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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all new to the forum, I'm having a bit of an issue with my Malinois.

My girlfriend and I had gotten a couple of dogs about a year and a bit ago a boxer named Frey and a Mal named Tyr. A month ago we lost the boxer to sudden heart failure, I tried to bring him back with cpr and ultimately failed. It was a pretty tragic experience for us. We let our Mal say goodbye in the hopes he might understand.

So our current problem is getting Tyr to do anything. Trying to get him interested in playing or any form of exercise for more than a couple minutes has been getting pretty futile since Frey passed. He often just gets bored in a couple minutes and goes and lays down in the corner of the yard to pout. His lack of exercise is starting to have the negative affect of hurting his nose while he is kenneled. And being excessively clingy when he was reasonably independant previously.

Other than that he is well behaved aside from a bit of over excitement at guests which is being worked on.

Does anyone have any experience with a dog grieving the loss of a pack member? Any tips?
 

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Does anyone have any experience with a dog grieving the loss of a pack member? Any tips?
Lots. The only thing that really helps is getting the grieving dog a new canine companion that is similar as possible to the dog he lost. Even if he is initially annoyed by the newcomer, it's better to be annoyed than heartbroken, and the annoyance goes away after a while. I have even seen older, perhaps a bit senile, dogs come to see the newcomer as the dog they lost.

In my experience with clients who refused to do this, the dog had some recovery but was never the same afterward.

Relying on "time," "routines," and showing the dog his best friend's dead body is cruel.

Also, your Mal is not "pouting." He is heartbroken.
 

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Perhaps you can start doing things where he has no memory association reference to his best buddy Fray. Take him there and do something novel. nothing crazy, just unusual and unassuming but will peek his interest. Etc. make it short.

Our old girl seemed to settle pretty hard into the grieving slump when Dh heart dog passed. After a decent amount of time, it seemed to be becoming her new normal. It did have to be interrupted. But a month isn’t that long, our girl was going on four months.

I’m sorry for your loss.
 

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I can't say that I think letting him say goodbye was cruel. I think they understand more than you give them credit for. He was there when it happened anyways so its not like I could have shielded him from it. We do intend to get another boxer but through a proper breeder, which can take time. I doubt the dog would think a new dog is the same dog they lost.
 

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I don't advise getting another dog just because. You may wish to get another you may not but getting one for your dog could backfire badly.
When Sabi died Bud was grieving badly and I was worried about him. We let Shadow out to play with him thinking that it would do them both good. Thankfully I was not by myself because after a split second of startled immobility he tried to kill her. Literally grabbed her by her head and was trying to shake her.
Prior to Sabi's death I thought Bud was really good with other dogs. After her death he hated them. We tried, carefully, numerous times to let him and Shadow play and every time he went after her. Dogs that he had previously ignored on walks he would growl at, dogs that he had played with he ignored unless they got near him and then he would snap and growl.
I know too many people who got second dogs to help and ended up in a crate and rotate, with a dog they really did not want to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We do want a new dog in time. Breeders usually have wait lists anyways. The dog will be for us not just for Tyr. He still plays good with other dogs and pups. So no aggression yet.
 

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I will say he does seem to be slowly getting better. So I don't think he will stay that way. But I will try to get him out to do something new. He still enjoys walks and car ride but running and playing fetch was how I previously tired him out which he seems to not be interested in.
 

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I can't say that I think letting him say goodbye was cruel. I think they understand more than you give them credit for. He was there when it happened anyways so its not like I could have shielded him from it. We do intend to get another boxer but through a proper breeder, which can take time. I doubt the dog would think a new dog is the same dog they lost.
No, they understand far more than you give them credit for.

If the Boxer died in front of your Mal (new info), then of course you couldn't have shielded him from it. But there are folks who insist on dragging their dogs up to the dead bodies of their friends when the dogs have not seen their friend die.

My dogs have always known when I have taken a dog away to be euthanized, Sometimes they howl in anguish when I leave with the dog. They know the dog is sick and cannot be saved and will not be coming back. That is how much they understand.

I have also had dogs drop dead from hemangiosarcoma in front of their dog friends. This is much, much harder on the dogs than taking a dog away to be euthanized. Obviously you couldn't help it that your Boxer died in front of your Mal.

Whenever one of my dogs has lost a beloved dog companion, I have moved heaven and earth to get him a new compatible dog buddy as soon as possible. There are lots of good dogs and lots of good breeders, and it has never taken me more than two weeks. It was really inconvenient for me, but that didn't matter. I made it top priority. And I have never blown off a dog's grief as mere "pouting."

And whether you believe or not, an older, perhaps somewhat senile, dog can come to view a newcomer as the dog he lost. I have seen this happen at least half a dozen times.
 

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Look up urban agility or parkour (sp?) on you tube there should be a ton of different vids. I would think a Mal would be energized with that kind of walk. Just goes easy and on softer ground at first. Something new that you and he can do together easily enough.
 

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In the title and in the post I said the dog was grieving I am aware he is grieving. Pouting is a word I used to describe his behaviour. Could have easily used a number of words to describe it. But hopefully by the use of the word you were able to surmise how his grieving was manifesting. And yes I did fail to say that he was there. So my appologies. I didn't really describe Freys death here at all.
 

