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Does a Dog mourn the loss of a person or pet that suddenly is no more?

I dont think they do.
I dont believe that dogs understand the concept of death.
 

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I think they do and sometimes it's more obvious than others. I had a friend who had broken up with her long term live-in boy friend and her dog, a GSD, mourned the loss of that boyfriend for about a month. She finally snapped out of it but the dog was definitely depressed for about a month and it started when the boyfriend was no longer around.
 

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I've heard people talk about their dogs mourning a loss and maybe my dogs are different, but I have yet to have one that mourned the loss of a person or pet. I think they notice moments where there is a void in their normal routine. Mine have yet to look for Galaxy and its been a week. It could be that mine have gotten used to each dog having their own outing, (leaving and coming back) or people who leave, but come back months later.

I did notice that Leann barked at my neighbor today. Barking at the neighbor was Galaxy's job. When my neighbor stepped outside, Leann waited a few seconds and decided to fill in the gap.
 

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I think they do, but like stated above some show it more then others.

When Lady Was lost, Buddy was soooo hurt, looking for her, crying, wounldnt eat, stoped playing, etc. That Started when she got lost & when we found her & she was home it was a sudden change he was so happy, he was back to his old self.

~Erica~
 

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I don't know how much they understand (how could we?), but we recently lost one of our cats, and the dogs definitely behaved out of character. Pixie in particular seemed to know something was up, she kept her distance to the cat's body, while Obi sought out affection from a person he doesn't normally care about.
 

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I definitely think dogs mourn. My mother passed away 3 years ago and Beau, her heart dog, mourned for weeks. He is a very jovial, happy dog all the time and for weeks he would not play, would barely eat, would pace around the house and whine all night. They were attached at the hip. She was definitely his person and he was her once in a lifetime dog. I know people will say that was just stress but I really do believe he was mourning as much as the rest of us were.
 

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Grieving....I'm not sure. They will certainly seem to miss the company of someone important to them. However grieving would imply that they understood that the person or animal has passed away.
 

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My mother told me that my grandmother (who passed away before I was born) had a little poodle mix who was her constant companion. According to my mother, the dog (who was very healthy at the time) passed away a few weeks after my grandmother died.
 

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Yes, absolutely. I think, just like humans, dogs grieve in different ways and to different extents, but I think many people have stories about dogs whose behavior changed after a person or fellow animal disappeared out of their lives. I don't think they know the difference between dead and just gone unless they actually see and sniff the body, but they certainly can be affected by the disappearance. I've heard of people letting a second dog sniff the body of one that has passed, so that they don't go looking for their companion and get confused by their absence - I don't know if that's a real thing though, or just something we do to make ourselves feel better. Either way, I've certainly seen the personality of an animal change and seen them get sort of mopey and depressed after a companion passed away.

I kind of think they assume that "gone" just means dead anyway - my husband and I always joke that when one of us is gone for a while, Melonie just assumes we're never coming back, because she always seems so shocked and overjoyed to see us again. When I came back after being away for a month this summer, I swear the dog acted like she was seeing a ghost - her body language kind of had this "no! It can't be!" tone to it, before she burst into an excessive show of joy. Of course, I'm sure I'm reading things into her behavior, but it was pretty funny.
 

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I have had dogs react in different ways when they have lost a companion. The one that sticks out in my mind was a male/female (spayed/neutered) pair that I had a few years ago. These 2 dogs reminded me of a pair of old lovers. They would spend alot of time just lying next to each other licking each other's ears and faces. When Booker eventualy lost his sight in his old age,Two Bits would nuzzle him and get him to follow her if he got confused and a bit lost. I had the vet come to the house to put Booker down when it was time to let him go. I put Two Bits outside while the vet put Booker to sleep. After the vet took Booker's body I let Two Bits in. She sniffed where Booker had been lying and immediately went to another part of the room layed down and was basically catatonic for days. She knew. She didn't look for him. She didn't eat. Didn't want to go outside or for a walk. I took her to the vet to make sure that she was physically ok. She was grieving for her lost companion.
 

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Does a Dog mourn the loss of a person or pet that suddenly is no more?
I dont think they do.
I dont believe that dogs understand the concept of death.
Once upon a time,
and it was a much 'simpler' time for me,
when a dog was a dog was a dog,
I tended to agree with you, Roloni ...

Rather than dogs actually mourning a loss,
(a sentimental but unrealistic concept at best)
I'd have thought that,
rather than experiencing grief and loss, themselves,
dogs picked up on the grief of the humans around them.

However, seeing is believing,
even when hard to accept what is right in front of you ...
Since getting heavily involved with this incredibly complex breed (BRT),
my answer is 'absolutely yes'.

