If you are a dog owner, you’ve probably experienced this situation: your dog stares at you for long periods and you don’t have the slightest clue of what it means. Since we care about our dogs deeply, trying to understand their body language has become one of our top priorities. Staring is part of their language; however, it can be complex and have diverse interpretations depending on various factors.
Different kinds of staring
Before we dive in, it is important to clarify that we will only analyze dog-to-person staring. Dog-to-dog staring has a very different meaning and we won’t go through it in this article.
- Hard staring: we talk about hard stare when your dog is still, looking at you without blinking, with fixed eyes. This direct stare aims to encourage the person to move. Your dog is probably needing some space.
- Soft staring: relaxed eyes show love and affection. If your dog is staring at you gently, no whims or barks included, he may be trying to show you his love and respect. It is also a show of confidence.
When we love someone, we can spend hours staring at them, gazing at their eyes, hair, and face. Just like humans, dogs stare at their loved ones. So, if your dog stares at you, cheer up: you are one of his favorites.
- Continuous staring: if your dog stares for a long period while whining, he is probably asking for something. Make sure all his needs are covered: food, water, playtime. Remember eyes are a very active part of a dog’s body language, so pay special attention to it. Also, continuous staring from your dog can be a behavior that means he is seeking-attention.
Why does my dog stare at me? Depending on dogs’ body language, staring can have different meanings: they may be showing love and respect, asking for something, or needing some space.
- Winking: this behavior is kind of funny. Somehow, your dog manages to wink one eye at a time, seemingly winking naughtily at you. Usually, when winking, dogs are trying to bond with you or imitate a behavior. Even though it’s adorable and cute, you should be careful: if your dog winks too much, it can be caused by pain or irritation.
So, why does my dog stare at me? Like with many other behaviors in dogs, its meaning can vary depending on the individual and the situation. What we know for certain is that it’s a plus for your health. How is that? Owning a dog is great for you on so many levels. Petting your dog can reduce cortisol and mutual gazing between dogs and humans’ releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes you and your dog happier. So, if you are wondering the reason why we love dogs so much, now you have your answer: they truly make us happier.