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Why Does My Dog Stare at Me?

Has your dog been looking at you intently? If you have a feeling of being watched, you aren’t alone! Dogs stare at their owners a lot! This can be disconcerting and makes dog owners wonder why my dog stares at me?

Dogs have many reasons for staring at their owners. A dog will often use eye contact to communicate with its owner. Staring may also be a sign of affection, aggression, or a dog’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Dogs also use eye contact to say to their owners they need something.

From a loving gaze to a death glare, dogs use eye contact and body language to communicate with their owners, other people, and dogs. Keep reading to find out why your dog is staring at you and what it’s trying to say. 

Reasons Why Your Dog Stares at You

Reasons Why Your Dog Stares at You

Dogs stare intently at their owners for several reasons. Here are the most likely reasons your dog is looking at you constantly. 

Trying To Tell You Something

More often than not, dogs use eye contact to tell their owners something. A dog may also stare at you to get your attention or ask for something. 

For example, a dog that needs to go outside to pee might sit by the front door and stare at its owner. Of, if your dog wants to play, staring at your and running around you might be a cue it’s time for a game of fetch.

Some dogs use puppy eyes to manipulate their owners and get what they want. This usually happens when a dog is begging at the table. Puppy eyes are hard to resist, and if a dog stares long and hard enough, most owners cave in and give their dog a bite to eat. 

If you ignored the intense stare the first couple of times, your dog would have found something else to do while you’re having dinner. But because the staring made you feel uncomfortable, you inadvertently trained your dog in a new way to communicate. 

Your Dog Is Watching Your Movements

Another reason a dog stares at its owner is to get an insight into what will happen next. Basically, your dog is watching and waiting for you to do something that will affect it. 

For example, your dog will quickly learn that you’ll get the leash before taking it out for a walk. By watching your movements, your dog gets a signal that it’s about to go outside for a romp in the park. 

Dogs use the same approach for mealtimes, play sessions, car rides, brushing, bathing, and more. 

Your Dog Is Trying to Communicate That Something Is Wrong

Sometimes, your dog might be looking at you in a beseeching way. If your dog is hurt, sick, or in pain, it might be staring at you intently, in the hope you’ll catch on that something is wrong. 

Lack of energy, unusual behavior, glossy-eyed or unfocused stare are signs of illness or an injury. Contact your vet as soon as possible whenever your dog seems injured or sick. 

Displaying Aggression

Dogs use eye contact to express both positive and negative emotions. 

Though dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago, they still have some things in common with their wild ancestors, wolves. Wild wolves consider staring insulting and threatening, and some dogs think the same.

Back away and don’t make direct eye contact if your dog looks at you with unblinking eyes, a hard stare, and has a stiff posture. Dogs are more likely to aggressively stare at strangers than their owners, especially if they believe their owners need protection.

However, you might observe aggressive dog stares in your pooch when it has a bone, toy, or other high-value treats in its possession. 

This type of behavior is called resource guarding. It is often accompanied by stiff posture and aggressive snapping and growling. Consult a professional trainer or canine behavioral specialist if your dog shows signs of resource guarding. 

Showing Affection

Just as people gaze into the eyes of persons they love, your dog will stare at you to express its love and adoration. A loving stare coupled with a relaxed posture might be your dog’s way of showing affection.

A study has found that mutual staring between people and their dogs releases the hormone oxytocin. Sometimes called the love hormone, oxytocin plays a significant role during mother and infant bonding.

If you discover that your pooch is staring at you with loving eyes, take a moment to gaze affectionately into your dog’s eyes.

Your Dog Is Confused

Sometimes it’s hard for dogs to completely understand what’s going on and what’s expected of them. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise since dogs don’t speak our language. 

A dog may be staring at you bewilderedly because it doesn’t understand what it’s expected to do. Looking at you may help your dog collect more information to understand what is happening. 

If you’ve asked your dog to perform a specific command and it’s looking at you with a blank stare, your dog might be confused. Before assuming your pooch is stubborn, revisit basic training to ensure your dog knows what basic commands mean. 


Most dogs stare at their owners to show affection or ask for attention. While intense staring might make you feel uncomfortable, this is your dog’s way of showing its interest in you.

Besides paying attention to your dog’s eyes, you should also look at its body language. This will give you better insight into why your dog is staring at you so intently. 

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