Narcissism is all about the self. It’s good to care about yourself and to be aware of what you deserve, but it can cross a line into intensely egotistical and self-centred behavior, which we refer to as narcissism. It happens with humans, and it can happen with dogs too! To be clear, identifying narcissistic traits in a dog is very different from an actual diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. Even the most extreme pet psychologist probably wouldn’t go that far. But if you’re reading this, you may have an inkling that your dog is a bit of a narcissist, so here are some signs that might confirm your suspicions.
1. They’re vain
You’re so vain. I bet you think this point is about you! Well, if your dog spends all its time preening and staring into reflective surfaces, this could be an indicator of narcissism, or just looking really good.
2. They aren’t interested in pleasing you
Our dogs all have moments where they won’t listen to us, but if your pup has little to no interest in doing anything to please you, you may have a narcissist on your hands, or at least a difficult doggy.
3. They want all your attention
Yes, all dogs want attention sometimes. If they won’t take no for an answer even on the rarest occasions where you truly are unable to provide a moment of dog-focused energy, that goes above and beyond typical canine behavior.
4. They want only the best
You may want only the best for your dog, but most pups will put up with generic kibble, a dish of water, and a spot on the floor to relax nearby. Dogs who turn their noses up at anything other than the finest in food, leisure and hospitality are displaying narcissistic traits.
5. They manipulate you
Sometimes it’s cute when your dog uses its wits and charms to get something, but a pattern of consistently manipulative behavior is actually something to be concerned about. Never mind armchair diagnosis, your dog needs a little more training, that is unless the antics are really funny. Then get out your camera and upload some videos. YouTube stardom is just around the corner.
6. They don’t care about others (dogs)
Is your dog the biggest jerk at the dog park? Consistently undermining other dogs, taking their toys, stealing their treats, and cutting in front of them to drink from their own water bottle can all be signs of doggy narcissism.
7. They don’t about others (humans)
Most dogs believe that their owners (and other humans) are in charge, which generally leads to peaceful and easygoing interactions. When pups refuse to get off the sofa when we want to relax, beg for/help themselves to our food, and consistently do things without getting the okay, their entitlement and lack of respect for humans shows, which is absolutely a narcissistic trait.
8. They’re easily hurt
Some dogs are so sensitive that even trying to claim space in bed will send them into whining, standoffish behavior for the rest of the day. If your canine companion guilts with pained expressions and overindulgent reactions when you set boundaries or give them simple commands, your dramatic dog may is likely a bit of a narcissist.
9. They’re needy
It feels good to be needed, but let’s not go overboard. Dogs who require you to do absolutely everything for them lack independence and are relying on manipulation to get you to do what they need. Put down the silver spoon and stop feeding that little narcissist by hand!
10. Their owner is also narcissistic
Look in the mirror! No, wait. You’d like that too much, wouldn’t you? Narcissistic dogs often have narcissistic owners. It might be wise to look for these traits in yourself and see if you can come to a place of balance. That said, selfies are said to be narcissistic, and nothing gets likes quite like adding a cute pup to that shot. Besides, a little healthy narcissism is fine.
The Euthymic Dog
My Puppy, Myself