Grief can take many different forms in human individuals and across species, which makes it difficult to describe. In a recent study, researchers from Italy aimed to identify what grief may look like in dogs using six different questionnaires validated for things like owner beliefs, dog’s perceived emotional state, attachment, and more! The results suggest that grief in dogs depends on the quality but not the length of your dogs’ relationship. If your dogs were close, your surviving dog is more likely to express behaviors associated with grief.
In a unique study comparing pet pigs and pet dogs on this task, researchers found that, overall, dogs showed more behaviors that indicate “asking for help” from readily available humans. This is an interesting comparison for two big reasons - (1) both were subject to domestication and (2) all animals in this study were kept and raised as pets from a very young age. Therefore, humans should play a role in both their lives, but results support that dogs may be predisposed to communicate with humans in a way that is unique to them - even among other domesticated species raised in a similar manner!
Petminded Community Member, Stephanie Gonzaga, shares her top takeaways from our recent talk about dog reactivity.
Petminded had the honor of hosting author Pilley Bianchi to chat about her book Unleashing the Genius of Every Dog - The Story of Chaser who Learned 1000 Words and her thoughts on building relationships with our dogs.