Do Dogs Miss Their Owners? Cute Puppy Facts All Families Should Know

Christian Mba
Oct 20, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Nov 02, 2021
Woman hugging her adorable golden retriever dog at home
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.8 Min

Puppies are juvenile dogs that belong to the Canidae family.

Despite the human-dog relationship which has existed for more than a few hundred years now, we still might not be experts in handling them. To understand how our dog truly feels, we must pay close attention.

The binomial name of dogs, Canis familiarise, was given by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist in 1758. The evidence revealing the domestication of a dog was 14,223 years old. A man and a woman were buried along with their dog.

There is a wide variety of dogs with around 450 recognized dog breeds throughout the world. The behavior of a dog can have a lot to do with humans.

Dogs also miss us more than we miss them. Yes, dogs miss us right from the moment we step out of our house. A dog hates being alone.

Dogs need a lot of attention and care and you have to play with them almost every minute. When they are so attached, they also form a deep emotional bond with their owners, and being separated from them might not have a positive effect on them.

A dog misses its owners. Did you know dogs never forget the scent of their owner? Once they get a whiff of that familiar scent, no one can stop them from jumping around in happiness.

Continue reading for more fun facts and be sure to check out our other articles on do dogs have taste buds and why do dogs howl when you howl.

Do dogs miss their previous owners?

Pet dogs experience a wide range of emotions when there is a sudden change in the environment and people around them.

Dogs are very loyal and affectionate animals. They form deep connections and emotional bonds with their owners. All of this can happen in a brief span of time. Dogs miss their owners even when they step out for a while.

They are eagerly waiting at the door for their owners to return. This shows that they are capable of missing their owners. Young dogs easily adapt to new things. This is why you are always advised to adopt a puppy.

Dogs are just like humans. The longer they spend time with someone, the more they get attached to the person. As previously said, they are very loyal. So the answer is, yes, they miss their owners.

Almost all dogs show a lot of signs which imply that they miss their owners. They are deeply affected by the separation. This separation can also instigate several behavioral changes.

For instance, some dogs become extremely quiet and do not show much interest in playing or eating. Some might stop eating at all. This is because all of these actions remind them of their previous owners or the owner's behavior, which comforted them.

Contrary to this, some dogs become hyperactive. Dogs do not take separation well. They do not know how to deal with it and can become very confused.

They might start panting and whining a lot. It is very important for you to understand their feelings and smother them with love and care. These behaviors will slowly vanish once they start forming a bond with their new owner.

How long does a dog miss its owner?

Pet dogs start missing the owner right from the moment they step out of the house. They can't be left alone even for a while. The longer it takes for the owner to return, the sadder they get.

Dogs don't actually forget their owners. This is why they are said to be a man's best friend.

They have a lot to remember, like the care, love, and affection from the owner. If you adopt a dog, the dog doesn't miss their previous owners as much after one to two years.

This only happens if they have absolutely no contact with the previous owners. When you adopt a dog, you are practically a stranger to it.

Dogs can easily differentiate people based on the scent and sounds they make. When the scent of a person is not similar to that of the ones they are familiar with, they become defensive. They recognize the absence of the previous owner, but never fully understand it.

This is why it takes time to move on from their previous owners. An adopted dog can adjust to the new surroundings in six to eight weeks.

A pet dog will get used to the new owner in a month or two. Though they seem positive and are happy with the new owners, they still miss their old owners.

Fun fact: Dogs feel all the basic emotions like joy, anger, fear, and disgust. Dogs do not know to hate someone. They, of course, dislike certain people and it can be obvious from their behavior, but they never hate anyone. A dog is simply that innocent.

Dog at window waiting for his owner

How do dogs act when they miss their owner?

Dogs can exhibit a wide range of emotions and behavioral changes when they miss their owners. There are a few signs which indicate that your dog misses you. These are:

Crying: The moment they see you getting ready to go out or walking out of the door, they become sad and start whining. Some dogs won't even let the owner pass the gate.

They jump on you and do everything possible to stop you from walking out of that door. This is a very common sign which indicates that they miss you when they are left alone.

Waiting At The Door: Returning home and seeing your dog wait at the door for you is one of the best feelings. They start greeting you by licking and asking you to play with them.

Body Language: If you are a dog person, you probably know that dogs smile when they see you after a while. They also shake their backs in happiness. They lean in for a hug, which implies that they are happy to see you.

Cuddling: You must have heard this from other family members. Your dog cuddles your shoes or clothes when you are away. This just means that they miss your presence in the house.

Following: Sometimes your dogs might follow you like stalkers. This is because they have missed you for the whole day and don't want to let you out of their sight.

Trouble: Dogs are attention seekers. They don't like being left alone and can make a mess to simply grab your attention. But keep tabs on their destructive behaviors while you are away, as this might be a sign of separation anxiety.

Anxiety And Depression: Some dogs might show serious signs of anxiety and depression when kept away from their owners for a long period. The absence can have a serious effect on their mental health.

They might even go on for days without eating and keep waiting for the owner's return. Pay close attention to your pets if they stop eating suddenly or become very quiet.

Do dogs have memories?

Dogs have a type of declarative memory. They are capable of recalling memories from the past.

Dogs can remember someone for their entire life. They can easily recognize a person with whom they have associated in the past based on the smell and memories.

A lot of daily incidents show that they have an excellent memory. For example, when you are training your dog, you give treats every time your dog greets you or shakes your hand.

This is registered in its memory. The next time your dog greets you, it automatically looks at your hand, expecting treats.

Another common example is when you take your keys or put on your shoes before taking them for a walk, they carefully notice these things. The next time they hear your keys jiggle or watch you put on your sneakers, they jump around in happiness and get excited, thinking that you are taking your dog for a walk.

Dogs have two kinds of memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. The short-term memory of dogs lasts only for a few seconds, mostly for a minute.

This is why dogs don't take punishments well. They cannot register the wrongful act and its consequences easily as they have already forgotten peeing on the carpet way before you punish them. Punishing a dog can only work if you catch it while doing something wrong.

Long-term memory works by registering a particular smell or sound with a particular behavior or person. This automatically happens when a dog spends a lot of time with a person.

With proper training, a dog can also find its way back home if it is lost. They also use declarative memory to recall things from the past.

A dog can never tell the exact time or remember the exact day it met you. Dogs have difficulty traveling forward and backward in time. This is why even when you come home after taking a short walk, your dog still gets excited the same way.

When an owner passes away, the dog can still recall all the memories associated with the person for a very long time. Therefore, a dog misses its owner and often feels sad.

Did you know, dogs never forgive abusers. While they might get over the hurt and pain over time, they never forget the incident itself.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for do dogs miss their owners then why not take a look at why do dogs paw at you or miniature American shepherd facts pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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