ll learn some easy techniques you can use to manage jealousy in your collie.

Do Collies get Jealous?

Collies aren’t always jealous, but since they form such a strong bond with their humans they can be more prone to jealously than some other breeds.

If you’ve ever owned a collie, you’ll be familiar with their jealous mumping and whining if you divert your attention to something other than them for longer than they deem acceptable.

Whether you’re spending time with another pet, another person, or even cooking, cleaning, or working… if your collie gets jealous that you’re not spending time with them they will make it known that they don’t approve and do whatever it takes to get your attention.

Why do Collies get Jealous?

Collies are much more intelligent than other dog breeds, and have been selectively bred for their desire to work and train with human beings.

Since this cooperativeness with humans is an innate part of the collie psyche, they have a strong need to be working, learning, and pleasing their owners.

Collies feel jealous when they have feelings of low self esteem, caused by their owners paying more attention to something or someone else, or by them feeling frustrated at not being able to complete a task to please their owner.

It’s for this reason that you should always take care when teaching a collie new tricks or tasks to protect their self esteem. For example, when playing hide and search you should hide their toy somewhere obvious so they can find it easily.

Collie Jealous of Baby

Collies may feel jealous of any new addition to the family, whether it’s a new partner, new pet, or indeed a new baby.

Babies require a lot of attention and nurturing, it’s understandable that you won’t have the same amount of energy to spend playing tug-of-war when you’ve been up all night tending to the new baby.

Although this is obvious to us, your furry friend doesn’t understand this and may feel upset that they have to compete for your affection where previously they had your undivided attention.

This problem is especially prevalent in families where the dog has been a part of the family for a long time before the baby arrives.

You can help overcome this behavior by letting the dog see you looking after the baby, to help your collie understand the new arrival is part of the family too, and by spending as much time as possible with your dog.

Collie Jealous of Other Dogs

Collies may become jealous of other dogs, especially if you are petting them or giving them attention.

Collies might be jealous of other dogs for a number of reasons, but most often it’s because they see the other dog as a threat to their relationship with you. Collies form a very strong bond with their human and see themselves as part of your pack. Collies will defend you from what they see as outsiders.

Although collies are often jealous of other dogs, once a collie has accepted another in to their pack, they will show them the same love and loyalty they show you. This means that collies are perfectly happy to live in harmony with other dogs and cats in the home, it may just take them a little while to accept them fully.

Luna is not happy when any other dog gets any attention

Collie Jealous of Food

This is pretty normal for all dogs, including collies and comes from their lupine pack instincts, where even siblings within the same pack had to fight over food for survival.

Jealousy often arises from low self esteem in your collie. The best way to overcome jealous behavior over food is by sharing small scraps of food with your collie from every meal. Your furry friend will soon learn that you will always share with them, and that they are a valued member of your pack.

Collie Jealous of Partner

Much like other dogs and young children, your collie may at some point become jealous of your partner, especially if it’s a new relationship and you are spending lots of time with them away from your dog.

It’s only natural that your dog feels unhappy that they can’t spend as much time with their favorite human, and they see your new partner as the problem.

If your collie is jealous of your boyfriend or girlfriend, the best way to overcome it is by spending time with your partner and with the dog together.

Have your come with you while you walk the dog, let them throw the dog’s toys for them, play tug of war with them and pet them. This will help your collie to understand your partner is one of the family.

Collies take a long time to warm up to new people and are very protective of their pack, but once they accept you they will love you forever.

Collie Jealous of Inanimate Objects

Occasionally, your collie may become jealous or frustrated if you are spending too much time focusing on something they deem unworthy of your attention.

If you’re spending time cooking, repairing something, cleaning up, watching TV, doing the vacuuming, or something else that takes all your attention away from your dog you might find your collie friend lurking around you making noises, patrolling the area looking for something to steal that would initiate a chase, or rubbing against your legs.

This is just their way of letting you know they are still here.

You can help overcome this behavior by petting them, or by talking to them while you work. Even if you’re not directly playing with your dog, talking to them is a good way to let them know you see them and aren’t ignoring them.

Any behaviors which are unwanted such as jumping up at you while cooking should be trained out of them by using “lie down” or some other command and reinforcing the desired behavior with a treat.

Collie Jealous Behaviors

Collies may display jealous behaviors in a number of different ways, including:

  • Growling or Barking at other dogs or people
  • Making whining or whimpering noises to get your attention
  • Stealing things to get you to chase them
  • Stealing food from other dogs or people
  • Chasing away other pets if you are petting them
  • Preventing you from concentrating on things they see as unworthy of your attention
  • Bringing you their toys so you can throw them for them
  • Following you around like a shadow
  • Jumping up beside you if they want clapped
  • Defending you against people they see as outside of your pack
Luna stealing a stick from her park pal Pudding

How to Manage Your Jealous Collie

Managing your collie’s jealous behavior can be a challenge, since it’s a direct result of centuries of selective breeding and ingrained in their personalities.

Collies have worked closely with humans for hundreds of years, and form a very strong connection to their owner.

Any perceived threat to their relationship with you will affect them and may lead to jealous or needy behaviors.

The way to manage jealous behavior is by showing them that they are still loved and valued. If the jealousy is directed towards another person or animal, the best thing to do is get them to spend as much time as possible playing with your collie.

Collies are fiercely protective of their family and take a long time to get to know new friends, but once they accept you in to their pack they will be a loyal and loving companion.

About the author:

About the author:

Hollie and Border Collie

 Stuart MacPherson

Colliepedia Editor

 Stuart MacPherson

Colliepedia Editor

I'm an experienced collie owner from Scotland. I started Colliepedia to share everything I know about collies. All the pictures you see on colliepedia are of my beloved collie Luna

Learn More about me and Luna's story on the about page!