Dogs are confusing sometimes. They run around for no reason, bark at nothing, and dig random holes in your yard. Another weird trait is staring. Dogs, no matter their age, are excellent starers.
They stare while you eat, they stare while you’re watching TV, they stare when you’re just sitting around doing nothing at all. Their big, puppy eyes look right into your soul, and they seem to spend hours on end gazing at you with an expression you just can’t quite pin down.
So why? Why the staring? Why the puppy eyes? Why the constant following with their eyes?
This article covers the top 13 reasons why your dog is staring at you creepily.
1. To Express Affection
Ever heard of love at first sight? Well, dogs use staring to convey affection. The reason your dog may be giving you the googly eyes could be because they love you so darn much and can’t take their eyes off of you,
I mean, you feed them, play with them, keep them safe, and make sure they sleep peacefully at night. Who wouldn’t love the person who did everything for them and made sure they were happy and comfortable every second of their day.
So if your puppy is staring at you it might just be because they love you with all their little hearts.
Staring and prolonged eye contact between humans and dogs could even trigger the release of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. So staring isn’t only a sign of love but it could even strengthen your bond with your furry little friend.
2. They’re Confused
Dogs, especially exceptionally intelligent ones, often watch you far more carefully than other dogs to pick up your verbal and non-verbal cues. If your dog stares at you intently while you’re talking or moving around, there’s a good chance they’re trying to see if you want them to do something or want to play.
If they’re unsure about something you told them or a new toy they might stare at you in confusion, trying to figure out what you want or what they should be doing.
3. You Have Something They Want
Do you have food in your pockets, or maybe even in your hands? Or do you have your dog’s favorite toy in your grasp while your dog stares?
If so, there’s a good chance your dog is staring at you in longing over whatever it is you have that they want. A good indicator this is the case is your dog hopping on its back feet, barking or whining at you, or jumping up on your lap to get at what it is you have.
If your pup is staring and begging for food, it’s usually the best option not to give in. If you do, they’ll assume the staring and begging is good behavior that is being awarded. It could also make staring an even bigger issue.
4. They Don’t Know What To Do
Not knowing what to do and being bored are two separate issues. If your dog is staring at you while you’re talking to them, it could simply be because they’re trying to understand what it is you want them to do.
This can look even more creepy if you count the fact that you’re trying to communicate with your dog, and all they’re doing in return is gazing into your soul without a blink.
Repeating what you said, adding non-verbal cues, or getting closer to your dog to help them hear you better could help them understand what they’re supposed to be doing and get over all the staring.
5. They Are Scared of You or Don’t Trust You
No one wants to consider the possibility that their dog might not trust them, but it is an unfortunate reality. Dogs don’t react to things the way we do, and an innocent attempt at playing with them or teasing them may come off as aggressive or dominant.
This could leave your pup unsure whether or not you like them or if your relationship is as strong as it should be.
A scared puppy is likely to be watching or staring at you in an attempt to make sure you’re not about to hurt them. If you think this might be the case, showing your dog some extra love and patience could be your road back to being trusted by your pup.
6. They’re Feeling Aggravated
Staring could be a sign of anger or aggression in dogs, especially if you don’t have an established relationship with them.
If a dog sees you as a threat, they’ll immediately activate their stare not only to make you uncomfortable but to pick up your every move just in case you decide to get into their personal space or attack them. Even if you’ve never done anything to upset your pup, they may react by staring or glaring if they feel at all distressed or threatened by the way you’re acting or talking.
One of the ways to know if your dog is staring aggressively is that it would likely be accompanied by growling or what a lot of people call a ‘hard eye’ where their eyes, well, harden and follow you with even more intent.
7. They’re Obsessed
Alright, far be it from me to criticize a human-obsessed dog. I’m pretty obsessed with my puppy and would be happy if she reciprocated the feeling. However, if your dog follows you around, always stares at you, and can’t seem to take their eyes off your person, they may be a little obsessed with you or suffer from separation anxiety.
Staring as part of their obsession with you shouldn’t be a major issue. Still, if it’s interfering with your dog’s life, making them incapable of being away from you, or making them anxious when you leave, you may need to crate train them to build their sense of independence.
8. They’re Uncomfortable
If your dog is uncomfortable or unsure of its surroundings, it may decide to stare at you to get your attention or make sure you’re not leaving.
This is especially true if your dog is still new to your home or a puppy and may see you as its only source of safety and stare at you so long you may start thinking it’s creepy. It’s not a bad sign, and the staring should stop once your pup becomes more confident and independent.
9. They’re Bored
If you only had a few toys to play with and couldn’t talk to anyone around you, you’d probably end up staring at something or someone.
If your puppy follows you around or stares at you for ages, they may just be bored. I mean, anything is more fun than taking your fourth nap of the day and pushing around the same ball you’ve been playing with all day.
If you suspect your dog is bored, you should think of buying mind-stimulating toys, training your dog to do a trick, or taking them out for a walk.
10. They Want Attention
If your pup wants some attention or craves affection, they may stare at you to get your attention and remind you they’re around and ready to be played with.
Giving your dog a little TLC and spending more time with them playing or training will likely fix the staring issue entirely.
11. They Want to Go Outside
Alright, this might not always be the case, but some dogs will stare at you if they want to go outside to do their business or play a little.
Dogs can’t talk, so they resort to a range of other behavior to communicate their needs. If your dog is staring at you and looking toward the door, it might be time to let them out into the garden or take them on a walk.