Why Does Your Dog Stare At You?

by Amber
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When I’m making dinner, I know without looking that my dog Bailey is staring at me. That one’s pretty easy to figure out–she’s waiting for me to drop some food. But when I move to the living room, she still stares. When I’m sitting at my desk, she lays a few feet away and keeps her eyes trained on me. She even follows and stares at me in the bathroom. I’m used to having her as my furry shadow, but why is she always staring?

Dogs stare at their humans for a few reasons. The most obvious is because they’re hoping those fingers will magically produce a slice of bacon, but food isn’t the only motivation.

dog stare

If you frequently catch your dog starting at you, here are the possible explanations.

They Want Attention

Our dogs can’t voice their thoughts in a language we’ll understand, but they’ve pretty much mastered the art of staring for attention.

If your dog is staring at you while you go about your business, there’s a good chance they want you to notice them. You are your dog’s whole world, and they’re happiest when you spend time together. Sometimes they want something specific, like a belly rub, but that’s not always the case. Most dogs are content just to know their humans notice them and love them.

They’re Confused

The confused stare is one of the best types of stares–especially when it comes with an adorable head tilt. When your dog sees you doing something unfamiliar, they might stare at you intently in hopes of figuring it out.

Maybe your behavior has something to do with them, and they’re not sure what you want. If they miss a signal, they might lose out on a treat or something super special.

Some dogs are also just curious. They stare at their humans just because they want to know what in the world you’re doing.

They’re Trying to Tell You Something

Dogs haven’t mastered human mind control as of yet (that we know of, at least), but they’re definitely working on it. They think that if they stare at us long enough, they can implant their message into our brains. They know it’ll be light years before we learn to speak their language, so they do their best with what they have to work with. 

Sometimes the message is about something your dog needs. If they’re sitting by the door and staring at you, for example, they probably need you to open the door so they can go to the bathroom. When it’s 10 minutes past dinner time, your dog might stare at you expectantly as if to say, “Do you realize what time it is?”

dog stare

They’re Waiting For Something Awesome to Happen

Dogs are incredibly perceptive. Sometimes it seems like they can read your mind or predict the future. Like when they know you’re thinking about going for a walk before you even grab the leash. This super power comes from your dog’s ability to read the most subtle clues from your body language. 

You haven’t gotten off the couch yet, but if you glance toward your shoes or the closet wear you keep the leash, your dog will know exactly what you’re thinking. They stare at you just waiting for these tiny hints to happen. It’s important that they don’t miss a single twitch. They want to be ready for when you decide to do something fun. 

They Love You

Having a dog constantly stare you down can be a bit unnerving, but you should consider it a compliment. A relaxed stare is probably a sign that your dog loves you. They’re fascinated by your actions, and they’re not afraid of you. They want to watch out for you and protect you.

Staring can be a positive sign that you and your dog have a great relationship.

Do you know how dogs choose their favorite humans? Find out here.

dog stare

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