When it comes to looking after our dogs, it can be impossible to try and figure out what’s going on in their heads. One minute they’re running away from you to play and the next they’re sitting right next to you, staring at you. What does this mean? We’re not psychic so we can’t read your dog’s mind. But we can give you a pretty good idea of what they’re thinking and why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Why Does My Dog Stare at Me – Different Reasons For Dog Staring At You
A lot of dogs will avoid staring directly into your eyes and can often feel threatened or a bit stressed when you stare directly into theirs.
Of course, it’s different for every dog on the planet. However, a lot of canines adhere to social hierarchy and will usually associate staring eye contact with dominance.
Going off this information, if your dog is staring into your eyes then it’s likely that they could be trying to assert dominance over you.
However, not all dogs are aggressive. They could be just trying to get your attention.
They’re Trying To Get Your Attention
When a dog tries to get your attention, it could be for a number of reasons.
One of the most frequent reasons that your dog will stare at you for attention is because they want to have some sort of affection and emotional support from you. They do like to be pet by people they love!
We’ve all stroked our dogs and stopped suddenly to see how they react.
Some will physically nudge you to get you to keep on doing what you were doing. However, others will sit there and stare at you.
By doing this, they’re waiting patiently so they don’t risk annoying you or getting in your way. Of course, not all pooches are this polite!
Another big reason that our furry friends will stare at us is to get us to play with them.
For example, when we’re sat watching TV, our dogs can get antsy. They’d want us to give them attention by playing with their favorite toys.
When it comes to wanting to play, some dogs are more patient than others. Most dogs will likely bring you their favorite toys or will bark at you to make sure that you notice them and understand their demands.
They’re Listening To You
A lot of dogs will stare at their owners when they’re talking to show that they’re listening and are being attentive.
Of course, when you’re talking it can often be towards them, whether it’s because they’re waiting for a command or they’re looking for a signal of what to do.
For example, a lot of dogs will associate the raising of a hand or a finger with being told to sit. Alternatively, some canines will look for their owners to point towards the room where their bed is when being told to go to bed.
Puppy Dog Eyes
The age-old form of our dogs trying to get what they want! Puppy dog eyes can melt the coldest of hearts and is a great way for dogs to try and get their way.
With regards to when they might do this, it might be when you’re telling them off, or it could be when they’re waiting for a treat.
However, this technique hasn’t always been a feature that dogs have been able to exploit.
Before being domesticated, dogs won’t have needed to use this tactic to get what they want. They’d just do what they wanted.
However, we know what they’re doing and we let them get away with it anyway!
Waiting For Some Food
A lot of our pets will do the same thing and sit right by our feet when we’re eating a meal in the hopes that some food will drop right in front of their noses.
It’s a good way for your dog to get a treat because they know that as soon as some of the food hits the floor, it’s theirs now and no longer part of your dinner.
Of course, many owners may make sure that their dogs are in a different room when they eat, for this reason.
A lot of owners may cave in and give their dog some of their meal. But this can encourage begging and will discourage their dog from sitting there.
Looking At You When Walking
Many dogs around the world will frequently look up to their human best friends when walking down the street or through the local park.
This can be for a few reasons. When walking and your dog looks to enjoy themselves, they may be allowed some time to themselves off the leash.
This means that they will often look to their owners for comfort, knowing that we’re still following closely behind them. On top of this, they might be looking to their owners for instructions.
Along with this, our dogs will look up at us when out on a walk so that they can get a better idea of what their surroundings are.
By looking for the reactions and emotions displayed by their owners, they can tell if they’re free to roam around as they please.
If you’re carrying a stick or their favorite ball then they could also be waiting for you to play with them and throw the stick. They’ll make that one extra obvious!
They Feel Guilty
Often after being told off, dogs will sit with their tails between their legs and keep some distance between themselves and their owners.
With regards to why they’re staring, they could be doing it to make sure that you’ve noticed that they’re looking guilty.
This is so that they can ensure you that they feel remorse for what they’ve done and want forgiveness. Of course, we always end up forgiving them in the end!
Why Does My Dog Stare at Me – Final Thoughts
When dogs stare at their owners, it’s not always a cause for concern. Obviously, dogs don’t understand the same sort of social norms that we do and can often make things awkward and tense.
A lot of the time they’re just waiting for some form of affection or attention though. It’s always hard to remember that our dogs are just children after all and will look to use for comfort and safety.
It’s always useful to give them what they want, within reason. Then they can get on with what they want to do and we can go back to eating or watching our favorite movie.