Do dogs miss each other when separated?

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If you are friendly over time with a person or an animal, and the person gets taken away, there would be profound sadness due to their absence. Most times, the degree of sadness is similar whether losing a pet or suffering the loss of a family member or friend. The sadness felt only shows how emotionally connected we are to the person or animal who is now absent.

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Dogs have always been referred to as the friend of man. They are known as man’s best friend, not because of their companionship, but also because of the way they handle a man and show many similarities to a man emotionally. Dogs handle situations around them, white different from other animals—in fact, it could be said they handle situations better than other animals. Most times, when other animals lose a fellow animal or get separated from another animal of the same species, it is not a thing to make a fuss about. This is mainly because they do not care that the other animal is gone, or they care, and they are just happy they get to have the whole attention of their masters.

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However, in dogs, there is a bond that is formed—especially by dogs living in the same house. This bond they form is somewhat like a family—they necessarily don’t have to be from one mother. This bond makes them almost like a pack, doing almost everything together—from playing to eating, and even as far as sleeping together. Just as the instance is given earlier about how bad we feel when someone we cherish leaves, it is no different in dogs. When a dog is separated from another dog it has deeply bonded with; it spells trouble. The dog that is left alone, and the one taken away, will feel a significant loss. In human terms, it can be said that they miss each other so much.

Do dogs miss each other when separated?
Do dogs miss each other when separated?

What Happens When You Separate A Bonded Pair Of Dogs?

Before delving into what happens when there is a separation between a bonded pair of dogs, it is important to know the meaning of bonded pair of dogs. In the doggy world, a bonded pair can be referred to as one, two, three, or even as many as eight dogs who grew up together as puppies. It can also refer to dogs that have stayed together and in good companionship for at least four to five months. In a bonded pair relationship, it is often seen that the dogs involved would love to do everything together. They wouldn’t be happy if the other is taken to perform an activity without them being involved. It could be observed that they even whine when they are temporarily separated from each other. It is almost as fun, isn’t fun without each other. It even goes as far as wanting their doggy cot to be beside each other. The list of what they want together is almost endless. 

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Considering the amount of time they want to spend together, it should be more than evident that separation will take a toll on them in general. The way we react to the loss or absence of someone dear is very similar to how they respond to the absence of a member of their “family.” They grieve for the loss of the dog they’ve bonded with. What they exhibit is similar to depression in humans. They do not find fun in engaging in activities they love because the dog they did those activities with is no longer there. A dog that was once lively would hop around all day. This is to show that dogs feel things and would be significantly impacted by the separation of another dog they have bonded well with.

How Do You Know If a Dog Misses Another Dog?

Grieving differs from person to person, much similar to dogs. The way a dog grieves might not be the same way other dogs grieve. However, the grieving process is very similar. When a dog is absent, and another dog has bonded well with it, it might show signs of depression. Depression in dogs can be in the form of a lack of appetite. Some dogs do not joke with their food or treats, no matter how small. However, when a dog is grieving another dog’s absence, it might even reject its favorite snack. The rejection of food is not because it is not hungry, but because it feels too sad to eat. 

Another way to know that your dog misses another dog is in its activity level. Usually, dogs can be really playful, especially around their masters. This playfulness is absent when they are sad. Throughout the period of their sadness, you might see them moping all day, wanting to be alone, and sometimes, even showing aggression. The aggression, most times, is because the person or individual is trying to invade their personal space when they are grieving. This is why it is important to give the dog showing these kinds of signs space so it is ready to mingle with you. Another significant behavior change is excess sleep. 

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When a dog misses a fellow dog, the sadness can be dealt with by sleeping a lot more than usual. It is often like this because most of the activities the dog does, are done together with that other dog. Since it can have the other dog with it any longer, it would resort to sleep. There are also changes in response to calls. In some cases, you might even find your dog going to places, it usually was with the other dog, in search of it. All these are signs that your dog is missing the other dog; it would be helpful to take it through the process of depression with gentility.

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Do Dogs Mourn The Loss Of Another Dog?

Dogs, although social animals with high emotional intelligence as compared to other animals, still do not have high intelligence like humans. They do not have the capability to understand the meaning of death. You could tell a dog that its friend is dead one million times, and it might not understand what you mean. Despite that, a dog can tell when a fellow dog is missing. It might not understand if it is dead or not; all it knows is that a familiar furry face is gone. It would grieve for the absence of the other dog—much similar to mourning. It wouldn’t eat, play, or do anything it usually does because its playmate is gone. It would go around the house searching for the other dog, with droopy ears to show its unhappiness. Games like; catch and throw wouldn’t be of any interest to it any longer. 

This behavior can be referred to as mourning. The different thing is that the dog is not mourning the death of the other dog because it doesn’t understand what is going on. The dog is only mourning the absence of the other dog. If the dog were faced with the lifeless body of its playmate, it would wonder why it isn’t playing with it, just because it doesn’t understand death. “Do dogs mourn the loss of another dog?” The answer is no because they do not have the intelligence to understand loss or death. However, if there are mourning signs after the end of your other dog, you should know that the dog is simply missing the absence of the other dog.

