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can a dog get emotionally or mentally scarred

from seeing a traumatic event? i'm concerned about our standard poodle. she has always been a very sensitive, sweet loving dog. although she isn't submissive or timid. confident & smart dog. recently ever since the death of our shih tzu she has been acting really weird. moody & just looking depressed. she doesn't ask for pets as much & is off by herself a lot. she was with our shih tzu when the attack occurred. my son said while i was rushing dog to vet that she seemed confused & traumatized. so i wonder if she is. i tried looking online but only found info on dogs that have been abused by owners & such, not any experiences where they witness scary events. what do you think? is there anything i can do for her? are dogs smart enough to know what occurred? our other dogs heard her cry as she was being attacked & although they seem like they miss her i don't think they know anything just that she is gone. could they feel me upset


Asked by melody77 at 2:55 PM on Oct. 8, 2010 in Pets

Level 18 (5,435 Credits)
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Answers (5)
  • Yes...I had 2 bischon's a male and female and they both got out...the male ended up getting hit by a car and she was right there...She was depressed for a few months and mainly moped around the house. Never played or anything. I hated it. We tried to get another one but she hated the new dog and wanted nothing to do with him. Just give her lots of loving. She needs it....and it sounds like you do to.

    Answer by Shelii at 3:20 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • Heck yeah! Epecially over the loss of a family member. One of her pack met with tragedy and she knows it. Dogs are very smart when it comes to relationships. I'm sure she's mourning, but I can't offer advise on how to help. Good luck!

    Answer by silversmom at 2:59 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • I think dog's can sense when you're upset or bothered. I have a shih tzu and she's not left my side since my fiance left me and my boys a few days ago. I'm not sure if what your dog witnessed has scarred her, but I'm sure she may be feeling loss....dogs are quite intelligent and it wouldn't surprise me that they can also be scarred by things they've had to witness.

    Answer by LynnB1 at 2:59 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • My dog died after our fist dog died, 2 weeks apart. They do know, and get depressed. Mine died of a broken heart!

    Answer by MamaMelMel at 3:01 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • Of course they can. Happy and angry are not the only emotions they feel. They can be sad, depressed and lonely as well, especially over the loss of a family member. she isn't just reacting off of your emotions.. she has her own.

    Answer by HeatherReneeB at 3:09 PM on Oct. 8, 2010