Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? - All Possible Reasons

By Ameera Mills. Updated: August 6, 2019
Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? - All Possible Reasons

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Undoubtedly, one of the best things about being a dog tutor is that we never really feel alone. In fact, sometimes it may feel as if we are constantly being watched by our furry best friends, who’s eyes seem to follow us everywhere.

Have you ever noticed that your dog stares at you constantly, sometimes even without blinking. Well, if you’re asking yourself ‘‘why does my dog start at me constantly?’’ or ‘‘why does my dog follow me everywhere?’’ you’ve come to the right place!

Here at AnimalWised we will be discussing why your dog stares at you and what it means. In addition, we will also be looking at some reasons as to why your dog might be avoiding your gaze. Keep reading to find out more and understand your dog better!

You may also be interested in: Why is My Cat Staring at Me?

Why does my dog stare at me constantly?

One of the main reasons why dogs usually maintain direct and prolonged eye contact with their guardians is because they want something. This something could range from food, to a treat, to needing a walk or because they simply want some love and affection.

If, for example, you have just arrived home and your dog is looking at you, the most likely of reasons is that they want food, exercise, to pee or affection. In this case, you may also ask yourself, ‘‘why does my look stare at me and whine?’’ Well, dogs stare at humans as a way of ‘‘reminding’’ us of something that maybe we’ve forgotten to provide them with, they may also whine to emphasize the need for our attention.

Although staring is an habitual behavior in dogs, one should avoid reinforcing it. If every time your dog stares at you you provide it with a treat, your dog will eventually assimilate staring with rewards: which should be avoided. This type of ‘unconscious’ training will then result in your dog always following you or staring at you. Therefore, we only suggest giving your dog what it needs when it really needs it. For example, if your dog has just been fed but continues to stare at you for more food, don’t provide it.

For more on how to train your dog correctly, we suggest looking at our article on: problems when training dogs.

Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? - All Possible Reasons - Why does my dog stare at me constantly?

What is my dog thinking when it stares?

Dogs use their body language to communicate with their guardians, other dogs, animals and their own environment. Therefore, our dogs will always be attentive to our attitude, mood, posture, gestures and facial expressions. Dogs stare at us in order to understand how we, as their humans, feel.

Dogs will stare at you to "read" your emotions. You will most likely notice this when you speak to your dog, or if you start to do something strange or out of the ordinary. In this case, your dog will stare at you to try and observe any non-verbal signal that may help it understand you. Do you want to understand your dog better? if so, learn how to read what your dog is saying through its tail movements, take a look at the different dog tail positions and what they mean.

Why do dogs stare at you? - Training

If your dog stares at you during a dog training session, this is a great sign! When your dog stares at you constantly during training it means that it is paying attention to you, trying to understand the commands that you are teaching it. In fact, eye contact with dogs plays a key role in training dogs, especially if you are training a deaf dog.

Before starting a dog training session and when presenting your dog with a new command or task, you must ensure that your dog is attentive and focused on this training. One of the best ways of knowing that your dog is paying attention is to maintain eye contact with your dog. For this to work correctly, it is important that you’ve already trained your dog to come when you call as well as covered everything necessary within basic obedience. For more, take scan over: Obedience training in dogs.

In the case of a deaf dog, we suggest using a vibrating collar to get its attention, as well as getting your deaf dog to look at you.

In addition, it is also important to choose the right place to teach your dog, in order to encourage concentration. Therefore, we recommend avoiding places or environments which give off excessive stimuli, such as; noise, smells, people, other dogs etc.

Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? - All Possible Reasons - Why do dogs stare at you? - Training

Why does my dog stare at me and growl

Contrary to popular belief, staring at your dog is often a threatening rather than loving signal. Dogs interpret human staring as a type of challenge or confrontation. Therefore, if you stare at your dog, and your dog stares at you and growls, or adopts an aggressive stance, it means it is angry and is getting ready to attack. If your dog adopts this posture, ears back with stand-up hairs, look away. In addition, we recommend moving away slowly from your dog or turn your back, allowing your dog to calm down.

