Why does my dog stare at me all day? A Complete Guide

How to Figure Out Why a Dog Is Staring at You

You don’t need some kind of Dog-to-English dictionary for this: You just need to use some context clues. By considering what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, you can probably figure out what your dog is trying to communicate with their big brown eyes.

Take this scenario from Cerone as an example: You’re working at your computer only to look up and find your dog staring at you while panting and wagging their tail. You wonder what they want when you happen to glance at the clock and notice that it’s past their dinner time. You jump up from your computer, apologize, and then you both run to the kitchen so you can prepare their dinner. Their tactic of staring worked and prompted the desired outcome: food. The next time you work past your dog’s dinner hour, what do you think they might do?

Although you might be able to decipher your own dog’s behaviors, it can sometimes be trickier to understand what an unfamiliar dog is trying to communicate. In those times, it may be best to avoid returning their eye contact and to assess what their body language—below their eyeballs—is saying. Are they showing signs of fear or aggression? Brush up on dog body language here.

Your dog is trying to understand you

Dogs may also stare at their owners in an effort to read and understand their owners body language, which is a good indication to them of their owners emotional state. Like if their owner is sad and needs comforting or is happy and up for some play time.

“Dogs are keen on using nonverbal communication such as body language not only in their own way to express themselves but also in reading others,” Askeland says.

Your dog is looking for guidance

Your dog may stare at you because they are unsure of whats going on and are trying to pick up on your cues, Askeland says.

For example, if you grab your keys, your dog may assume you are getting ready to leave the house and will watch you intently to see what happens next.

Some dog breeds may also be more prone to staring at humans and processing visual cues than others, says Liz Dimit, a franchise dog trainer for Dogtopia, a dog daycare, and boarding service.

For example, dogs that were bred for visual guide work, like labrador retrievers and German shepherds are quick to make eye contact and observe a humans body language.

Siberian huskies on the other hand are bred to pull sleds and respond to verbal commands, so they may react more slowly to visual cues and be less likely to stare, Dimit says.

Why Is My DOG STARING at Me? (4 Common Reasons)

It’s not hard to imagine why a loyal dog might stare devotedly at his master. It’s the stuff of Old Yeller, White Fang and Lassie –– starers, all. But some dogs take staring to extremes, following their owners around with baleful eyes as if expecting links of sausage to fly from their human’s fingertips.

Let’s face it: Dogs love their owners, but when they stare expectantly, it’s not usually because they’re trapped in a reverie of devotion. Rather, it’s because they’re thinking they might get something. And usually, that “something” involves a tasty snack.

But dogs can — and do — stare at their owners for plenty of non-food issues, too. Indeed, anything a dog might want that a human can provide could be the source of the staring behavior, from a fun game of fetch to a ride in the car or a long run.

Then there’s the possibility that a dog is simply seeking attention in any form, or perhaps she’s merely waiting for praise or direction. Some dogs may just be trying to read an emotion in our human facial expressions.

In any case, staring is typically considered to be a good thing. In fact, most trainers encourage dogs to stare at their owners while awaiting their cues. And if you’ve never done it, gazing deeply into a dog’s eyes can be a highly rewarding pastime.

Before you try it, be aware that staring directly into a dog’s eyes can be considered a direct challenge. That’s why mutual staring is an activity that’s only to be encouraged within the context of a healthy dog-human relationship unsullied by any taint of aggression or behavioral abnormalities.

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