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Why Do Dogs Stare at You

Careful! You are being watched! It’s a funny feeling knowing that someone or something is watching your every step.

It’s even weirder that it’s your own dog monitoring you while you eat your lunch, work on your laptop or brush your teeth. Luckily, it’s far less disconcerting being watched by your dog rather than being constantly observed by a person.

There are numerous reasons why a dog persistently watches your every move. We will describe each situation so the next time your eyes cross – you will know precisely what is going on.

I am in need of something

The biggest reason why dogs stare at their owners or other people is because they want something from them. This can be a material object such as a toy, food, and treats or just a little bit of attention and affection shown by the human. Petting the dog on the head might just do the trick! Dogs often stare when they want to take a walk and enjoy the outer world.

Because they are intelligent beings, dogs learn quickly that it’s okay to ask for something. You might not know, but you already contributed to this behavior by giving him treats or toys earlier in life while he was staring at you. It’s just hard to resist all that cuteness. Basically, you trained your dog to stare by fulfilling his desires while he is staring.

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This isn’t something to feel bad about, because staring is a far better way to ask for things rather than howling, biting, digging and barking.

Tilted head stare

A dog staring with his head tilted means that he is confused. This happens a lot when you are training him. It means that the dog is trying to figure out what you want from him, but has a hard time doing so. The situation asks for a change of training techniques; back-track the training process in order to find a mutual language to communicate more clearly.

For example, if you ask your dog to lie down and he stares at you it means you haven’t done your job well and the behavior needs to be re-trained. The pup isn’t being disobedient, just confused a bit.


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A tense, direct stare

Hard eyes and a direct stare are bad signs! This usually happens when the dog is tense and plans on doing something bad (ex. bite). It’s a warning sign so be careful when you are aware of this type of stare. Tense stare can be easily confused with other types of stare. So watch out for other accompanying signs. Dogs that plan to attack have a stiff tail, closed mouth, wide pupils, pinned ears, still body. These signs come in combinations and you cannot see all of them at once.

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Loving eyes

A soft eye is the best stare your dog can give you. Their gaze is relaxed and accompanied by light panting, normal pupils, relaxed ears and a sweeping tail wag.

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Enjoy this type of stare because it’s exclusively for you!

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