Tag Archives: bonded pair
Mini Cooper never allows Nine to sleep alone. Wherever he is, she finds him and pushes her way in. I have never had a cat that was so insistent on being with another cat. Nine tolerates her most of the time until he doesn’t. Deep down I think he loves having a little sister who adores him (or not!). Mom adores them both.
Sometimes I wonder if Louise and Sofie are a bonded pair. Louise was 1 when puppy Sofie came to live with us. They have been together almost their whole lives (they are now 6 and 7). They do not function well when the other is not near by. They work together as a team, especially when it comes to squirrels. They get mopey if the other is not around. Though they are not always next to each other, or even in the same room (for example: Louise sleeps in her kennel downstairs and Sofie on her dog bed upstairs), they don’t like if the other is not in the house. Charles is new to the pack, so they really don’t care much about him, and may never, but clearly, they get confused if the other is not in the picture.
Bonding to another animals comes in many varieties, some healthy and some unhealthy. Here are several different types of bonding that I have found:
Litter mate bonding (genetic). When pups are kept together to adulthood, they may become very codependent and throw tantrums when separated. There has been much written about the problem with litter mate bonding. Most literature warns that they may never be able to be independent of the other. I also read that they may not bond well with their human, because they are so bonded to each other.
Mother and child bonding (dam and offspring). When a pup stays with the Mom longer than 9 weeks, especially if the pup continues to nurse, there can be significant separate issues for both. The Mom can become overprotective and the pup could lack independence.
Work pack bonding (think sled dogs or herders). The dogs are not necessarily related genetically in this case. When dogs work together to carry out a task, they learn each others habits, and depend on each other to reach their goals. When not together, you can imagine that they may feel incomplete and lost.
Grief bonding. This is where an animal, who may have lost their long time pal, replaces that spot with either another animal in the existing family or a new friend. So, if you have 3 dogs and dog 1 & 2 are bonded, and dog #2 of that bonded pair dies, the mourning dog may bond to dog #3, even if they hated each other when dog #2 was alive.
Medical bonding. This is actually one of the reasons we got Louise. Squash was blind and we wanted another dog to help him get around better. Medical bonding is when you have one animal help another, especially when they are blind or deaf. These dogs not only bond because they are together so much, but one would clearly suffer if they are apart. Squash passed away in Louise’s first year, so I don’t think this bond got a chance to be that strong.
Trauma induced bonding. Dogs that have survived floods, tornadoes, puppy mills, even being placed in kennels together in a shelter, have been found to emotionally bond over their shared situation.
Inter-species bonding. These days we are seeing tons of photos on the internet of animals of different species that seem to be very emotionally tied to each other. If you have a cat and dog that have been together for 10 or more years, it would seem to reason that they would miss the other if separated. Is this a true bonded pair? All I know is that when one of the pack here at the Zoo disappears over the rainbow bridge (whether feline or canine) things do shift.
Are your pets bonded to another animal in your family? Tell us about it.