Have you ever felt your dog is laser-focused on you like his eyes are following you everywhere?
Your dog spends lots of time watching you. Whether you’re cooking, watching sports, sitting on the couch, or even sleeping, you might notice your dog is staring at you intently. You might find it a bit disconcerting and make you wonder: “Why does my dog stare at me so much?”
In this guide, you will learn the reasons and meaning of your dog’s eye contact behavior.
Why Does My Dog Stare at Me
Visual communication is one of the different ways that dogs communicate with humans. They can’t understand most of our words, but body/visual communication is how they let us know what they want and how they feel.
1. Your Dog Wants to Get Your Attention
One of the main reasons why dogs seek such direct eye contact with their owners is to ask them for something they need or want.
This can be in any situation, such as if you are walking your dog and he looks at you asking permission with his eyes to let him run or allow him to greet other dogs.
A well-trained dog will seek the approval look of his owner, with a simple “okay” or “go ahead” the dog will understand perfectly that he can go and greet the other dog.
This also applies to situations where you are eating and the dog with the look asks you to give him some or permission to grab something.
It is common for a dog to hold his gaze and ask his owner to pay attention, give him a pat, or play with him, especially if his “favorite human” is busy doing other things.
You may be working all day and when you get home you may not feel like doing anything except resting. However, your pet wants you to feel good. All he is trying to do is get you to pay attention to him.
2. Your Dog Is Reading Your Body Language
If your dog perceives something strange in your state of mind, he will keep watching you trying to understand what is happening to you. Your dog also takes a lot of cues from you by simply observing every move you make.
3. Your Dog Loves You
A look is not always asking for or needing something, it can also be as simple as a sincere show of affection. Your dog wants to tell you with his eyes that he admires you and loves you more than anything in this world.
4. Waiting for Your Direction
If your dog stares at you, it is because he expects to be told what to do. This usually happens with dogs that are in a training period. It is very possible that your dog will look at you in an attempt to know what to do next.
5. Aggressive Staring
This kind of look is not so common and it usually happens with unknown dogs.
Some dogs have an aggressive look that tries to say, “Don’t mess with me” or “Don’t go into my territory”.
For this reason, before assuming that the look of an unknown dog is harmless, pay attention to the rest of his body language or you may put yourself in danger.
His ears will be straight and forward, with his tail raised, the head upright, and the chest out. If the dog feels very aggressive, he will be firm and quiet. The coat on his back and tail will stand up.
You might also be interested in: Why is my dog acting weird all of a sudden?
So, What Happens if a Strange Dog Stares at You?
If you stare at a dog, depending on his character and his breed, it can interpret your look in different ways. The important thing is not to make sudden movements, and if you see adverse reactions, avert your gaze.
The look is a great communication tool between dogs and humans. In most cases, each owner knows the behavior of their pet so it’s remarkable when it’s a look of fear or pain.
Although there are times when the interpretation is not clear. In that case, you should pay attention to the following details:
- Open pupils: This may mean that the dog is animated, but depending on the context, it can also mean fear.
- Half-closed pupils: It means that his emotional state is calm, quiet. If his pupils are very small, the dog is relaxed and feels safe in the environment.
- Diversion of gaze or blinking: Sign of insecurity, discomfort, attempt to avoid an order.
Why Does My Dog Avoid Looking at Me?
For some dog owners, there are often different cases where their dog prefers not to make eye contact with them.
If your dog avoids looking directly into your eyes, looks at you sideways, or turns away, he is probably under stress.
Dogs can also feel in uncomfortable situations just as people do. So in some cases, they try to keep their head down and avoid looking directly at the person they are talking to. This is a sign that something is not right.
Here are some reasons why your dog may not want to stare at you:
- It doesn’t understand you: When dogs don’t understand what is happening or what their owner is trying to tell them, they often bow their heads in discomfort. Dogs often use other signs such as licking or yawning when they feel uncomfortable.
- The dog is in a stressful situation: Stress causes insecurity in dogs and they express it through this behavior. Usually, stress is accompanied by other behaviors: scratching, excessive barking, or over-activity at home.
- The dog is afraid: Some dogs, when they feel fear instead of being alert or aggressive, they try not to look at their interlocutor as a defense mechanism.
- Bad experiences: In some cases when a dog is unable to look at a human and refuses to make eye contact at all costs, he may have had bad experiences with other people. Try to be calm and affectionate to restore their trust in people.
Dogs communicate by looking at you. They try to seek your help, understand what you want to tell them, or ask your permission for something specific, but it’s also a sign of affection.
In the same way that your dog communicates with you through his eyes, he also communicates with other dogs with other parts of their body. For example, they communicate through the position of their ears or the movement of their tail.
We hope that you’ve learned how to communicate more fluently with your best friend. Tell us about your dog’s eye contact behavior in the comment section below.