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Old 01-30-2014, 02:42 AM   #1
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Default Perplexed by my dog's behaviour

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone has an opinion re the perplexing behaviour of one of my dogs, following his mate's death.

Initially I owned a small female dog later on I got her a bigger male dog for companionship. Unfortunately they did not get along that well, in the sense that the small dog assumed the alpha dog role and started 'bullying' the big dog (which is understandable in a way, since he was sometimes clumsy with her given his size, and he sometimes tried to steal her food). The big dog was subservient and my perception was that he 'cared' for the little dog (ie on rare occasions that the lawnmower let them out by accident I was told that he sticked closely to her and followed her everywhere. Moreover, he would only be happy being let out in the courtyard if the little dog joined him).

Unfortunately, the little dog died suddenly in my courtyard. Even though, as from neighbours' accounts, he had been around her dead body for a couple of hours, he seemed very excited / happy when I let him in the housr, in order to dispose of the body. Moreover, I expected him to mourn or miss his companion, in his own canine way, but he appears as happy and content as ever.

Is it that he did not realise that his companion died (I was told that dogs sense death) or that he doesn't 'care' (I was told that dogs miss or grieve their late companions)?

PS - I am not endowing him with human characteristics, he is an animal, but I struggle to express myself properly

Many thanks

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Old 01-30-2014, 08:23 AM   #2
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HI I will try and answer your question! I guess it depends on the 'bond' that has been formed over time! The greater the 'bond' the harder it will be for the other dog to accept! Well that's my view Be interested to hear what others think about this!
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:18 AM   #3
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HI I will try and answer your question! I guess it depends on the 'bond' that has been formed over time! The greater the 'bond' the harder it will be for the other dog to accept! Well that's my view Be interested to hear what others think about this!
Same here.

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Old 01-30-2014, 11:29 AM   #4
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Lucy, your dog was ok, because he knew his companion died, and accepted that. It is recommended when a dog needs to be put down, that the other animals in the house are allowed to smell the pet once it passes. I've read a few articles on this exact subject. One article suggested that the vet come to the house, when the time comes, or if you take the pet that has to be put down to the vets office, take your other pets too. It seems as though pets will mourn the death of another, when the pet is taken alone to the vets office. They know the pet is gone, but will "wait for it to come home." It sounds strange, but I do believe it. We had a Sheltie years ago. He had a host of health problems. We took him to the vets, and he went into cardiac arrest, and died. My Son's cat loved that dog. He was a loving lap cat and very playful. When his play mate never came home, he mourned for a good year. He stayed under my Mother-in-law's bed, and only came out to eat, drink, and use his litter pan. Then one day, he came out and was back to his playful self.
Your big dog was with your little dog when she passed. He had time to smell her, and know that she passed.

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Old 01-30-2014, 12:45 PM   #5
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I agree with Dee. Welcome to DF too.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:46 AM   #6
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I have to agree with Dee. As she said because he was there with the little dog he knew she was gone and accepted it. I had to have my 10 yr. old cat pts recently and the other cat was ok for a few days. When he didn't come home she started searching for him and seems to be mourning. She's become very "clingy" and wants to be close to someone all of the time. She wasn't like that before.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:13 AM   #7
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Interesting reaction and I think too your dog immediately accepted it. It might be another way how a dog mourns.

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