Do Dogs Miss Their Owners? You Won't Believe How They Feel!

Do Dogs Miss Their Owners? You Won’t Believe How They Feel!

Every time I see my dog’s happiness when he sees me, I feel bad thinking about leaving them alone while I am away. So, I thought about finding answers to the question most dog owners have; Do dogs miss their owners? Let’s get started!

My favorite part of the day is coming home after work because my pet dogs are always there to welcome me. No matter how long and exhausting the day was, they never failed to light up my mood with affection. If you own a pet dog, I am sure you can relate to this situation.

What makes them so excited to see you after a while? Dogs are exceptional domestic animals capable of making a strong emotional bond with humans. The closer they stay to you, the fonder they get of you.

So when you get a part, dogs start missing you, which can be clearly seen through their enthusiastic behavior after seeing you, although you’ve been absent for a short time.

Do dogs miss their owners? Yes, they do. Dogs can handle alone time, but they typically prefer companionship. When owners are not around, dogs will surely miss them, but not all dogs deal with this similarly. Also, whether you’re being distant for a short or longer period will significantly matter in deciding how much a dog will miss you.

Dogs spontaneously get excited pretty much every time they see their owners, which is a general characteristic among dogs. It is also a way of them indicating that they missed you.

However, suppose you are absent around the dog for a long time, perhaps a few days, weeks, or months. In that case, dogs will start missing you more often, which could also lead them to have separation anxiety. 

When we have a pet dog at home, we try to spend as much as possible time with them, but it is not possible and practical to spend the entire day with the pet.

Since dogs are highly emotional creatures, it is not unusual to miss their owners. But how much they will miss you, how long they will miss you and how it will impact them could change under different circumstances.

Do dogs really miss their owners?

Dogs are social animals and don’t usually prefer to be left alone. Growing up in a home, dogs develop strong emotional bonds with their human family; therefore, the dog will undoubtedly miss you when you are not around.

Having a dog does not mean that one should completely change their daily routine and be there around the dog all day long.

While having a dog, we also have to engage in our usual routines, including going to work, going on vacation, etc.

Dogs eventually learn to be alone when owners are not around; they would miss you; still, they learn to cope. However, this will not be the same if you are distant from the dog for an extended period. 

Many studies have been conducted to prove that dogs miss you severely when you are absent for a long period. In simple terms, the more you keep your distance, the more they will miss you.

A study published in Psychology Today demonstrates that how dogs greet their owners after two hours differs from seeing them after thirty minutes.

When they see the owner after thirty minutes, they would still greet with excitement, but after two hours, you can see more excitement in the dog.

Moreover, when dogs’ reaction was measured after four hours, there was no particular difference. So this explains that a dog would miss its owner whether it is a short or a long period.

But how much they are going to miss the owners’ changes depending on how long they’ve been apart. In the meantime, dogs also adjust to some extent to stay alone when owners are not around. 

How long do dogs miss their owners?

There is no precise answer to how long a dog misses their owners. The answer depends on many factors, including how long you’ve been apart and the dog’s emotional state.

Generally speaking, dogs usually miss their owners from the moment they part away and will keep missing them more as time passes.

Most of the time, the dog misses their owner the most for up to two hours, and eventually, they will get used to it. This can be clearly understood through the research mentioned in the previous sub-section.

This does not give the notion that dogs would not miss their owner once the two-hour line marks, but they will wait patiently till they see the owner again. 

What if you are absent around the dog, not for a couple of hours, maybe for a few days, weeks, or months? As such, some dogs eventually learn to deal with the emotional feeling of missing their owners.

Still, there are possibilities that dogs may miss you a lot and have to undergo separation anxiety. 

Do dogs get depressed when their owner is away?

None of us would like to stay away from our loved ones. The feeling of being apart from loved ones is monotonous and also upsetting.

When we have to be apart from someone close to us, there are chances that we might get depressed. This applies the same to dogs.

Dogs don’t have a developed mind as much as humans; therefore, dogs tend to quickly get depressed when they are separated for a long time from their owners. 

Leaving the dog for a short period of time will not make them depressed. They will miss you; still, it will not mentally impact them severely, especially if you train the dog to be distracted and keep themselves occupied when they are alone.

The more you train the dog, the more it learns to cope when owners are not around. Let’s assume you had to leave the dog for a few weeks or months; this might change things.

It might get bothered when the dog starts feeling you are not around for a long time. This condition is commonly known as separation anxiety; as a response, some dogs could get lethargic and pace themselves, while others could behave destructively. 

Do dogs miss their owners when they die?

It is not bizarre that dogs miss their owners when they die. Grief is a common emotion that dogs have to deal with, especially when their owners pass away.

I don’t have to stress much about dogs’ solid bond with humans. When their owners die, they might not completely understand that they are forever gone.

Still, surprisingly they feel the emotional state that the owner will no longer be a part of their life. 

Some dogs will wait for a while, believing the owner will come back, but when they miss their owner’s sight, sense, and the routine they follow, they will soon start to mourn.

There is a high chance that dogs could become depressed, and their everyday behavior will change significantly.

Losing someone close to us is not easy to deal with. Just like humans grieve, dogs also grieve when they lose their owners. 

Do dogs remember their owners forever?

Unless there are specific circumstances, dogs typically remember their owners forever. You might already know that dogs have extremely powerful senses.

Hence it will not take much time for a dog to remember people and incidents that they are emotionally attached to.

When you bring home a dog, they will eventually create a solid connection with you and get used to your presence. Sight and sense are the two key components that help a dog to remember someone.

Dogs can smell things way stronger than humans, making it critical for them to remember the owner for the rest of their lives, which several studies have proved.

There might be times when you have to keep your distance from the dog; perhaps for a few days, weeks, months, or even years, still your dog will always have a place for you in their heart.

However, sometimes with aging and other concerts, dogs could face mental illnesses such as dementia, possibly leading them toward memory loss.

This is not very common among dogs, but it could happen. Anyways most of the time, dogs remember their owers forever. 

Final thoughts 

Dogs are extraordinary animals for countless reasons. They make perfect human companions thanks to their affectionate, amicable, loyal, protective personalities.

The emotional bond that dogs and humans create is beyond words. Therefore, your dog will usually miss you when you are not around, and vice versa.

When you leave your dog alone for some time, they start missing you, which you can easily understand by how they react once you return.

You might just go to the grocery store only for a few hours; still, your dog will greet you with lots of excitement and enthusiasm when they see you again.

Although they miss their owners, dogs can be on their own for a short time and learn to cope more through proper training.

This could be different if you leave the dog for an extended period; while some eventually adjust to it, most dogs find it difficult; they may also experience separation anxiety.

Long story short, dogs do miss their owners.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your pet friend.


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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