Will a dog miss its owner? Here’s the Answer

What are the warning signs that my dog(s) miss me?

Of course, research or no, all dogs are unique. While all may miss their Owners, some will cope better than others with the separation. The question is: which kind is your dog?

If they miss you more than they can bear, your pooch will offer you a few telltale signs. Chewing on your possessions, crying when you leave, and staring at the door after you’ve gone are all key indicators. They’ll also make a really big deal of you returning home; they may lean on your leg, or they might whizz around the house in glee.

What does the research tell me?

A study published in Psychology Today revealed that dogs miss us more acutely when we’ve been away for longer stretches. The study, which compiled fMRI data on different dogs, found that canines have some grasp of time. According to the research, pooches greeted their Owners with more gusto after two hours than 30 minutes. However, when researchers measured the dogs after four hours, they found no difference. During these stints of separation, they also displayed negative emotions via their fMRI data.

In other words, dogs can start missing their Owners from the moment they part ways. After that, keep missing them more and more for up to two hours. Beyond the two hour mark, they begin a plateau of melancholy until they see their Owner again.

“Okay, fine,” I hear you say, “but do our dogs miss us, or do they just miss people in general?”

Science has an answer for that too. Another study provided dogs with three different scents: their Owner’s, someone familiar to them, and a stranger’s. In each case, the dog reacted the most positively to their Owner’s scent. Moreover, each pooch was willing to wait by the door when they could no longer detect their Owner’s scent. The same wasn’t true of the other two scents. Unsurprisingly, though, the pups showed more interest in the scent of the familiar person than the stranger.

They Ignore You or Don’t Pay Attention to You

It is also not uncommon for dogs to pretend like you dont exist when you are getting ready to leave. This is probably a coping mechanism. They might be busy licking their paws (not good!) or nervously chewing on a toy or doing something else a little bit obsessive and distracting. Some dogs are like this . . . and it can either be raising or breed dependent. Just because your dog isnt showing the obvious above signs doesnt mean they miss you. They may have gotten used to your routine and go and sit down in their bed when they know you are setting out for the day. While these good manners are impressive, they are still sad that you are gone!

Do Dogs Really Miss Us?

Unfortunately, many dogs are rehomed for a variety of reasons. There may be a change in the family’s financial or living situation, someone in the family has an allergy, or the owner realizes they simply aren’t ready to care for a dog. Many owners wonder whether their dogs will miss them once they’re rehomed. The answer is yes–dogs do miss their previous owners, but they will adjust and be happy with their new family eventually.