Why does my dog stare at me? I mean, I feel like I have some good ideas. When I am eating, and my dog is essentially staring into my soul, I have a little hunch they want a bite of whatever I will share. And in the morning, if I am in bed past 7am, I know I will wake up to find two dogs staring at me, waiting to start their day with breakfast and exercise. Is there an actual reason I can attribute all of this cute (but intense!) staring to?
There is no exact answer why dogs stare at us, because most likely there are multiple reasons for doing so. Typically, our pups are either communicating with us or waiting for us to communicate with them. If you start to observe and understand your pup, you can learn to understand them and tell the difference.
Your dog stares at you so they can read you.
Dogs have this magical ability to sense our moods and follow our directions. Your dog stares at you to gain knowledge about their environment and what’s going on around them. For example, if you pick up the dog bowl, your dog knows that signals it’s time to eat. By watching you, they can see what’s going on next. Or perhaps you have trained your pup to get a treat if they follow your cue. They will look at you, so they can be aware if that cue happens to come because that signals food. Essentially, this is the easiest way for your dog to know what’s going on.
Your dog may look at you because they are trying to tell you something.
Makes sense, right? If you are trying to tell someone something, you most likely are looking right at them. If your pup has to go outside, they may glare and stare at you, trying to make you understand their needs. You also may have conditioned your dog to stare at you. It’s hard to refuse those ‘puppy dog eyes’ – so if your dog looks at you while you eat, and you tend to share, they know this behavior may result in what they want. They probably don’t even understand how cute they are, they just know that behavior can wear you down to giving in.
Your dog may stare at you because they love you.
Yup, your dog may simply just be trying to tell you how they are feeling. So sometimes if they are gazing into your eyes and you’re convinced it’s because they are telling you how much they love you, you may be right! You and your pup staring at each other also releases oxytocin, the feel good hormone.
Only stare back at your dog if you know it’s healthy.
It’s not a good idea to stare back at dogs you don’t know, or if your dog may be motivated to have aggressive tendencies. The relationship between you and your dog must be healthy because your pup could see it as a direct challenge. If a dog gives you a stare where they have a stuff posture and their eyes aren’t blinking, back off and don’t look at them.
Learn more about the love between you and your pup in our post Dogs Make Us Happy, Even Science Says So.