Why does my dog stare at me?

The big, adorable eyes of a dog are forever glued to its human, staring deep into their soul. If you've ever wondered why dogs stare at you, and what it means, you've come to the right place.

Dogs stare at you out of love, not war. Give them a pat and appreciate the appreciation!
Dogs stare at you out of love, not war. Give them a pat and appreciate the appreciation!  © Unsplash/Rafael Hoyos Blowing

Dogs love to stare and it isn't unusual to feel a little disconcerted and creeped out when they do so.

After all, prolonged eye contact can often be intimidated.

First off, let's all remember that our perfect pooches are not people, no matter how human they can seem.

How hot is too hot for dogs? Walking dogs in the summer heat
Dog Guide How hot is too hot for dogs? Walking dogs in the summer heat

So if you catch your canine companion staring at you, don't worry – it's about love, not war!

In this dog guide, TAG24 will dive into why dogs stare at their owners. What does it mean when dogs stare at you? When should you be worried? And why do they sometimes insist on looking you in the eye while they poop?

Let's take a look.

Why do dogs stare at you? What does it mean?

There are many reasons why dogs might stare at you, but few of them are negative in any way. Some beg for food with their eyes, some are trying to communicate love, and some are asking for something that is yet to be mentioned. What's for certain is that our beloved doggos are far smarter and far more manipulative than we give them credit for.

Dogs stare to communicate something with you. Whether that's an emotional communication or a practical one relating to food or play is dependent on the dog and the situation.

The reality is that there is no one answer that can explain your dog's slightly disconcerting habit of staring deeply into your soul. Instead, the behavior needs to be broken down into a number of options.

Here are a few reasons why your dog might stare at you:

Dogs read your body language: Your beautiful doggo will stare at you, reading your body language and trying to get an idea of your mood, what you're about to do, and whether they can be involved in whatever that might be. Our beloved dogs are pretty self-centered and, ultimately, will stare at us so that they know when something is going to happen which has something to do with them.

Communication is key: Dogs are constantly communicating their needs to us. As a result, staring could indicate that they need to go to the toilet, and they want you to take them out. It can also mean that your dog wants to play a game with you or get some cuddles.

Food, food, food: Dogs are always looking for a feed. If they are sitting by the table staring up at you, they probably want your food. If they are sitting by their bowl and staring at you, they probably want to be fed. It's quite obvious, to be honest, and can be extremely manipulative – just make sure not to give in and only feed them as planned, keeping them on-diet.

Love and hugs: Dogs hug with their eyes and, as a result, if your dog is continuously staring at you, it is quite likely to be showing you affection and love. If you stare back at them, then the bonding experience will produce oxytocin and, as a result, will make your doggo feel great!

Hot tip: It's important to understand that a dog stare is a dog hug and, as a result, there's no need for cuddles. Dogs don't always enjoy hugs and cuddles as it can make them feel restricted and unable to move. Give them plenty of pets, but don't squeeze them into tight hugs.

Why do dogs stare at you when you poop?

Poop stares are all about protection, love, and trust. Dogs aren't like you and me, and they don't look for privacy when they let loose the logs. Instead, your dog is looking for safety and protection while it relieves itself. As their human, you are the head of their pack and their best source of protection if anything bad were to happen during the toilet-going process.

When a dog poops, it finds itself in a highly vulnerable position. With that in mind, their slightly uncomfortable habit of staring directly at you mid-plop is not so confusing.

Why do dogs stare at you when you eat?

If you have ever eaten dinner in the presence of your darling doggo, you would have noticed them sitting on the floor and staring up at you. The reason for this is as simple as you would think: Your dog stares at you while you eat because it wants some of your food for itself. Resist, don't be manipulated, resist!

Keep your dog on its diet: Don't go giving your dog food from the table. This will worsen its habit of staring at you while you eat, and will make it overly presumptuous. On top of that, constantly feeding your dog human food is very bad for its health. Don't listen to those who want you to give it raw meat either, talk with your vet and develop a diet that's safe and healthy.

All dogs stare, no matter their breed or creed.
All dogs stare, no matter their breed or creed.  © Unsplash/Giorgio Trovato/Amin Hasani/Rafael Hoyos Blowing

Why do dogs stare at you when you sleep?

Dogs stare at you for a variety of reasons while you sleep, but it usually has something to do with the fact that you just woke up. They are caring and loving animals, and see you as the head of their pack and, as a result, their leader. Don't worry, they're not plotting anything, staring is caring!

Here's why dogs stare at you when you sleep:

  • Maybe you just woke up and they heard you stirring and murmuring.
  • Your doggo might be trying to protect you while you rest, or might be trying to feel protected by you.
  • Your dog might want to go outside, may want your attention, or could be getting separation anxiety when you are sleeping.
  • Let's be real, your dog could just be waiting for some food.

If you wake up to a staring dog, give it a pet, show it some love and start your morning routine. Doggos can be great alarms and can be awesome excuses to get up early and start your day!

While a staring dog can be disconcerting, it's a sign of true love!

Staring dogs are dogs that like a good hug, it's just that the hug itself is the look they send your way. The reality is that if your dog stares at you all the time, it likely either wants something out of you or is expressing its admiration, love, and affection for you, the leader of its pack.

So while it is understandable that many get a little bit disconcerted by staring doggos, it's not anything to be worried about. Of course, if it is a stranger's dog and it is growling, maybe get concerned. If it is your perfect pooch, and they have daisies in their eyes, it's showing you love – accept it!

Cover photo: Unsplash/Rafael Hoyos Blowing

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