Perhaps/probably not all dogs mourn with a deeper understanding but,
with certainty, some do.
 

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Does a Dog mourn the loss of a person or pet that suddenly is no more?

I dont think they do.
I dont believe that dogs understand the concept of death.
I believe dogs grieve in the way that someone they care about has left their life ... almost an abandonment issue IMHO. Not that they understand what happened.

I also think they understand death ... or they wouldn't have the ability to fight for survival or have that instinct. :)

Just my way of seeing things.
 

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I'm not one to humanize animals too strongly nor do I believe they have to be, by nature, part of a pack.
To me they have always been opportunists and each one has their own drives and natures.
They thrive when things are good, languish when things aren't right.
I certainly believe in Happy Dogs! LOL!

We when loose a pet OUR mood and the way we treat the other pets changes.
They certainly pick up on this and react.
I think Grieve may be too strong a term.
But different breeds deal w/ a change or loss and it may seem to be grief.
They certainly get upset w/ a change in routine or situation.
This, in my experience, shows as moods ranging from moping around to elation depending on what change they are going through.

When our 14 year old Collie Drake passed Wu our 3 year old Shar-pei looked for him for days.
(Drake had raised her from a Pup. Her behavior was pure Collie. Loved Strangers, cats and kids..... craved company.)
She was not upset more puzzled. His scent was there....where was he.
Hardly ate.... listless attitude..... so was she mourning or ? Well......

Then one night that weekend we went out to sit on the deck.
(Drake and Wu used to sit w/ us and basically rack out one at each entrance.)
We realized Wu wasn't anywhere on the deck.
Flipping on the lights we found her ranging thru the yard, small privacy fenced in area.
She was on Guard! Never stopped ranging and smelling the breeze for hours.
The next day she barked at the Mailman and a neighbor coming to the door.
(Something she had never done, in fact hearing her bark at all was rare.)
Her Shar-pei genes had kicked in....... from that day on we had a Guarding rather than a Social Dog.
We had to totally retrain her to accept company coming over and she was never really comfortable or off-guard when they did.

Our newly Adopted Akita certainly went into a Funk when our Son left him w/ us.
Lost weight, paced around checking every door, looked lost/sad, you know the drill.
Two weeks later he as walking slack lead, bringing us Toys, starting to gain some confidence ....
Now 4 months later he is bonded heavily w/ us, and having talked to other Akita adopters and breeders, seems like he has always been ours.

So I have to say dogs certainly get unsettled, upset, loose confidence when they experience a loss.
 

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Grieving....I'm not sure. They will certainly seem to miss the company of someone important to them.
I agree with this, basically. I don't know if dogs understand death, I don't know if they understand someone they care for is not coming back, but I do believe they can miss them terribly.


Then again, you can find articles and stories of dogs sitting by their owners' graves.

I know (and by know I mean I've known them ever since I was very young) a pair of GSDs who grew up together, 2 years apart. Samson passed at 14 and was buried on the top of a mountain, a place neither of them had ever even been before. Delilah, who was 12, searched for him, and when couldn't find him, she disappeared. Their yard had an electric fence around it, and neither of them had never even attempted to run through it before. Delilah had torn through that fence, and found Samson's grave. That's where they found her, lying beside of it, and that's where she stayed for 5 days, until she finally came home. She passed shortly after that.
I would very strongly call that grieving, the way a wife would grieve for her husband. They were extremely bonded, had known one another their entire lives, then when one passed, the other grieved.
 

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I think they are capable of it. Some appear to and some don't appear to.

At the very least, dogs can recognize and understand a difference in their daily lives/routine and that a certain person or another pet is no longer present... but personally I'm not sure more than that is necessary to label their behavior as at least a rudimentary form of grief. Why do humans grieve for someone they knew and loved personally but not for some random person they hear about on the news? Because part of grief is familiarity, some is attachment, but some is that our own lives and routines are disrupted and those disruptions are a constant reminder that the person is gone forever.

Although I think for us grief is different because we can understand what has happened to the person and that we will never see them again, I don't think our experience of grief means that dogs' experience is NOT grief, if that makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The first video is a perfect example of how the media takes one moment and makes it something that its not.

The second video shows a dog lying down beside a dead dog...for lack of reason or understanding that the other dog has died.

The third video shows a dog wagging its tail ..at the graveside of its owner.
 

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When my sisters dog had puppies and then a few weeks later one of them died, her dog grieved for her baby. I don't know what else you would call it. She would walk around the house wailing and panting. She was constantly searching behind and under furniture. She quit sleeping and eating for a long while. And after the one pup died, whenever the remaining pup fell asleep she would lie down next to it and wrap her front paws around it in a death grip and stay right there.
This was all new behavior that began after her pup died and eventually went away after a few weeks.
 
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