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Why Does My Dog Stare at Me?


Have you probably noticed that as you go about your day your dog seems to be staring at you? You may think it’s weird and feel awkward and wonder what the heck is going on. Is something amiss about my clothes? My hair? What?

However, instead of just figuring something crazy is going on, when you wonder why your dog is staring at you, don’t worry! He isn’t silently judging how you look.

Dogs have established a close-knit, domesticated association with people in last several thousand years. That association lets our pups get very good and watching and knowing how to respond to people’s behavior.

Lots of time, staring is something normal that a dog will do if it wants to tell you something is going on, he needs something or he wants something. So, if you notice your pup looking at you, likely he wants or needs something or it’s for one of these reasons:

Expectation or Need

Does your dog stare at you while you are eating something? He just hopes you will either drop something or offer him part of your meal. Regrettably, this kind of behavior from your dog is something he likely learned from you. If you’ve ever given him a taste when you are eating something, then he will expect that to happen every time you are eating.

Except for food, your pup might be staring at you if he wants you to play with him. Or perhaps his toy went under the couch and he wants you to retrieve it. Your pup also may need to go to the bathroom and so he’s staring at you to let you know he wants outside.

In Need Of Leadership

If you have a well-trained pup, likely he is staring at you in anticipation of what you are going to ask him to do. For instance, if you’re on a walk and get to the curb, your pup might look at you to see if he’s supposed to sit down or keep going. Your pup wishes to make you happy, therefore when he stares at you it means he is asking for your input on what he’s supposed to do next.

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Demonstrating Love

Dogs love us unconditionally. If you have a close, loving bond with your pup, then he may stare at you just to show how much he loves you.

If that’s the reason, he’ll likely squint his eyes slightly and have a softened kind of look on his face. Actually, studies have revealed that if a dog stares at you lovingly, it will raise oxytocin levels, which is what is called the love hormone.


Needs Protection

When your dog goes to the bathroom, he might stare at you as he goes. You may think that is weird, I mean, why the heck would a dog do that?

The facts are that in the wild when dogs have to relieve themselves, they are fairly defenseless at that moment. So, your pup is staring at you to get reassurance that you’re going to protect him while he is doing his business.

Reading The Expression on Your Face

Dogs are great at figuring out what our expressions mean. So, if he’s staring at you it could be so he can figure out what you want him to do. For instance, if you look worried, he may think it’s a good time to snuggle up to you to provide some comfort.

Exhibiting Aggression

If this is the reason your pup is staring at you, then this is not a good thing. If you have a dog who’s very possessive of his things, like food or a toy, he may give a hard stare or even growl at you to make you back away. If a dog does this kind of stare, you should not keep up the stare, and you should back off slowly.

An aggressive type of stare means your dog has a bad behavior issue. You need to talk with either a veterinarian an animal behavior specialist.

Overall, when dogs stare it’s for some kind of good and positive communication. But if he is staring due to aggression, you need to get some help from a professional to address the problem.


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