Have you ever looked up and realized that your dog is just gazing at you from across the room? Those eyes just seem like endless pools staring back at you…weird right? So, why do they do it? Dogs sometimes stare into space, or bark at nothing, and try to convince us that there are ghosts in our house, so does staring mean nothing, too? Nope, dogs do actually stare for a reason!
We are here to discuss why your dog is staring at you, what reasons this may be, and why dogs look back when walking. Why your dog is staring back at you can be for a number of reasons, and most of the time, the reason will depend on the context. So, why does your dog stare at you?
Why does my dog stare at me?
The reason why your dog is staring at you depends on the nature of the stare, and the body language that your dog is displaying. For instance, if your dog is maintaining direct eye contact with you, and not breaking the stare, then this may be considered a warning, or aggressive.
This type of stare is trying to assert dominance and authority, and is a means of making you step away or go further away from them. This aggressive kind of stare is usually one with wide eyes, a fixed gaze and no blinking, sort of like a standoff. Your dog wants you to break the stare first, and back down before them.
On the other hand, your dog may be staring at you, not breaking eye contact with its tail wagging. They may be pacing around, trying to lead you towards a certain place or purpose. This type of staring is usually to get you to do something.
For example, when it is time for dinner, my dog will come towards me, stare at me with open, longing eyes, and will use her body language to try and get me to follow her. This is so that she can gain my attention, and lead me to the kitchen where I keep her kibbles. This type of staring is just a means to an end.
The main reason that your dog stares at you is because this is their way of expressing their emotions and affections. Dogs cannot hug us, and so a longing gaze into your eyes is a way of telling us how much we mean to them. Dogs will often stare into the eyes of someone they care about as a way of showing love whilst simultaneously strengthening the bond between the person and the dog.
Studies also show that mutual staring between an owner and a dog can release high levels of oxytocin, which is a hormone that promotes social bonding, and is often what we feel when we stare at our newborn babies or children. This type of gazing and staring is therefore a way of promoting friendship, bonding and a good relationship between you and the dog.
You may perceive some stares from your dog as creepy, when they seem to look and look and gaze into your eyes for long periods of time. Whilst this can seem weird to us, it is basically just a way of your dog communicating with you. They cannot always tell us how they feel and so they show us with their eyes. After all, the eyes are windows into the soul!
Why do Pugs stare at you?
Pugs are a breed of dog that are renowned for staring at their owners. This is because they are naturally more clingy and attached to their owners than other dogs are. Pugs were bred for companionship…they are hardly hunting dogs, and so most pugs will have a strong bond and attachment to their owners. They want to be with their owners all the time.
Whilst a staring pug is often because of the affection they feel for you, they may also be prone to separation anxiety, and can be considered very needy. A pug that stares may be doing so because they are obsessed with their owners, or they want you to give them attention or affection in some way.
Often, pugs desire to sleep in the same room as their owners too, which can be another reason for staring. Staring can be a way of begging for something, or pleading for you to give in and offer that command that they seek. In this way, a pug that stares at you before bed, or when you are on the couch is one that is trying to say: please ask me, and wants you to invite them to bed with you.
Why does my husky just stare at me?
A husky will stare at you for the same reason most dogs will stare: because they want something. Whether it is food, attention, rewards, petting, or a command. Huskies are also notorious dogs for wanting to become the Alpha, and they may stare at you to assert dominance and power. Make sure that you show them who the boss is, or they will walk all over you.
Why do dogs look back at you when walking?
Dogs will often look back or look up at you when they are walking. This is a natural habit that most dogs will have. For the most part, it is just a way of ensuring that you are still there, nearby and okay.
In other instances, it may be to get you to walk faster, or to communicate something with you. For instance, your dog may want to be let off the lead, or may want to head in a certain direction.
When we try to understand a dog’s behavior, we have to consider where they came from before being domesticated. Before dogs were domesticated, they came from wolves and lived in packs.
Dogs today still have this pack mentality where there is a leader, the Alpha, which is the boss. The other dogs in the pack would look to the leader for reassurance, guidance and leadership. This is why your dog checks in with you constantly on a walk, to ensure that you are happy, and they are complying with your demands, wants, needs and leadership.