Why Do Dogs Stare at Their Humans ?

If  you have ever wondered “Why does my dog stare at me?”, you are not alone. Many dog owners are struck by the amount of time that their canine friends stare at them as well as other people. Their stare is often direct to our faces and unabashed. Some dogs take it up a notch and sit right in front of us in a very open and communicative way. Others include pawing us or going around in circles in front of us while trying to maintain their stare. You may have formed a theory or two about your dog’s fixated stare, and these can be among several real reasons why your dog stares at you.



“Look at me! Look at me!”

As opposed to people who can articulate their desire for attention, your four-legged friend does not have the luxury of words. Dogs have things that they want to do and some of these things involve us. This is one of the most basic reasons why dogs stare at us. You can say that they are almost “willing” us to look at them and to spend some time with them. The desires of each dog differ from each other and some may just want a belly rub or just want to sit beside us quietly while others want some exercise with his or her favorite human.

In relation to this, some dogs stare at their favorite human just because they like to. The desire to see their human often leads to dogs staring at their owners for several minutes but in a calm way. Dogs that want something done are often alert and ready for action when they stare openly at their owner. Those that wish to just be with their owner may stare but are often content to just stay like that for several minutes. One could say that he or she is “studying” their human or is feeling blissful.

Dogs Can Read Us


Woman with her dog tender scene .

One other reason why our dogs often stare at us is to get a “reading” on how we are at that very moment. Our furry buddies are very good at assessing our emotions, physical state, and mental state. They do this by looking at us intently as if to gauge how we are feeling at the moment. They often notice our facial expressions, our actions and the tone of our voices. These give them a clue as to what to expect from us at this time. When we are angry, not only can our dogs see it in our faces, they can also hear it in our voice as well as sense it in other bodily expressions which we humans may not pick up easily. Have you ever noticed when you arrive home that your dog would look at you directly as if to assess your mood? Well, this is what they do. They stare at their owners to assess what our mood is at that specific moment. This is important for them because as pack animals, they need to behave according to their leader’s mood. Their assessment of us can also clue them in on what we expect from them, even without an order or instructions. This ability to read humans is very handy especially in working dogs that help people who are handicapped and those who have special needs.

“What are you up to?”

dog-high five with human

high five human, dog giving a paw to a handsome man in the house

It’s not just dogs that can often act in a funny way, people can also act out of the norm and our canine friends are not above being curious as to what we are up to. When we talk to ourselves, behave abnormally and have sudden bursts of emotion such as laughter or tears, our best buddies want to know what is going on. Possibly, they are confused with the deviation from normal behavior and they want to know if we are alright. Aside from abnormal behavior, dogs often react to deviations to their schedule as well as changes to our schedule. Dogs are among the most playful animals in the world and they love a good game of hide and seek or chase but there are routines which they also thrive on, such as meal times and walks. Changes made to these may prompt them to stare at their owners or observe the actions of their owners. Either they are waiting for signs of the old routine or they are checking to see what they can learn from this change.

In some instances, dogs are the ones that initiate the change and they look to their human to see our reaction. Animals are capable of independent thinking and when they do they often seek approval for it. This is important because if the dog’s human does not correct the wrong behavior, it can continue. It is therefore necessary to also supervise your buddy and check his or her behavior when necessary.

“Tell Me What To Do!”

Portrait of a young girl and her dog close up outdoors

Portrait of a young girl and her dog close up outdoors

This is another scenario in which your dog may stare at you; he or she is looking for direction. Cases like these are often during training sessions or during work when your canine buddy is observing you and your actions in order to react in the way that he or she is supposed to. When training dogs, they are often taught to react, not only to voice commands, but also to gestures and situations. It is important that there is communication between trainer and the animal and the dog knows this. He or she will be focused entirely on what they trainer or the owner may do or say so that they can learn as well as do what they are trained to do. When dogs look for direction, it is usually during their active duty or when they are at work. For some working dogs, they not only look for direction from their handlers or owners but also from the surroundings. These special dogs are often trained to observe and perceive any action or situation that may put them as well as their companion at risk.

So basically, dogs rely on their humans for a lot of things. They adore their human families and are so willing to please which is why they are often seen staring at their owners and other members of the family. The above reasons answer the question of “Why does my dog stare at me” as well as address other related issues.

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