Why Does My Dog Stare at Me?

Do you find your dog watching you while you are watching TV, cooking dinner, or any other activity? Do you notice that they are even keeping tabs on you when you go to the bathroom? It is because it is one thing that they all do very well – staring at their owners!

They continuously do it all the time, but why do they do it? Here are a few reasons why:

Your Pooch Wants You to Notice Them

Your dog is desperate for you to notice them. It is normally because they want you to do something for them, but it is not always a specific thing that they want from you. When your dog wants some attention, then throwing a ball, or giving them a tummy rub is good enough, but just plain good-old love and attention will do the trick. This is of course after they have been for their exercise and are being good.

They Want Something

Dogs will learn early in life that staring at people is a perfectly acceptable way of asking for something. You most likely have something to do with this behavior because you probably gave them something when they stared at you in the past. You might have given them dinner, reached out to them, or even taken them for a walk. So, you basically trained your dog to stare at you when they need something. It might be annoying when they stare at you all the time but it is way better than having them digging, barking, or biting for attention.

Your Pooch is Trying to Learn

You may think that it is cute when they look at you with a tilted head during training, but they are most likely confused when they do that. Just like you are trying to figure out what they want, they are doing the same. It would be much easier for both humans and dogs if we spoke the same language.

If you find that your dog is staring at you when you ask for something to be done, you might want to backtrack and find a way to communicate your intentions in a clearer manner. So if you ask your pooch to sit and they just stare, it is time for you to go back and re-train them. Your dog is not being naughty, they are just confused.

They Want Something Else From You

As mentioned before when speaking about attention, it goes much deeper than you think it does. In fact, this type of stare is one that most owners will notice most of the time because it covers a wide range of “wants’ from their puppy days – everything from “I’m hungry, feed me” to “toss my ball” to “I want to go for a walk” to, yes, “rub my tummy.” When a dog stares at you while they are doing something specific, such as holding their lead in their mouth, it is their way of telling you what they want from you. “You will give me what I want and I am going to get it by staring at you.” Okay, so that is possibly not what they are trying to say, but you get the picture.

dog staring at owner

That Aggressive Stare

This is a warning stare, which you will right before they are going to bite you. This type of stare can last from a few seconds to a few minutes, and it is their way of warning you not to mess with them. A lot of dogs will actually look away before they bite.

Some dogs have such an aggressive stare, that there is no other way to interpret it other than “do not mess with me.” So, before you assume that a dog is friendly, take note of their body language, or you may end up putting yourself in danger.

It is time to back off if you approach your dog for something and they suddenly turn and stare right at you. They are trying to tell you that they are not happy with what you are doing, or trying to do.

The Lovely Playful Stare

Dogs that herd are also prone to staring. It is their way of controlling sheep, cows, goats, and even humans. Border Collie’s do it all the time when they herd, and other types of dogs do it when they want a toy, or when they want to play.

Dogs that hunt often stare when they are on the prowl. This particular stare can either be a playful one, or a serious one. If your dog suddenly slows down and lowers their heads, staring into the distance, they are either in herding or hunting mode.

They Want Direction

The last reason that dogs stare is that they want you to tell them what they need to do. If your dog starts staring at you during a training session, it is usually because they are looking for direction form you. They are basically trying to ask you what they must do next.


Dogs have various habits like licking their paws or eating grass which is due to a particular reason. So the next time you find your dog staring at you, there is a reason why they are doing so, and it is your job to find out what it is that they need. There you have it – the answer to “Why does my dog stare at me?.”

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