Ukraine Rescue Dog 'Gets Very Jealous' of Other Dogs if Owner Strokes Them

A jealous rescue dog has been filmed batting away a fellow canine as they tried to get close to her human companion.

Ditta, who was rescued from Ukraine just before the war broke out in February 2022, was filmed by her owners pawing at a fellow dog who was vying for her owner's affections.

While the rescue pup has grown attached to her human owner for understandable reasons, it's important to stress that it is also not uncommon for canines to demonstrate the kind of attributes associated with jealousy.

Ditta the dog pawing at another canine.
Photos of Ditta pawing at another canine. The rescue dog often gets jealous of other pets getting attention from her owner. dittawiggles/ditta_co

In 2021, a study published in the journal Psychological Science highlighted how, much like with a human child, dogs are capable of displaying jealous behaviors when their mother shows affection to another child.

Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand presented 18 dogs with scenarios in which they could see their owner interacting with a realistic fake dog. A barrier was then placed between the canine and the fake dog to obscure their line of sight.

Researchers found that the dogs made forceful attempts to reach their owners when they saw them stroke their rival, regardless of whether they could still see them or not. By contrast, the dogs did not react in the same way during a control test in which their owner interacted with an inanimate object.

Researchers were able to conclude that the dogs displayed many of the main human signatures of jealous behavior.

Ditta's own jealous behavior evidently comes from the difficult start she's had in her life. Brought to the U.K. 12 months ago, her owners, who asked not to be named, said when she first arrived, she was "terrified of everything."

"She refused to walk on pavements and wooden floors, which was a massive issue for us as we live in London and our house is primarily wooden floors," they told Newsweek. "Over time, we placed towels, rugs and anything we could find, and she gradually became more comfortable and trusting."

Though they were initially fostering Ditta, it didn't take the couple long to decide to adopt her. She has continued to blossom into a happy dog ever since.

"She has been a dream dog and now even wiggles on pavements," they said. "Her favorite thing to do is hunt for squirrels and chase rabbits in the fields. She comes on holiday everywhere we go and loves car rides. She falls asleep on her back every time we get into the car."

During that time, she's also struck up a special bond with one of her owners. "Her favorite human is her daddy and she wiggles every time she sees him, even after a minute apart," Ditta's owner said. "When she arrived, she was anxious around men, but now her favorite human is her dad."

All of which goes some way to explaining her behavior in the video shared to TikTok under the handle Dittawiggles. This is a nod to her owners' company Ditta & Co, a pet-accessory boutique that sends 20 percent of its profits to help support rescue dogs in Ukraine.

"She gets very jealous of other dogs if her dad strokes them. No one is allowed near her daddy," her owner said.

"She and her dad love going to the park every morning with a coffee. It's their little morning routine and then, in the evening, she goes everywhere with him. If he's at the pub, she's at the pub. They are inseparable. They also love swimming, and Ditta hated it when she first arrived. Now, they go to the beach together, and she loves the water."

Ditta's adventures have already attracted plenty of attention on social media, with her clips racking up more than 65 million views. However, the biggest impact has come at home with her new family. "She has changed our lives more than we could have imagined, and we are so grateful for every wiggle butt she has to offer," they said.

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