My dog became an "only child" when my other dog passed away last year. He was so used to having a companion around for almost 12 years, so he had to adjust to being on his own, which didn't take long, surprisingly.
Dividing your attention with two dogs is tough, especially when one was jealous of the other. Now that my dog is just by himself, he's loving all of the attention and my one on one time with him has benefited him greatly!
My dog was never really socialized with other dogs due to the fact that he would get scared and try to act tough around them.
Last year, I started taking him outside more often and let him sniff out some of the smaller dogs in the neighborhood. It took a few tries, but after a few days, he made some friends! He now loves his outside time with the other dogs.
Plus, he gets to hunt for geckos--his favorite activity.
He's learned to be more vocal, too. It's interesting to see how much smarter he is, especially at the age of 12.5! He stands by his water bowl and barks when it's empty and if he's had enough outside time, he has this special angry bark he does.
He's on a better walking routine and lets me know, non verbally, when he wants to eat or go to the bathroom and he always lets me know at the same time every day. When he's tired, he climbs on me so I can hold him.
I think this is so interesting that even though dogs can't speak, we can still understand each other.
My dog has also learned to love car rides. This is all on his own and I'm not sure why he likes them, but he pulls me into the garage every time we go outside and he stands by the car door waiting to be driven around.
I can say, first hand, that he's a changed dog.
He's even more open to people coming near him. My once timid and crazy pup has turned into a more vocal and loving, bold one.
This goes to show that the more effort and love you put into owning a dog, the more they enjoy life and bond with you.