Staring by your dog is typically considered to be a good thing. So more often than not, if you are wondering “why is my dog staring at me?” it’s not something to worry about. But understanding why he is staring at you, will help you to know your dog even better and maybe give you an inkling to what is going on in his head.
They want something
And that something could be anything from a walk, or to go out to the loo. It could be that he’s hungry and wants his dinner. Or it could be that you’re sat at the table eating your dinner and he’s staring at you because he fancies a bit of what you’re eating! If you want this behaviour to stop, don’t give in but rather give him something to keep him occupied whilst you eat.
My dog staring could be reading me!
Sometimes our dogs stare at us because they are waiting to see what’s happening next. We are the decision makers in their lives. When it’s time to eat, to go for a walk or to play a game. So it may be that your dog is staring at you to get clues. Are you going to pick up the lead? Are you going to get his dinner ready?
The look of love
Quite often, your dog is staring at you for the simple reason that he loves you. Our dogs find us fascinating and will stare at us as an expression of affection. In the same way that lovers may stare at each other. This type of staring can release the chemical, oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. This chemical is important for bonding and boosts feelings of trust.
Is my dog staring at me with aggression?
Occasionally, a staring dog must be heeded as a sign of aggression. As descendants of wolves, who used staring as a threat, this potential may be a possibility. Never stare down a strange or unknown dog. And never hold your dog still to stare into their eyes. If a dog gives you a hard stare, accompanied with unblinking eyes and a stiff stance, retreat or back away and don’t make eye contact. You might see this in your own dog when there is a bone or other valued treat at stake. Early training of removing treats or toys from their mouths when they are puppies will help to avoid aggression in later years. If this is a behaviour you are seeing regularly and are worries about, get in touch with a dog trainer.
In most situations, if your dog is staring at you, they are either communicating with us or waiting for us to communicate with them. And there is nothing to worry about. As you get to know your dog better, you will learn to tell the difference. And also be able to figure out what might be going through his head!
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