Imagine the following picture. You stand and calmly watch TV. And your dog is meekly sitting next to you and … looking only at you. You get up and go to make dinner – the pet changes its location in the kitchen and focuses on your face again. It’s like he only has eyes for you and doesn’t care about anything else. You go to the bathroom and… he’s with you again, staring at your actions. And stares and stares…
Why is our dog so obsessed with everything we do and constantly, through staring, seeks contact with us?
Check out the 5 main reasons for this behavior. We are sure – you will easily recognize what the animal is trying to tell you!
• Demonstration of love and affection
Just as we humans cannot “take our eyes off” the object of our innermost feelings, we strive to look into the eyes of our mate, so dogs use the gaze to display the adoration they feel for their owners.
According to recent research related to canine behavior, the mutual gaze between us and our pet releases the same hormonal response that occurs between a mother and her baby. Therefore, if the animal looks at you longingly and for no other apparent reason, this is a sign, that it loves you and is just happy to have you around.
• Attention seeking
Often, dogs start staring at their owners in search of attention. This is not necessarily tied to a specific action that you are expected to do such as pet them or play with them. Rather, they want you to notice that they are in the room too, to indicate their presence.
• The dog is confused
You will easily recognize this state because it includes, in addition to the typical gaze staring at you, a slightly tilted head, sometimes – and slightly curled ears. Yes, dogs have the cutest and most inimitable way of showing us that they’re not sure what’s going on, what they’re doing, and that they expect us to give them direction. Sometimes, if we have given them a certain command and they respond with a look like that, then maybe they don’t quite understand what is being asked of them. In this situation, it is good to think about whether your pet’s training has given the necessary result and whether not to reinforce the main ones through more repetitions.
• Wants something
Often times our dog stares at us for a long time as if expecting to get something. This type of learned behavior is, in most cases, the fault of the owners themselves, who have taught the animal that if it gives them “that pitiful look” it will receive a reward. Whether it’s a walk, a treat, a cuddle or a game, if you reward them with something every time they stand and stare at you, dogs will naturally keep doing it to get what they want.
• A sign of aggression
The focused look of our pet can tell us a few minutes in advance that the dog feels threatened or is inclined to show aggression. Most often in such situations it stands motionless, the fur on its back rises – “stingles”. Usually aggressive looks are directed at unknown dogs, less often – at their owners. It’s important to watch your dog’s body language when interacting with other pets, especially males.
Staring at owners or other dogs may seem strange to us, but in the canine world it is an established form of communication.
Therefore, the next time you wonder why he is “staring at you”, ask yourself what is behind those looks and what is going through the mind of our pet.
Photo by Dominika Roseclay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/winking-black-and-brown-puppy-2023384/