If such a situation occurs, we recommend then taking your dog to a veterinarian. You should do this to rule out any medical problems which are known to cause behavioral problems in dogs, such as aggression. After ruling out any possible pathological causes, you will need to seek the help of a canine ethologist or educator. A professional will be able to establish a treatment based on specific guidelines according to your dog’s needs. For more, we suggest taking a look at our article on: Why is my dog suddenly aggressive towards me?

Why won’t my dog look at me?

Many tutors wonder what it means when their dogs don’t look at them or avoid their gaze. This concept and reasons as to why your dog looks away from you can vary. But generally, if your dog looks at you only from the corner of its eye but is still calm, yawns or lightly turns away, it means that your dog doesn’t quite understand you.

You may notice that this will usually happen when you talk to your dog or try and teach your dog new orders during training. This may also conger up the question, ‘‘ why does my dog stare into space?’’

Logically, by not being able to understand you, your dog will feel uncomfortable and somewhat confused. Therefore, make sure that that when you train your dog, you give off clear orders and physical expressions. To know more about dogs and how dogs perceive life, we discuss this is here: What do dogs see?

Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? - All Possible Reasons - Why won’t my dog look at me?

Why does my dog stare into space?

So, after looking at all of the possible reasons your dog stares at you, what happens if it doesn’t. Do you ever ask yourself ‘‘Why does my dog stare at nothing?’’ There are many reasons why you may find that your dog stares into space. Some of these reasons are due to natural canine behaviors, while others are a little bit more worrisome.

Here are some of the reasons your dog may stare into space;

  • Canine instinct: Dogs have an incredible sense of hearing, which may explain why your dog stares at a wall or into space. There are some things that dogs sense which we are humans do not. Therefore, one of the most common reasons your dog is staring into space may be because it sees or hears something that you do not.
  • Dementia in dogs (canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome): This condition, similar to Alzheimers, occurs when a dog suffer changes in its brain functioning. In turn a dog will experience symptoms of Neurological disorders in dogs. You may notice that this symptom of CDS will worsen over time. If you believe that your dog is staring into space constantly, due to CDS, we recommend taking it to a veterinarian immediately.
  • Compulsive disorders in dogs: Dogs, like humans, can suffer from several behavioral problems. Compulsive disorders in dogs need to be addressed by a professional as soon as possible. For more, take a look at our article on: Compulsive behaviors in dogs.
  • Seizure due epilepsy in dogs: Sometimes dogs that suffer from epilepsy experience what are known as ‘absence seizures’. These seizures occur without the appearance of shaking or fits. If you believe that your dog may be suffering from epilepsy, we recommend scanning over our article: Epilepsy in dogs. In addition, if you believe that your dog is experiencing an absent seizure, we recommend taking it to the vet as soon as possible.

What do dogs think about?

Well, this is a question which holds many different answers. What we can tell you is that dogs have similar brain structures to humans, except a dog’s mind develops much faster than humans, but not as much. For example, a dog’s mind is equivalent to a human mind of 2-2.5 years old. Dogs feel love, anger and affection, but lack deeper emotions that we as humans have, such as: guilt revenge and pride[1]. Dogs think in the moment and in relation to assimilation which they have previously made. For example, if trained correctly, your dog will know that the sound of their food bowl moving means they will be fed. This is why, when training a dog, you need to be as clear and direct as possible.

For more about understanding dog behavior, we recommend taking a look at our following articles:

Why does my dog stare at me when he poops?

If you found this article interesting, take a look at our Youtube video below where we discuss; Why does my dog look at me when they poop?

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? - All Possible Reasons, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.


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Jeff & Pam Schryver
My female Guinness constantly stares at me, not my wife, me. At every waking hour, she stares at me. Sitting, sleeping, no matter what, she stares at me only???
Administrador AnimalWised

While it is possible your dog does not like you, you should monitor for other signs. Are they aggressive? Are they possessive? Here are some articles which might help:
Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? - All Possible Reasons
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Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? - All Possible Reasons

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