Whenever I come home, my dog just stares at me.

If your dog constantly fixes its gaze on you, sometimes for what seems like hours, and frequently without blinking, you might question whether they are showing you love and affection or merely trying to get your attention in order to let you know what they want. The looks your dog gives you undoubtedly mean something, regardless of whether some owners think it's cute or a little spooky.

Your dog may be fixated on you for a variety of reasons, but they almost always do so out of curiosity or to communicate with you. The key to understanding why your dog is staring at you is understanding what that unique "something" could be, but it's most likely for one of the following reasons:

  • They are curious about your current activities and future plans.
  • They don't understand your plans or what you want from them.
  • They need something from you, like food, affection, time with you to take a walk or use the restroom.
  • They cherish you

Like a book, your dog is reading you.

Dogs are excellent communicators. Your dog observes your facial expressions and body language to help them understand what you're thinking and feeling. They depend entirely on you. e food, water, affection, activity, even when and where to use the bathroom, etc. They can better understand your behavior to determine what's happening and what will happen next. Dogs are very good at remembering our routines, but they frequently linger in front of us to try to decipher our actions. If you go to the front door, are you going to get the mail, go outside, or take them for a walk?

They'll probably use their other senses in addition to closely observing you to gather more information. They pay attention to the tone of your voice, and they may even lick your hands and face to assess your mood using their extraordinary senses of taste and smell.

They're perplexed

Even though your dog sometimes seems to read minds very well, it must be very challenging for them to always understand what's going on because they don't speak our language. Your dog may occasionally be gazing at you because they have no idea what is going on or what they are supposed to do. They can learn more about their situation by closely observing you and gathering information. Your dog may simply need another hint from you to help them understand what to do if you ask them to do something and they just stare at you instead of responding.

Your dog is attempting to communicate with you.

If your dog is staring at you, they may be attempting to get your attention or "tell" you something that is significant to them. However, what exactly are they trying to say? Dogs are excellent at convincing you to help them because they have very expressive eyes. How are you supposed to say no to them? Your dog has learned that if they look at you a certain way, you'll be more likely to give them what they want, even though you may not be aware of it. They might receive a toy, a treat, a stroke, a cuddle, or be taken for a walk or to the bathroom. Although being observed may make you feel uneasy, it is far preferable to acting in an attention-seeking manner by barking, chewing, or biting. If you struggle to understand what your dog wants, you might find it helpful to train them to perform certain actions when they desire certain things, such as retrieving their leash when they desire a walk or going to their bowl when they desire food. But if they keep requesting your attention, it might be a sign that their needs aren't being met. To help you strike the right balance in these circumstances, you might try speaking with a behaviorist or a KCAI instructor.

They cherish you

Dogs will occasionally make eye contact with you to express their feelings, often expressing their love for you. A "feel-good hormone" called oxytocin has been discovered to be released by a dog's loving gaze in both you and your dog. This hormone promotes happiness and relaxation, as well as the close emotional connection that makes your relationship so special. Therefore, it's likely that your dog is letting you know that they feel the same way when you gaze lovingly into their eyes and they return the favor. It's important to never force your dog to stare you in the eyes because it's unlikely that they will interpret this in a positive way. Dogs tend to use this look when they are feeling relaxed.

They desire food.

Your dog may be staring at you because they want a piece of whatever you are eating if, like many dogs, they are food-obsessed. It can be challenging to break the habit of giving your dog some of your food when they display their "sad eyes" face, but if you find this irresistible, you could train your dog to sit next to you while you eat. and perhaps chew on a bone, engage in food puzzle play, or confine them to a different room while you eat.

They desire more consideration.

Sometimes, even after receiving love all day, your dog may still crave your attention. They might not have any specific requests, but a quick touch or belly rub can go a long way to reassuring and loving them. If this occurs frequently, your dog might be bored or lacking in exercise. You might try keeping them engaged or increasing their physical activity. A stimulating game can exhaust your dog more than a monotonous walk around the block because mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation.

When they poop, they want your protection.

If your dog looks at you while using the restroom, it may be because they feel exposed and need your assurance and protection. Dogs are comparatively defenseless and unable to fight or flee any threats while they are pooping. Take it as a compliment that your dog is looking to you as their dependable protector to keep an eye out for danger if they are staring at you while they go potty. It helps to speak to them calmly to reassure them all that everything is fine. Additionally, you could incorporate a cue word, like "toilet," to help the dog learn that this is a secure place to "go."

During training, direction

Your dog may be waiting for their next cue as to what to do if they are staring at you while you are training them. A trained dog will frequently stare to indicate that they want to be told what their next action should be. If your dog is closely observing you, it indicates that they are concentrating on you rather than their surroundings. This is evidence of your close relationship. Having your dog watch you can improve your relationship and be a very helpful skill for getting your dog's attention during training or in tense situations. Being attentive dogs may be simpler to train, so why not make the most of it? This might be especially helpful if you're considering participating in any canine sports, like rally, agility, or obedience.

Cognitive impairment

A dog who is frequently gazing at its owner or into space, especially in older dogs, may occasionally be suffering from dementia. You should seek advice from your veterinarian if they appear confused, repeatedly urinate indoors, exhibit memory loss symptoms, or exhibit changes in behavior, activity levels, or eating and sleeping schedules.


A dog's stare can sometimes be used to convey emotions other than love, such as unhappiness. Although it's unlikely, your dog might give you this kind of commanding gaze if they feel threatened by another dog. Typically, it is accompanied by stillness and an upright, stiff body. It's crucial that you don't stare back at a dog who gives you an aggressive look that makes you feel threatened, that you give them a lot of room, and that you maintain your distance. You should think about speaking with a behaviorist if your dog behaves in this way toward you or has behaved in this way toward other dogs.

Is it a concern when my dog looks at me?

The majority of the time, a dog's stare has meaning, but it can occasionally be difficult to decipher what that meaning is Most of the time, this stare is nothing to worry about and is simply a dog trying to communicate with you. Although you are the expert on your dog, always make sure to speak to your local vet or a dog behaviorist, such as a KCAI instructor, if you have any worries about your dog or their behavior.

Discover more

On our "why does my dog?" hub, you can find responses to some of the other most frequently asked questions, including:
  • My dog eats grass, why?
  • My dog eats poop, why?
  • Why is my dog trembling?
  • Why does my dog always follow me around?
  • Why does my dog constantly lick me?
  • My dog keeps licking my feet, why?
  • Why sneezes my dog so much?
  • Why does my dog have a fishy odor?

Always speak with your veterinarian right away if you have concerns about your dog's health.

Since we are not a veterinary organization, we are unable to provide veterinary advice. However, if you have any questions about any of the problems mentioned in this article, please get in touch with your nearby vet practice.

Why not check out the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' website if you're looking for a veterinarian office nearby? Find a vet  page

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