- Dogs stare at their owners to send a message.
- You can observe your dog’s behavior to learn what their staring, in that moment, means.
- Canine staring can be threatening, though, as it is a trait passed down by wolves.
Dogs may be man’s best friend, but owners aren’t always sure what their pet is trying to tell them. You may have seen your dog staring at you from across the room or right next to you, but you can’t figure out what this means.
New pet owners may struggle to comprehend what their pet is trying to tell them, as will owners who have bonded with their pups for years. While your dog’s behavior can be self-explanatory, they may be staring for a seemingly random reason that you’re itching to decipher.
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Why does my dog stare at me?
Dogs stare at their owners to communicate with them, the American Kennel Club says. They may be asking for something, trying to send you a message or seeing if you’re going to do something that involves them.
When your dog is staring at you when you’re eating dinner, then they’re very likely asking for some of your food.
Your dog may also be asking you to take them outside or feed them. The AKC says your dog staring is the “canine equivalent of a tap on the shoulder.”
Your canine could be waiting to see if you’re going to do an action that impacts them, such as getting their leash for a walk, grabbing some dog food or commanding them to do a rewardable trick. Your dog’s love of treats makes them ready to receive whenever possible.
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Dogs also stare affectionately. They may simply be staring to express their love toward you, growing the bond and trust between pet and owner.
It’s important to learn and observe your pet’s behaviors. This will enable you to understand exactly what your dog is trying to tell you. They may be staring as they’re right next to you or from across the room, but owners can learn what emotions their dog is conveying.
Should I be worried if my dog is staring at me?
The AKC explains that in wolves staring is a threat. This attitude may still be present in some dogs. Look out for “a hard stare, with unblinking eyes and a stiff posture” from your pup, as this constitutes their threatening staring. If your dog or any dog you come across exhibits this behavior, stay cautious, do not make eye contact and back away slowly. If your dog displays this, the AKC recommends owners see a professional trainer.
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Should I stare back at my dog?
While you should not stare at your dog, sharing eye contact with your pet can benefit your pet-owner bond, while also keeping your dog focused, says DoggySaurus. Eye contact releases oxytocin, “a hormone released when mother dogs nurse their puppies,” strengthening the bond between you and your canine on a “familial level.”
Eye contact can keep your dog focused as well, preventing unwanted distractions. According to DoggySaurus, this discipline can help with training, sports, tasks and learning new tricks.