Over thousands of years, dogs and humans have developed a very close relationship. This bond has taught animals to observe and respond to human behavior. In many cases, staring is a normal behavior, used to communicate some kind of emotion, desire, or need. If you want to finally understand what a stare really means and stop wondering “Why does my dog stare at me?” you will find the answers to all your questions below.
Waiting for a Command
If you spend a lot of time training your dog, it may be looking at you, waiting for a command. If you are going for a walk and are approaching a crosswalk, your pet may look at you to determine if he should stop or keep walking. It wants to please you, so gaze will serve to ask what he should do next to keep you happy. This is a good response, a trained dog should always look to his owner for signals.
Manifestation of Affection
Dogs can use their gaze to show their feelings. Exchanging glances not only makes it easier to understand each other’s intentions but also helps to establish a partnership. Apparently, an “oxytocin loop” occurs when a dog and a human make eye contact. Scientists have suggested that gazing into the eyes of the host as a form of social contact arose during domestication and evolved over the course of co-evolution. The gaze stimulates the release of oxytocin in the owner, making it easier for the dog to interact and communicate in a friendly way. This is how pets have gained human affection.
Need for Protection
When a dog defecates, it can often look at its owner during the process. This raises the question, “Why does my dog stare at me”. When dog looks at me while pooping, it becomes relatively defenseless. At such times, they may look at us to make sure that in case of danger, we can come to their defense.
Learning Your Facial Expression
Dogs are great at reading and interpreting human facial expressions. Your pet may be watching you to understand your emotions and determine what to do next. For example, if you look worried, your pet may cuddle and try to reassure you.
Dogs look each other in the eye to establish dominance or show aggression. If the pet looks at the person with a steady stare without blinking, it may be warning the person to back off. For instance, your dog is claiming an object (a toy or a bowl of food) in which case he may look at you with a heavy stare, warning you to step back. Such body language should tell you to immediately step back and break eye contact.
When determining the reason for the dog staring, reading body language is important. Here are some signs that a pet may be looking at you aggressively:
- Dilated pupils;
- Warped grin;
- Ears tilted forward;
- A raised tail;
- If your dog’s forehead is frowning, he is most likely looking aggressive.
Your pet is more likely to do this to a stranger, especially if it thinks he needs to protect you. If your dog looks at you or a family member aggressively, it may indicate a more serious behavioral problem. Aggressive or territorial animals can be a danger to people. Talk to your veterinarian or animal behaviorist about how to correct this problem.
If your dog standing still and staring when it’s approaching dinner time or walk time and you’re still sitting, he’s just trying to get attention. The pet may be waiting and looking at you for one reason only: she’s interested in what you’re going to do next; whether you’re going to interact with her. This is the most common reason.
Why do dogs stare at you when you eat? The answer is simple. My dog stares at me creepy when wants something. If a pet is watching you during a meal, it’s just waiting for you to share treats with it. This behavior is usually a result of your pet’s upbringing. If you give your friend treats or food while you are eating yourself, he’ll learn to expect a reward every time you start dinner. Your pet may look at you because he wants to play or needs to relieve himself (to go outside).
In some cases, your dog may look at you pleadingly. If they are hurt or sick, they may stare in hopes that you will notice their discomfort. If your pet is less active than usual and their gaze seems unfocused, check for signs of injury or illness.
How Do You Learn to Understand Your Dog?
Most people intuitively understand the basic meanings of body movements and can tell when their pet is happy, frightened, or angry. After all, dogs are very willing to express their emotions – both with their gaze and with their body language.
- Animals don’t particularly like direct eye contact, but if they’ve lived with people for a long time, they begin to understand that looks don’t necessarily mean challenge. Dog looking down and averting his eyes, according to his canine habits, is simply trying to be polite;
- Eyes wide open and if the dog looks away, concentrating on someone or something, and the whites (sclerae) of his eyes are visible, it is a sign of anxiety and worry. If your friend shows other signs of aggression, it’s best to leave him alone to calm him down, or check and eliminate the object provoking the animal’s defensive behavior;
- If your dog is constantly licking his lips without looking at his food bowl, he is trying to convey feelings of fear, stress, or nervousness. It is definitely scary or uncomfortable. In such a situation, this can also be expressed by other signals, such as rapid breathing, tail wedged between his legs, or eyes wide open;
- A wagging tail means that the dog is interested in the interaction. A quick and brisk wagging is usually a good, friendly gesture, while a slow wagging can be a sign that the dog is wary and agitated.
- A tail tucked between the legs indicates that the dog is anxious or frightened. Anxious and fearful pets hide their tail between their legs when they are in an environment that is unfamiliar to them or when they meet new people or animals. This is usually a sign of their insecurity and defenselessness;
There is nothing to worry about in almost any situation, as dog staring is a perfectly normal part of canine life. Although some people may find this pet stare uncomfortably. Veterinarians point out that if you are absolutely certain that your dog is looking at you out of love or wants something, you can respond with a loving look. However, if it’s not your pet and you don’t know him well, you should never look back. If you have any questions about your dog’s behavior or have reason to be concerned about his “staring” talk to your veterinarian about it.