Do dogs know when another dog they knew had died?

My friend's dog died today (02-08-10) and my dog cries for him every now and then.
She looks a bit sad, mostly because my brother and i are sad for my friend's dog...

But do dogs know this?

Asked by Hunny on Feb 8th 2010 in Behavior & Training
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!



I'm sorry to hear you friend's dog died. That's very sad.

Yes, dogs do grieve just like people do. They also know when their humans are sad, so Hunny could definitely be picking up on you and your brother being sad.

A dog is more likely to grieve for another dog if she lives in the same house as the dog who has passed away, or if they are very close to that dog and would have seen him often.

In other words, a dog might not automatically know if their friend has passed away, but if they are used to seeing that dog and they don't and everyone is sad, they definitely know something is wrong.

And then they also miss the companionship of that dog.

Dogs have very rich emotional lives and they need time and healing to get over the death of fellow dogs or humans, just like we do.

If you think Hunny is having a hard time in the coming weeks, try taking her to some new places for walks. New adventures can perk up a dog's spirits.

Jack answered on 2/8/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Oliver Lambchop Loeser

You should kept an eye out for this type of behavior, over the next few months. I have had a similar experience with the Sheltie I once had. You see, my sheltie was best buddies with my grandma's dog, which a boxer/german shep. mix, and when my grandma dog passed away.Afterwards, my sheltie always seemed to look around for the other dog. I've also heard similar stories from others I know who had two dogs, one passed away, and right after the remaining one would act as if they miss the other dog. I do think dogs miss playmates when they pass away, especially when they were close.

BTW- I'm sorry for your friends lost, It can be very difficult losing a pet.

Oliver Lambchop Loeser answered on 2/8/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'm really sorry to hear that. It's a really hard thing to go through.

Dogs do know when friends pass away. If they saw the dog a lot, it can really upset them.

When our cat passed away, our dog was the same way. They were really good friends. After he died, our dog was quiet, and would go lay in her kennel for no reason and sleep. She would even sit where he always sat in the kitchen and cry a little somtimes, so I'm guessing dogs know.

Once again, I'm very sorry about your tough time.

Misha answered on 2/9/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The only thing I can think to add to everyone else's post is that dogs get over loss much faster than humans do. They live in the moment, not in the past like humans.

Introducing a new playmate, or a new adventure can be a great help. But when doing this it is important to watch the dog for signs of stress or anxiety.

Patchs answered on 2/9/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer