Why Does My Dog Always Stare At Me?

Why does my dog always stare at meDuring a recent visit to a friend’s house she exclaimed, “Why does my dog always stare at me!” That got me thinking about a day in the life of a dog.

Did you ever stop to think about how many things you do in a single day? Most of us have multiple responsibilities and obligations to fulfill on a daily basis, and during our down time we find plenty to do too. There are countless ways in which we occupy our minds and bodies in order to prevent boredom. Why, right now you’re occupying your mind by reading this article!

But, how does a dog occupy himself on a daily basis? Well, let’s see, your dog needs to eat, oh but wait, he can’t until you fill his bowl for him. Hmm…well, he needs to go outside, but again, he needs you to open the door for him. How about playtime? Again, he needs you to throw the ball, or tug on his favorite toy. A walk? Hmmm… you seem to be in high demand as far as your dog is concerned. With this in mind you can see why your dog may keep constant watch on your every move.

Would your dog want to lie idly by while you put out his meal? Would he want to miss a cue from you that may represent his daily walk is coming up? And, oh my, certainly he wouldn’t want to miss out on a begging session should you decide to prepare yourself something to eat! No way.

Watch and Learn, A Dog and a Cue

Dogs are incredibly good detectives, and they learn our body language to decipher what will come next in their day. For example, when you walk toward the coat closet to grab your jacket and shoes your dog may come to understand that this represents walk time. Dogs are so astoundingly good at reading our subtle cues that occasionally you may wonder if your dog is reading your mind.

Although maybe it would be fun to imagine that your dog is a mind reader, I can assure you that he is not! In my household there’s barely a thing I can get away with without my dog knowing what comes next…without my dog around I would have never realized just how predictable I am!

For example, I can walk all over the house and my dog will remain calm, but as soon as I walk toward my house slippers he suddenly jumps up and runs to the back door as he knows it is time to be let outside. I swear he keeps tabs on my slippers because sometimes they are out of his view but he still knows when I’m headed for them. I really should pay more attention because at this point I’m not real clear as to which cue he picks up on. Perhaps it’s the way my walk slows down before I slip my foot into that first slipper. Or, maybe it’s the way my eyes look down toward the floor before putting them on. Whatever the cue is, my dog is on to me.

Your Dog Wants Attention

Another reason your dog may stare at you is to lure you into giving him some much needed attention (or at least your dog thinks it’s much needed). My dog often stares at us if we sit down to watch TV. I mean what are we thinking?! Clearly our hands are free which means a perfectly opportune time for ear scratching and belly rubbing! So he sits and stares. And, yes, we always give in.

Dogs love attention and affection from their owners. Can you blame them? It’s one of the many traits that make dogs so amazing to have around; they love us for who we are and will do just about anything to be with us.

But, they could be staring for other types of attention too. Perhaps for a treat, to play, or to go outside for a walk. Some dogs will stare when awaiting a command to reinforce that it is okay to do something, such as enter a particular room, or jump up on a piece of furniture. This is a good thing, and you can give yourself a pat on the back as it means you’ve done well with obedience training!

Why does my dog always stare at me

Your Dog Is Curious

What comes to mind when I think of a curious animal is the old expression, “curiosity killed the cat”. But, dogs are curious creatures too, and if you are doing something uniquely different than what your dog is accustomed to then your dog is bound to stare. When my foster dog came to join our household my dog would stare intently every time we gave him eye drops (which he needs for medical reasons). Our foster dog tends to make a little growly noise which caused intense curiosity.

But, the smallest things can trigger a stare from your dog. Perhaps you are moving a piece of furniture, blowing up a balloon, making an unusual noise, or singing. To you these may be simple everyday things, but your dog will need to stare awhile to decide what he thinks about it.

Your Dog Is Anticipating Something

It’s 5:00 and time for your dog’s daily walk. You grab the leash from its hook and then…darn, the phone rings.  You get caught up in conversation and time is running late. What do you think your dog will do during this time? Most likely…stare. He is anticipating what he knows should be coming next.

As I mentioned earlier, dogs are incredibly good at reading cues. You may make a subtle move, but that’s all it takes and your dog is already in the know of what is going to occur. Now he’s watching, and anticipating, that very thing and will keep staring until it happens, or he decides that the moment has passed.

Every morning my dog stares at me just waiting for that moment when I’ll grab his food dish and fill it up. How can I blame him? He’s not being rude, he’s just hungry!




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