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How To Tell If Dogs Are Bonded To Each Other

How to tell if dogs are bonded to each other is pretty much easier to know than telling if two people are friends. Dogs bare their emotions on their sleeve—without any pretense of any kind. This is the reason why, if a dog is comfortable or uncomfortable with you, it shows. If a dog likes a person, it would want to run around the person and initiate a play session with the person. This behavior it exhibits is also the same when it comes to fellow dogs it likes. When a dog has bonded with another dog, it could be told from the actions of the dog. 

If dogs are bonded, you would see them play together, all the time. These bonded dogs would want to be part of the games the other plays. They would want to follow in every activity each is engaging in. They even want their meal to be served at the same time, so they can play as they eat. If one of the bonded pups is punished, the other one might be seen whining because seeing the other one in pain feels like it is also in pain. If a pair of dogs are bonded, and they are separated, even if it is for a short time, they both wouldn’t be happy. When this is seen, it should be known that they are a bonded pair. Another way to tell if dogs are bonded with each other is, by the way, they would cuddle with each other. A bonded pair will always like to cuddle next to each other when they want to sleep. They want to be so close to each other to the point of not wanting to sleep in cots that are far from each other. When these signs are seen, you should know that these pups are a bonded pair.

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Is Separating Dogs Bad?

Separation is something that is inevitable in life. Separation is not always for bad reasons; it could be for good reasons, such as; getting to a greater height or even going to another country. Separation happens between co-workers, classmates, friends, and even family members. This separation is not only limited to humans; it is found in all earth’s species. Animals experience this separation more than even humans. From the first day—more like the first few days, they are separated from their mother. The separation also affects the parent animals; they are separated from their offspring before they even have the time to bond very well with them. They are separated from almost all their offspring. Even siblings are separated from each other. 

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Sometimes, the separation is not permanent, it is temporary. Still, it does not hurt less, knowing the separation is temporary. Dogs also go through this separation, sometimes more than other animals. Being social animals, their offspring are taken away from them immediately after weaning. Siblings are ripped from siblings even after a brief moment of bonding with each other. Not all dogs get along with each other; some fight a lot because they just don’t merge with each other. In this kind of situation, it is not wrong to separate the dogs because the relationship between the two dogs is very toxic and not worth keeping together. Also, there are some bonded pairs that get along so well; however, one is very dominant and the other less dominant than the other. 

In this kind of bonded pair relationship, the dominant one tends to overshadow the other one all the time. The dominant one tends to decide for the both of them, the time to eat, time to take a bath, time to play, and basically do everything. The less dominant one becomes a shadow to the dominant one. It makes the less dominant one not be able to discover itself—what it likes to do alone, what activity it loves to engage in, and so many things about itself. In this case, separation will help the less dominant dog a lot in helping it discover itself. Separating dogs being bad or good, depends on the pair involved. 

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Do Dogs Miss Each Other When One Dies 

Dogs do not understand the concept of death, because they do not have the capacity intellectually to understand things like that. Nonetheless, that does not mean that they do not recognize when a particular furry face is missing. Even if they are faced with the lifeless body of their doggy friend, they wouldn’t understand why their furry friend is not standing up to play with them. They do not understand that the other dog is dead. They only grieve for the absence of the other dog. The grieving comes in different ways, like; rejecting meals and treats they usually like, moping around the house all day, going to places it usually went to, with the other dog. It would frantically search for the other dog. it might even refuse to participate in activities it loves to engage in. Also, it might sleep a lot more than usual because it does not find anything as interesting as it used to be. So yes, dogs miss each other, not because they know that the other is dead, but because the other is absent.

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What To Do When One Dog Dies And Other Lives 

Grieving in every species is similar. When a dog dies, the other that is left is usually sad and depressed. Depression is manifested in several ways—one thing is for sure, they never remain the same way they used to be. It is essential to know that it is important to help during grieving times. This help should also be rendered during the depression the dog is going through. 

During the dog’s grieving process, it might become aggressive; it is essential not to beat or chastise the dog. Beating the dog would slow down the grieving process. However, being understanding and letting the dog have its way is of great help. Also, it is essential not to force the grieving dog that does not want to eat, to eat. That way, it might be sadder. Another way to help the grieving dog get better is to be there for it when it wants to cuddle and let it be when it doesn’t want to cuddle. One more important thing to do—especially if the dog that died was bonded with the dog, is to get another pup to keep it company. The other puppy might help it get over the grief quicker than usual. If all these are done, it is essential to give the dog a little time to heal because time heals all wounds.

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Separating Puppies From Each Other 

Separating puppies from each other is not something that is new to the ears. Puppies are separated every day to find families that are suitable for the other pups. Separating puppies is not so much of a big deal, especially when they have not fully bonded with each other. When puppies are separated, it only takes a toll on them when they have bonded fully. In that case, separation should be done gradually so that they do not fall into depression. 

Do Dogs Need Times Apart From Each Other 

Staying together for a very long time promotes dependence on each other. It’s very similar in dogs; when they stay together for a very long time, they get used to depending on each other for everything and every activity they want to carry out. That is why it is encouraged that dogs spend time apart from each other so that they can learn to live independent lives. 

Hazel Buckley
Hazel Buckley

About Hazel Buckley
Hazel is an animal enthusiast and educator who grew up on a farm which her parents owned in Ingogo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  The farm was situated right under the Majuba Mountains - the site where the Anglo-Boer War was fought. 

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