Have you ever engaged in a staring contest with your dog? Or do you ever catch her staring at you endlessly?
It can be a little weird or discomfiting for some people when their pup is constantly giving them the eye, but I am here to tell you that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
There are several reasons why your pooch may find you irresistibly interesting.
Other Animal Odors
You could have a really intriguing odor on you. Think over your day: Did you come into contact with any other animals? Another dog, cat or really just about any other animal will prompt curiosity from your pup.
She gets a lot more data from her sense of smell than she does any other sense, and she may be taking in all there is to know about the other animal that you came into contact with.
Lap Dog Alternative
Dogs are curious creatures and although she may not understand that it’s rude to stare, you’ve probably trained her that it is rude to climb all over you sniffing madly. So she is sniffing you discreetly from a distance.
No matter what, dogs are generally very loyal and loving creatures, and your pooch is no exception. She loves you madly, and her weighty stare can simply be a reflection of that.
Some terrific small breeds are perfectly wonderful lap dogs — but many dogs are much bigger than any of us prefer to have in our laps. It becomes problematic when your adoring pooch cuts off your oxygen, so sadly we must train our pups to stay off. Because she can’t fit in your lap, she is doing the next best thing.
Are you changing a routine by sitting in your chair at this time of day? Do you usually take your pup for a walk right around now? She could be wondering what’s up and why you aren’t pulling out the leash. Changing up the routine will make your dog wonder — and again, dogs are curious creatures.
It could be all the above. Or to get even more basic, she may just need to go out. Some breeds are less vocal than others, and personality plays a part in whether your dog runs around like a deranged lunatic when she needs to step outside or whether she sits and stares desperately.
Think back. When is the last time your pup made it to the great outdoors to take care of business? If it has been a while, she needs a few moments outside. Take a few moments yourself to sit out with your dog — sitting outside in the sunshine is an excellent relaxation technique (until you have to scoop the poop).
In the video below, a dog shows how to be a pro at staring, barely moving except for a rare blink and a slight look to the side:
Feed Me and Other Challenges
If you’re weak when it comes to treats and snacks for your pup, she could be watching to see if you’re about to miraculously produce some. It’s not a good idea to give your dog too many treats, but when it becomes habit (and hard to resist — dogs are so adorable), she will learn quickly to keep her eye on you to watch for visual cues.
A theory about eye contact with dogs is that they are challenging you as leader of the pack. A lot of this depends on your dog, her upbringing, her personality and your authority as the head of the household. Chances are, when it is your dog, she is pretty aware of the hierarchy in the household and is not going to challenge it.
Some trainers now recommend that pet caretakers encourage eye contact with their puppies when training to increase trust between dog and man. This should be taken case by case — and, as always, if you are embarking (ha) on a pup training mission, it is always wise to consult your veterinarian for tips and ideas first.
Dogs are quite expressive in nature, and the manner of their eye contact can be telling. A direct stare from a relaxed position is generally just an adoring gaze.
If you are not sure what is going on, try to read your pup’s body language. Is she sitting up? Aggressive? Or is she relaxed, lying down and simply watching you?
When dogs stare at one another directly, it is a challenge, whether that challenge is for authority, fighting, initiating play or another reason. Most likely your pup finds you fascinating because she simply adores you and wants to be as near to you as he can.
So give her a pat or a scratch, take her out for a walk, and accept that you are the 1 lucky person to have your pup love you so much!