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Why your dog stares at you

You are in the kitchen preparing some food and there they are, staring at you. You head to the bathroom and on your way out, there they are, sitting by the door, staring at you. You are watching tv and you can’t help but notice those beautiful eyes staring at you. But why does your dog stares at you? Sure, you are incredibly interesting but, is that all there is? Studies have shown that your dog could be staring at you for a few specific reasons:

Desire: it is believed that this is the most noticed staring dog owners tend to notice. It covers a variety of ‘desires’- from ‘I am hungry, feed me’ to ‘please just rub my belly’ to ‘I need to go outside to take care of business’ to ‘toss the ball, let’s play’ to ‘let’s go on a car ride’ and on!

Attention: this one has very similar characteristics to desire. Your dog wants your attention but it doesn't necessarily means a ‘belly rub’, they will probably be just as happy with any affection from you such as a hug and smooches, a word of praise, a positive pat on the head, or getting a nice scratching behind the ears.

Direction: dogs also stare in order to receive direction, they want you to tell them what to do and they want to figure out what we want from them. They don’t want to miss a cue or get in trouble for doing something wrong. This is a very common stare during training or other kinds of specific activities they might be trying to achieve.

Challenging: some dogs have an ‘aggressive’ stare that could express behaviors such as ‘don’t mess with me’ or 'I am ready to take you down’. This is a common stare from a dog to another dog. They are challenging each other to initiate a play, or to fight, or for authority. It is always wise to pay attention to the dog’s body language so you don’t put yourself or your canine buddy in harm’s way.

So next time you notice your fur baby staring at you with those magnificent eyes, pay back the stare, read the body language signs, continue with the interaction, and consider yourself a lucky person for having a dog who loves you so very much!


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