The vast majority of the time, your dog stares at you for the exact reasons you would expect: They want a tasty morsel, they want to go outside to play or to use the bathroom, or they're just curious about what you're doing. But the stare makes you feel uncomfortable or guilty, so you give in to make it stop. Why Does My Dog Always Follow Me? Dogs that are attentively staring towards their humans will learn faster and perform better. Sometimes, the reason why your dog stares at you is that he is monitoring your behavior in order to find out what is going on and how it will affect him. While it may make you uncomfortable, your dog is most likely fascinated by you. Dog trainer Mikkel Becker demonstrates how to teach your dog to play dead. And finally, if your dog runs away from home, yet every morning you find him leaving a mysterious gift in your front lawn, than your dog is probably stalking you. Why Does My Dog Stare at Me All the Time? Depending on the given situation and context, a dog owner can encourage or discourage certain types of staring. Your dog might be staring at you to read your facial expression and determine what he should do next. Whatever the scenario, dogs spend a great deal of time staring at humans. In many instances, a stare is normal dog behavior that is used to communicate some type of emotion, want or need. But dogs can — and do — stare at their owners for plenty of non-food issues, too. Aggressive stares signal a behavioral problem. You could have a really intriguing odor on you. Second, if you keep your dog in your backyard, and he constantly looks in your window, he’s probably stalking you–and stop keeping your dog in the backyard, it’s not 1975 anymore. See things from your pet’s perspective. Rather, it’s because they’re thinking they might get something. In the beginning, the dog would have stared simply out of interest. Dogs have several reasons for staring at their owners, like to communicate with and understand us. As you go about your daily activities, you might notice your dog quietly staring at you. If you catch your dog staring at you, it’s likely for one of the following reasons. Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why a dog paces around the house. You can also teach your dog alternative ways to communicate that aren’t quite so puzzling as staring. When your dog is well-trained, he will stare at you to wait for a cue. For example, if you’re going for a walk and approach a crosswalk, your dog may stare up at you to determine if he should sit or continue walking. Another dog, cat or really just about any other animal will prompt curiosity from your pup.She gets a lot more data from her sense of smell than she does any other sense, and she may be taking in all there is to know about the other animal that you came into contact with. Other than mealtime, your dog may stare at you because he wants to play or because the toy he’s playing with has gotten stuck under something, and he needs you to fish it out for him. We examine some of the emotional and biochemical reasons why dogs stare … That means they stare at us a lot to gain knowledge about their environment. If you become aware of your reaction to your dog’s staring behavior and eliminate any rewards, your dog will eventually try new behaviors to get your attention. While velcro dogs are constantly glued to their owner’s hip, … For example, are you saying sit with your words but something completely different with your body language? So rather than discouraging that human-centric focus, you can make it work for both of you. If your dog appears to be confused or lost and simply sits and stares into space, it may be a sign of a severe thought process problem, which is known as “doggie dementia” or Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD). Some of these reasons are normal and healthy, and some are symptoms of an underlying behavioral problem. Most dog staring is a combination of affection and attention. Seek consultation with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist to correct this problem. Maybe your dog stares at you while enjoying a chew toy or bone. Your first instinct might be to feel self-conscious; is my hair hopelessly disheveled? When you eat, is your dog staring up at you expectantly? Why is My Dog Pacing Back and Forth? Finally, consider using that intense eye contact to give you a performance boost at dog sports. More than almost any other animal on earth, dogs are in tune with humans. In their wolf ancestors, staring is considered threatening and rude. Puppy Development Any medical problems should be treated first, and then, if necessary, you can gently retrain your dog to reestablish normal sleeping and waking hours. She is probably trying to read your body language, seeing if you are paying attention and anticipating good things. Aggression in dogs toward familiar people is a frustrating situation that dog owners may face during the ownership of their companion. Sports like AKC Rally or Agility depend on teamwork. Need some help training your dog? Anastasia Basano/Flickr. In many cases, your dog is staring because he wants to get your attention for something. First this: "What" vs. "Why" Questions by Doug Parker on Non Sequitur Posts. Let’s face it: Dogs love their owners, but when they stare expectantly, it’s not usually because they’re trapped in a reverie of devotion. And usually, that “something” involves a tasty snack. But, rather than assuming the worst when the question, “Why does my dog stare at me?” runs through your head, rest assured that your dog’s stare is not a judgment of your personal appearance. Staring at you can also be a sign that your dog wants to be let outside. Longing Eyes: Your Dog Wants Something Most of the time that you catch your dog staring into your soul, it’s because you’ve got something she wants. Dogs also wait for more deliberate cues from their owners. This is when dog staring behavior is a problem. If you are eating, moving around or if your dog is hungry or wants to be played with then they may stare at you so that you pay them some attention. A better approach is to teach your dog what you would like instead. If the dog stares long enough, the owner will hand over a morsel of their meal. Training and dog sports are good ways to turn focused staring behavior into a positive experience. Some dogs stare to manipulate their owners and get something they want. Most times they do this, there’s a reason behind it. And in sports like Obedience and AKC Trick Dog, dogs need to learn very specific and exact behaviors, then execute them without being distracted. With an affectionate stare, a dog will have a soft expression on his face with his eyes slightly squinted. A quick search for why dogs stare at walls reveals a lot of speculation about paranormal activity, which is fueled by plenty of popular horror movies. For the most part, eye contact between dogs is a challenge… It’s the canine equivalent of a tap on the shoulder. This chemical plays an important role in bonding and boosts feelings of love and trust. No wonder our dogs like to stare at us all the time. For example, if you have a worried expression on your face, your dog may decide to cuddle up next to you to try to comfort you. Dogs follow us for a variety of reasons. But most of the time they are either communicating with us or waiting for us to communicate with them. Context is everything when it comes to dog staring. Up there on the list of "but seriously why" behaviors dogs engage in is the deep eye contact they seem intent on making… Before you stare back too long or pull a funny face back at your dog, be aware that staring directly into a dog’s eyes can be considered a direct challenge. An attentive dog is a blessing. Why is my dog having a staring contest with me? And there you have it- the dog has learned a new way to communicate. T4A2A, Benjamin. If a dog gives you a hard stare, with unblinking eyes and a stiff posture, back away and don’t make eye contact. 1) Over-excitement. The pet parent may wonder, “Why on earth is my dog staring at me when he poops?”. If your dog needs to relieve himself, he’ll be staring at you to communicate his need to go outside. First, be aware of the signals you give your dog. © The American Kennel Club, Inc. 2020. Have you ever felt your dog’s eyes following you, like they’re watching your every move? 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