Why Does My Dog Stare at Me?

Why Does My Dog Stare at Me?

Most dogs stare at you because they really love you! There are other interesting reasons why our pets stare at us, but affection for us is why our dogs seem to do it.

Staring is just one way that our dog will attempt to communicate with us. Our dogs are very in tune with us humans. They also sense our moods and can follow pointing gestures so that they can figure out what will happen next, just by reading our facial expressions!

Why? You might ask. Because we impact their environment and they are very interested in what, why and how we are going to do something. Our pet have also determined the best way to manipulate us. Most pet owners will agree that their pets learn our habits. By watching us they gather important information such as, is it mealtime, or a car ride? When you pick up a leash, this tells them it is time for a walk.

I believe it is beneficial to a mutually harmonious relationship, that your pet can pick up these cues. This is why the process that teaches them basic commands, like sit, stay or come is so effective. Keying in on their keen ability to read us, is a benefit to us as we develop the higher command actions that we train dogs for.

Some examples of more intricate commands may be having them stay off leash and wait for your “come” command. Others are trained to open doors, turn off lights and bring items to their owners. Seeing eye dogs and aid dogs that help those with differing limitations learn to read their owners’ facial expressions and eye responses.

A dog may hold your gaze to let you know they need to go outside to relieve themselves. The big stare is the “puppy dog” eyes our canines use on us when they want food! Any food is fair game for this particular gift our dogs possess. They will also use this to get a favorite toy or have you throw a ball or frisbee.

Intense eye contact can be positive or negative, as it is a way of the dog to express an emotion they are feeling. According to those who study wolves the “stare” is considered rude or inconsiderate to the entire pack. A hard-staring dog who doesn’t blink and presents a rigid body posture should not be engaged.

When confronted with a dog who does this, avoid making direct eye contact with them and angle your body away from them while keeping them in your field of vision. There are also some dogs who guard a resource such as a toy, door, or fence. When coupled with aggressive behavior this is serious and you should seek a trainer or behaviorist to learn the most positive way to redirect your dog.

Staring between a person and dog is shown to release the love hormone known as “oxytocin”, which boosts the feelings of love, trust, and bonding. By encouraging this eye-to-eye contact with your pooch, you will increase the likelihood of success in their training and your overall relationship!

Just like dogs, our cats have learned to look us in the eye to show us love. When a cat is relaxed and wants to connect with you they will stare and follow that immediately up with a slow blink. You can also put your kitty at ease by reversing this and blinking slowly as you stare at them to let them know you are not a threat and desire a mutually friendly encounter!

If a cat is staring at you with wide eyes, a twitching tail and a stiff body appearance, then you can be sure that they are not feeling up to any kind of up-and-close affection at that moment!

Cats will stare at us to get us to do something, empty the litter box, give them a treat or refill the food bowl. Cats are just as intelligent as dogs and can be trained using treats and clickers. Many cat parents enjoy developing the interest their cat displays in wanting to learn new things, this is just one great way to bond with your cat!

Cows are known to stare. I grew up around cattle in our fields, and from my experience, they can stare a really long time! Cows are social creatures and are very curious about us. They get their food, water, and other care from us, so many times they are watching to see if you have a tasty morsel for them! Cows also remember people’s faces and information about their immediate environment. There are many videos that show just how sweet and kind a cow is to the people who rescue and care for them.

Rabbits, birds, and small animals all have developed the stare to engage with the humans in their lives. Many people with aquariums report that their fish come to the surface and look at them and actually seem to enjoy being touched or petted!

Wrapping this up, it seems that our pets want to connect with us. And by staring into our eyes seems to be the best way of doing it. By making eye contact with us we can each read the different cues the other one is putting out there. Communication is complex and involves each other’s body language, sound or vocalization, and eye contact.

Take the time to understand how each animal in your life “speaks” to you, that way you can develop a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and wants. Be aware of the energy you are portraying and with patient observation, you can understand what your pet is saying to you!