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And rereading your post I see that I originally misread the part about the senile dog seeing a new dog as his old friend. That I can understand. I thought is said dogs in general. Not sure how I misread that so badly. Again my appologies.
 

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In the title and in the post I said the dog was grieving I am aware he is grieving. Pouting is a word I used to describe his behaviour. Could have easily used a number of words to describe it. But hopefully by the use of the word you were able to surmise how his grieving was manifesting. And yes I did fail to say that he was there. So my appologies. I didn't really describe Freys death here at all.
And none of us have said it and that's pretty awful, but I am sorry for the loss of Frey. I'm sure you are grieving as well and Tyr is likely picking up on that as well. When I said routine I was referring to keeping his life as normal as possible, don't alter the things he is used to like feeding and walking times. Dogs are comforted by familiar routines and places.
That said, introducing him to a new activity is a great idea and might just be a perfect distraction.
 

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OK, Herby, here's the deal. I'm old and very crabby (natural consequence of getting older). I am guessing that you are young. So maybe you might be interested in some advice from an old crab.

As you get older, one of the biggest regrets you can have is not having done right by a dog. So you really want to avoid that.

I'm guessing here that money might be an issue with getting another Boxer right away for your Mal. Understandable that you would not want to post that as a reason - if that's what it is - on a public forum.

But a good quality Boxer doesn't have to cost a mint.

Your best bet might be a retired breeding Boxer female. These are often not very expensive - the breeder is mainly interested in a finding a good pet home. You can call some Boxer breeders, explain your situation, and ask if they have anything like that available or if they know someone who does. You would want to aim for a Boxer on the younger side, given the shorter life expectancy of Boxers. But some Boxer females are retired young from breeding because of a delivery catastrophe that resulted in a C-section and spay.

You can often get a really nice Boxer pup at a reasonable price from a family with a pair of nice Boxer family pets that they occasionally breed. Just make sure they've done the appropriate health testing. Places to look;

http://www.hoobly.com/search?q=BOXER

http://www.puppyfind.com/for_sale/?breed_id=26&back=%2Fbreed%2F%3Fbreed_id%3D26%26back%3D

http://marketplace.akc.org/puppies/boxer

Just make sure you meet the parents and that you're getting a Boxer and not a Pitbull or Pitbull mix.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend getting a Boxer from a rescue group, for two reasons. First, many rescue dogs have behavior problems (like dog aggression or worse) which you and your Mal do not need to deal with. Second, a lot of rescue groups pawn off Pitbulls as Boxers or Boxer mixes. And you are not looking for a Pitbull.

Many years ago, I made the mistake of getting a rescue male Whippet for my grieving female Whippet. He immediately attacked her. Back he went to the rescue group - which was furious that I didn't keep him - and I quickly found a retired show male Whippet who was perfect for her.

I strongly recommend that you get a sweet, good-natured, cheerful female Boxer. It's great that your two males were such excellent buddies, but male-female pairs are the safest bet.

Finding a reasonably priced Boxer like this will be a lot less trouble than hiking all over the place with your Mal trying to cheer him up. And it will make him a lot happier to have a Boxer babe.
 

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Bit younger yes. Closing in on 30 in a couple years.

I just released from the Army here in Canada. So money is tight but I just landed a decent higher paying job and money will not be an issue in a 2-3 weeks.

I do prefer to have male dogs as I find females to often be a bit on the grumpy side. But you may be onto something. I do want to do right by my dogs so I will work on getting him and ourselves a companion sooner rather than later.
 

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Bit younger yes. Closing in on 30 in a couple years.
I knew it! I haven't seen 30 in a very long time.

I just released from the Army here in Canada.
God bless you for your service to your country, and I really mean that.

I do prefer to have male dogs as I find females to often be a bit on the grumpy side. But you may be onto something. I do want to do right by my dogs so I will work on getting him and ourselves a companion sooner rather than later.
They can be, but Boxers are a whole different ball game.

When you do get a companion dog for your Mal and you, please do us all a favor and post some pics of the happy couple. We LOVE pics here. And happy endings.
 

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In time. It takes time. When our King Charles passed away Topper our chi crawled on her body and just layed there I had to take him off. He was sad for quite awhile it was heartbreaking. We just gave him lots of love. Our choice of the next pup kept getting larger and larger so I choose a gsd pup. A few months later we brought home Max - Topper he was not happy at all and I was not surprised. Topper went after Max At the first sight. It was a huge adjustment for him and I know not the easiest. We gave him much love and boundaries were set. He did adjust fine with time and now lives with two shepherds.


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Absolutely, they grieve.

Keep routine the same. Each dog is different.

I had one female who virtually laid around and slept for three weeks after putting down an older male who was the only other dog in the home.

I also had two sisters, plus another male. We put down one sister this April (2019) and while the other sister did mope around for two weeks, it wasn’t near as bad as the first time incident. Perhaps, because of her still having the other male in the home.

Give a little extra love and care, but they come through it just fine on the other end.

It’s a difficult situation, regardless. Best of luck with it.
 
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