Have you been wondering “why does my dog stare at me?” – if so we’ll answer you question here!
Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? Whatever room you’re in, you may just feel a pair of eyes deeply fixed on you. No, it’s not a dangerous predator – it’s just your dog!
If you’re wondering “why does my dog stare at me”, then you’ve come to the right place. It may have been adorable the first few times, but now you’re genuinely worried that something might be wrong. Before you freak out, don’t worry! There are plenty of reasons why your dog may stare at you, and we’ll explore those in just a minute.
Whether it’s attention or food they’re after, soon you’ll have all the answers to that burning question: “why does my dog stare at me?”.
“Why does my dog stare at me?”
The first answer to the question “why does my dog stare at me?” – might be confusion. You may be familiar with that adorable little head tilt that dogs do when they’re confused. Well, often that tilt comes with a long stare. When your dog stares at you like this, they’re trying to figure out what you want. This is essentially their way of communicating with you! If you see this stare, then it’s a good opportunity to return to basic training methods so that your dog can understand what you want more clearly.
With dogs, communication and patience is key, so if you find yourself wondering why your dog stares at you, then just head back to basics! This is quite a common answer to the question “why does my dog stare at me?”.
Your dog wants direction
The next answer to “why does my dog stare at me?” – could be that your dog is waiting for instruction. This is a common reason for really well-trained dogs who are used to directions from their owners. If your dog isn’t sure what’s going on, then they may stare at you to ask for direction. This is somewhat related to confusion, but it tends to appear most when you’re teaching your dog new tricks or heading to new areas.
So, if your dog is looking for guidance on where to go or what to do next, then they may stare at you to encourage you to take the lead.
They want something!
Another reason for your dog staring at you is that they simply want something. You’ve heard of the phrase “puppy dog eyes”, right? Well, that’s your dog’s secret weapon! If you’re holding a toy, or some food, then your dog may stare at you as a way of saying “I want that”! It’s deeply instilled in a dog’s psyche that staring at humans can get them what they want, and as they can’t exactly verbalise what they’re after, they’ll probably just stare you down to get what they want.
Though it can be a bit disconcerting, your dog staring at you to get what they want is better than them barking at you. This is quite a sweet answer to the question “why does my dog stare at me?” – because it means they’re after your direction and guidance!
Dogs quickly learn that staring at their humans can get them attention. Again, it goes back to that puppy dog eye effect – eye contact is not a natural dog behaviour, but they will instinctively stare at you once they realise it gets them attention, love, or food!
Of course, they might need attention to go to the toilet or get outside, so keep a keen eye on your dog’s individual behaviour to try and give them the attention they’re after. And hey, they may just be bored and looking for a bit of extra loving! This is another common answer to the question “why does my dog stare at me?”.
Your dog is tense
One of the more unpleasant dog stares that you might encounter is a tense dog stare. Of course, this doesn’t mean that your dog is angry or off with you, but it does indicate that your dog is feeling threatened. This stare is more common with dogs that don’t belong to you (for example, if you’re petting a dog in a park and you see this stare – it’s best to back off!), however, if your dog is feeling particularly anxious, they may look at you with a hard stare before they nip at you.
Luckily, this stare isn’t very common as it’s often a sign of aggression. So, if you see your dog staring at you like this frequently, it’s time to assess their behaviour or take them to a vet to see if anything is wrong.
They love you!
Time of the nicest and most common answer to “why does my dog stare at me?” – they love you! One of the major reasons that your dog stares at you is because they love you! Apparently, dogs and humans both release the hormone oxytocin when they stare at each other. While you may be sat there thinking “why does my dog stare at me?”, you can probably rest assured that they’re just trying to convey that they love you. If you’re not sure, keep an eye out for tail wagging and a relaxed expression.
Though you probably won’t catch your dog staring at you when they’re prancing around or in the middle of a meal, if you’re enjoying a quiet evening on the sofa, then this may well be the reason why they’re staring. This is the most lovely of answers to “why does my dog stare at me?” – and it’s probably the most common too.
We hope that this guide to dogs and their behaviour has helped to answer the question: “why does my dog stare at me?”.
As you can see, there are plenty of interesting reasons for dogs staring at their owners. If you can learn to read your dog’s patterns, you can keep your bond safe, healthy, and meaningful.
Which reason for staring fits your dog the best? Let us know!