And You Thought That Only Humans Felt Dismal - The Concept Of Grieving Dogs

28 Jul 2014 | by | Posted in: Wag News

Dogs and their undying loyalty towards their masters is well known to us. Their is something we have always talked about in our previous articles. They have this faith that no matter for long their masters are gone, they will someday be back. They wait in danger and in the worst circumstances just to be near the ones they love. Dog’s just like humans also go through grief. They too miss the people they love. The story of a small black dog who went missing in California, Kirby is the real story of utter faith that dogs have and believe that their masters will be back. This black dog whose owner died, went missing and was found near his owners grave after walking miles and miles.


grieving dog

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All pet experts believe that dogs have the same basic emotions just like humans do. Emotions like sadness, grief, happiness, and even possessiveness. When a dog is in grief, depression is common. They show signs like sleeping more than normal, moving more slowly, eating less, and showing a limited interest in playing. Anthropologists believe that thousands of years of companionship has led to the tuning of humans and dogs. They seem to instinctively comprehend each other’s gestures, body language, and emotions.


The famous tale of Hachiko who is remembered for the great loyalty he had for his master describes how dogs can grieve for years and years for their masters just like Hachiko did at the station for years who went out and never came back. Everyone around was surprised by his loyalty and love towards his master.


The role of the hormone oxytocin in creating the bond between human mothers and their newborn babies. In all mammals, oxytocin is released in the mother during labor, stimulating contraction of the uterus so that the fetus can be expelled, and, later, stimulating milk secretion from the mammary glands. In the new mother, oxytocin helps in developing a bond with the new born child. Release of Oxytocin leads to developing feeling of love and affection between one another, thus making it the “love hormone”.

The role of oxytocin in the human-canine bond is also examined by experts and its seen that oxytocin is involved in the creation of bond between humans and canines. An experiment found that humans and their dogs experienced similar increases in oxytocin levels after ten minutes of friendly contact. Thus the bond that is seen, is as strong as the bond that a human mother has for a newly born child.



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Its not only parting with humans that make them sad or depressed. Dogs also feel sad and depressed when they lose a companionship of another dog. They feel sad, gloomy and lethargic after their companion dies. They also take a lot of time to recover from the sadness just like humans feel when they lose someone close to them.


Dogs also feel dejected when their owner is feeling the same. Imagine walking back home with the worst day of your life and sitting in the corner of the room. Your dog would come to you, try to cheer you up and if that does not work, will sit besides you until you feel better feeling the same emotion. Not wanting to play or wag around.


Its not just the dogs that grieve their masters loss, most of the humans are never able to bear the loss of their canines. Some of them go through major depression while others try to heal the pain by getting themselves a new pet. For many people that may ease the pain but for some that feeling never goes away.


The bond between a human and a dog is known to everyone since history. A dog is not ‘just’ called a man’s best friend. His undying loyalty and the endless love stays with a human irrespective of any circumstances. And just as difficult it get for the dogs to live without their owner, it gets twice as hard for the owners to live without their beloved pets.

If you know some heart warming tales of dog attachments, then you can share them with us.

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