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The Lonely Dog

Animals  (tags: animals, dogs, loneliness, AnimalWelfare, pets, socializing )

- 2231 days ago -
Last spring Lori Taylor, 39, of Brooklyn, New York, was as happy as she'd been in recent memory. After being laid off eight months earlier, she had a new job, a steady paycheck, and somewhere to go every morning.


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Dee C (229)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 11:45 am
But the other member of Taylor's household—a two-year-old dachshund named Oliver—was markedly less excited. "Oliver had gotten used to me being home with him," said Taylor. "He kind of freaked out when that changed." Suddenly her landlord, who lived upstairs, was complaining that the once quiet Oliver was spending his late afternoon hours each day barking.

The pair could not remain in the apartment if something didn't change.

So Taylor consulted her veterinarian, who recommended as much exercise as she and her pooch could fit in. "I started getting up an hour earlier each day, and walking fast around the park with Oliver for that entire hour to wear him out. It was either try that or move. Luckily it worked."

Dr. Trisha Joyce, a veterinarian with New York City Veterinary Specialists, says canine exercise is often the first defense against loneliness and other emotional issues that lead to behavior problems in dogs. Below, Dr. Joyce weighs in on how to identify and ameliorate loneliness in your best doggy friend.

Do Dogs Get Lonely?

Dogs are social animals, and generally don't tolerate long periods of being alone. "Whether it's ‘lonely' as we feel it or not, we don't know, but they do exhibit signs that being alone is not good for them," says Dr. Joyce. Signs can include behaviors like barking, chewing furniture, excessive self-licking and soiling the house. "Different breeds have different tolerance for being alone," explains Dr. Joyce. "For example, border collies and other dogs bred to be on high alert are likely to be the most sensitive. Also younger dogs, or dogs accustomed to spending most of their time with others, won't likely respond as well to long periods of being alone."

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Stuart Thomas (497)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 2:33 pm
Noted. Thank you, Dee.

Christeen Anderson (312)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 2:48 pm
I don't believe any pets want to much alone time. Thanks.

Anne T (180)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 3:54 pm
Cats do not like being alone either! :)

Past Member (0)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 9:11 pm
Animals like humans need companionship. I think it's unhealthy and cruel to have only 1 animal--it should always be 2. Thx Dee

Dotti L (85)
Monday June 10, 2013, 7:46 pm
This article particularly interested me as I am a Doxie lover. My departed MAX was my last. I really believe that he understood when I could not take him with me. He did not bark when I was gone as reported by my neighbors. Oh, the joy for both MAX and me when I did return.

Mary R (280)
Monday June 10, 2013, 7:50 pm

Shirley S (187)
Monday June 10, 2013, 8:03 pm
I hope this post is read by the people who NEED to know such things.

Shawna S (45)
Monday June 10, 2013, 8:52 pm
I'm glad it worked out :)
Thanks for sharing Dee :")

Patricia H. (440)
Monday June 10, 2013, 9:30 pm

Leslene Dunn (84)
Monday June 10, 2013, 11:27 pm

kathy P (483)
Monday June 10, 2013, 11:30 pm
Noted `Thanks so much Dee for the message.

Irene S (69)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 2:11 am
Seems to be self evident.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 4:01 am
Don't leave any pet unattended or don't start keeping any

Kerrie G (116)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 5:03 am
Noted, thanks.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 5:12 am
Dogs should not be left alone like that.

Kerstin Strobl (123)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 5:27 am
Thank you for sharing Dee

Arlene Mirrisob (1)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 5:30 am
We were unable to choose one puppy from a litter so took two who grew up together and were like two parts of one animal, seeming to understand and have an unique bond. Since then we have always had two and they are much more settled when you have to leave them but ideally it should only be for a few hours maximum as they can and do get bored.!

Suzanne L (89)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 10:47 am
Thanks Dee. I think dogs, cats and many other animals can suffer from loneliness. Our cats spend little time without my husband or me, or both of us around. Once we went away overnight to attend a funeral and the next evening when we returned the 6 of them were huddled up together on the sofa. They were extremely glad to see us back.

Jo S (619)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 12:57 pm
Noted & shared.
Thanks Dee.

Rajee Seetharam (138)
Wednesday June 12, 2013, 5:15 am
Noted with thanks. Of course, dogs are so sensitive ... they'd be lonely if left by themselves.....

Carmen S (611)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 2:50 pm
Thanks Dee, I'm sure dogs and other animals that are social animals get lonely when they are all alone.

Oleg Kobets (87)
Wednesday October 30, 2013, 8:30 am
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