Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Woody Pet
Why do dogs just stare at you? Many reasons!
You’re probably familiar with the creeping sensation you get when you think someone’s watching you. You don’t know why, but suddenly you’re convinced that someone is looking your way, even if you’re alone in your house… And then, you see it. It is your dog staring at you!
With all those cute eyes, tilting faces and some expressions that are probably taken out from a novel or a drama book, there are many situations where your dog is just staring at you for some reason, maybe a good one, or a bad one with that sixth sense of theirs, their natural instinct.
But why though? Why do dogs just stare at you? It is not like they are some sort of creeps or something, right? Are they trying to say something to you? Let’s find out if it is a totally normal behavior and what could be possibly the meaning of this?
Why your dog stares at you?
It is quite a familiar face, and especially a very cute one in some cases, when your dog stares at you. But why do dogs stare at you? Are you doing something wrong that puzzles dogs?
Sometimes, your dog would be like: “What are you even trying to say to me?” and tilt its head to a side in a very cute fashion (and yes, there is a lot of “cute” spawning in this article for a very good reason). In short, yes, they are confused when they tilt their heads to a side. Give it some time to figure out what are you trying to say.
Why is it looking at you like that? Why are you feeling so uncomfortable, flushed, queasy? Well, it is called a hard stare (yeah, that came from a movie about a teddy bear doing a hard stare). When a dog gives you a hard stare, run. Just kidding, but back off whatever you doing to it, because it is something that it does not like. That is a way to remind that you have “forgot your manners” (wink wink, pun intended)
Now about the longing eyes, those ones that maybe can say “feed me”. Most of the time that you catch your dog staring into your soul, it’s because you’ve got something she wants. That could be a toy, a tasty scrap of food, or a hand that should be petting it. Staring at you can also be a sign that your dog wants to be let outside.
And finally, the happy one, the soft eyes. Many dogs are more prone to loving gazes early in the morning when serotonin levels are highest. Your dog is unlikely to look lovingly into your eyes when it is playing, eating, or training, so assume that it got a different motivation if that’s what’s going on. This soft gaze can easily be mistaken for a hard stare for new owners, so context is important.
What does it mean when a Border Collie gives eye?
In another way, the Border Collie has a different yet special way to stare at you. What does it mean when a Border Collie gives eye?
In a similar manner like why do dogs just stare at you, Border Collies are a hunting breed of dogs. Border collies will stare intently at the sheep, “giving them eye.” What does the Border Collie accomplish from giving eye to the sheep? A whole lot we should say, considering this breed’s keenness to get the job done.
Back in the old days, in order to enjoy a meal, it was necessary to follow a precise sequence which is known as the predatory sequence. This sequence entailed giving eye, stalking, chasing, catching, killing, and of course, eating.
Catching, killing and eating is something that is out of question nowadays as herding dogs should never hurt their sheep. Fortunately, for the most part, it appears that a herding dog’s predatory sequences has been “truncated,” so to speak.
Should you look your dog in the eyes?
After answering why do dogs just stare at you, you may be wondering should your look your dog in the eyes? Normally for people this is the way to answer back to a stare so, it should work the same way for dogs, right?
Dogs and their humans will make eye contact several times a day. It’s normal and natural behavior. Many dogs will make eye contact with their owners when it’s dinner time, treats are nearby or someone is ringing the doorbell. Likewise, some pet owners will look directly at their dog’s face when calling them over for a quick game of tug, when arriving home from work or when relaxing on the sofa at night.
Staring is different, and considered rude to dogs. When a person stares into another dog’s eyes, the dog perceives it as a threat. Think about it this way: If someone stares at you, you’d wonder why this person was staring at you or assume the person was upset. When people stare, their bodies freeze in place with still arms, yet their heads follow the dog or person they’re staring at while they move away. This body posture not only freaks you out, but dogs too.
In a way, why do dogs just stare at you? Well, it is because so many reasons, good and bad ones too.
The bad one is when your dog is giving you a hard stare. That is the one telling you that you should back off or he or she can bite you. And the good ones are all the mentioned above, soft eyes, longing eyes and tilting heads. Many of these are so cute to see and can mean many things.
However, there is no simple one-stare-fits-all answer. Dogs have many reasons for turning their gaze on us. But most of the time they are either communicating with us or waiting for us to communicate with them. With a little knowledge and observation, you can learn to tell the difference. You can also teach your dog alternative ways to communicate that aren’t quite so puzzling as staring.