My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?
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Thread: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

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    Senior Member Thracian's Avatar
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    My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    I've read several times that dogs don't like it when you look them in the eye, that they are intimidated by a stare down. So it confuses me that Cupid often stares at me. He won't look away when I meet his gaze. Sometimes (often?) when he stares, I'm sure he just wants me to throw the ball (he's a fetchaholic).

    Let me add that Cupid is a bit fearful, and definitely won't make eye contact with other people, so conventional wisdom about not looking them in the eye definitely applies there. I'm just a little puzzled by his willingness to meet my eyes so often.

    Anyone else have dogs who stare at them?

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    Senior Member waterbaby's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    My dog will, but it's something that I actually reward and encourage. I don't know if she would do it on her own.

    I've heard the same as you that dogs become uncomfortable when you look at them directly, but then I also had a trainer tell me that eye contact can be hugely rewarding. I should have asked her about that.

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    Senior Member Thracian's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    I don't really encourage or discourage it. I'm fine with it. It just puzzles me because I've heard so much about how dogs don't like to look people in the eyes.

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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    My dogs will stare at me when they want to go outside or want what I'm eating I think it's just bad to look an unknown, aggressive, or scared dog in the eyes.

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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Build on this. Seriously. A dog that will focus onyou can be taught so very much.

    Because of his focus you can actually train your dog to do things by changing your facial expression (raising an eyebrow, smiling, etc.).

    Focus means she finds you more interesting than other things.. knows you will do something more interesting to her than other things around her (like that rewarding fetch game).

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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    From what I understand eye contact is different depending on the dog. In a dominate or aggressive dog eye contact may be what you're referring to. The first to look away is the one that give in. This would usually be the case with say a stray dog you picked up from the shelter perhaps or one that is more independent. A stare down is a form of contest until you become the "boss".

    However in most cases when the dog is not being dominate or aggressive it is looking to you for something. Trying to get your attention or reading an emotion in your facial expression, or waiting for direction from you. Which is most likely what your dog is doing. In this case it's perfectly fine to make eye contact and should be something that is welcomed.
    Last edited by chrisn6104; 01-14-2010 at 12:51 PM.

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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    A lot of times I notice in training, esp. leash handling that the handler's dog will look at them for reassurance or praise to make sure they're doing the right thing. Maybe he just wants you to acknowledge his existance. Does he bring a ball with him for these stare fests or just sitting and staring at you? I know that with a couple of my dogs that when they stare at me they need to go out and potty. A hound that we lost in august use to stare at my hubby (who's diabetic) when his numbers were off and she wouldn't budge until he got up and checked himself. maybe it's as simple as adoration... Next time it happens try to be a little more aware of the other external things, did you just get done cooking or eating shortly before it happens (like with in that hour), are you having your cycle (if you're a girl)? What was he doing right before he got up and stared at you? was there recently a play/work session ended (again with in an hour-ish) of it happening? Need more info.

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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Oh, training your dog to look at you (in the eyes/general face area) can be a good technique for focusing. Most call it "watch me" or "watch".

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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Summer is a starer... like literally she will stare you (any you) down to the point it freaks a lot of people out. I find she is just very observant around people and very interested in them. I don't even notice anymore, I'm just so used to it but every other person that's lived with her (all my ex roomies, family, etc) mentions it often and how uncomfortable it makes them feel. I joke its a good thing she's not a doberman or something. Her quiet watchfulness and ability to stare a hole through someone would be really intimidating.
    Mia CGC - (5 year old papillon)
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    Senior Member TxRider's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana55 View Post
    Build on this. Seriously. A dog that will focus onyou can be taught so very much.

    Because of his focus you can actually train your dog to do things by changing your facial expression (raising an eyebrow, smiling, etc.).

    Focus means she finds you more interesting than other things.. knows you will do something more interesting to her than other things around her (like that rewarding fetch game).
    Yup taking me forever to get Hope to do that.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Do you imagine hearts floating from his mind? If so, you've described what I like to observe in Elsa.

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    Senior Member pittsabowawa's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    I don't think there is anything wrong with it unless the dog is showing signs of aggression when you meet his/her gaze.

    Bella is pretty submissive so when our gazes meet she usually looks away pretty quick... making "watch me" very hard to teach. LOL I cant hardly tell when her gaze reaches mine sometimes

    One joy shatters a hundred griefs

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    Senior Member waterbaby's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thracian View Post
    He won't look away when I meet his gaze. Sometimes (often?) when he stares, I'm sure he just wants me to throw the ball (he's a fetchaholic)....I'm just a little puzzled by his willingness to meet my eyes so often.
    Another thought: brain-washing. throwtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballth rowtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthro wtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthrowt heball...

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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Is your fly open?

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    Senior Member ruckusluvr's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    My dogs stare at me when i said a word they are familar with like "go" "car" etc in a sentance. they stare at me when they want to go outside too. that is the only thing the do to let me know they need to go out!
    They also stare at me to wake me up! sounds crazy, but I can feel Ruckus staring at me, and i open my eyes and he is a foot away from my face staring with his tail wagging a thousand miles an hour! LOL

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Most domestic dogs who do not have fear issues are relatively comfortable making eye contact/extended eye contact with people they trust. It may not be a normal "dog" behaviour in the sense that dog to dog staring can be seen as a challenge but dogs have spent thousands of years learning to read US and part of that is watching our faces.

    A good "watch" is a great thing for training and bonding work.

    Check out this pic...this is Cracker's focus on me..

    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Senior Member lucidity's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Cadence stares at me ALL THE TIME! Usually he stares excitedly when I'm eating something (yeah, greedy puppy).. But sometimes he just stares.. and I feel weird staring back so I just talk to him (yeah, pretend like he can understand what I'm saying, lol) and then he cocks his head as if to say "hmm, I dunno what you're saying, I'm just gonna do this and look cute!".

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbaby View Post
    Another thought: brain-washing. throwtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballth rowtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthro wtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthrowtheballthrowt heball...
    O. M. G. I woke up this morning on the couch, and I had no idea how I got there. But guess where I found my dog? Yup, that's right, sleeping in my bed. Do you think... No, it's not possible.

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    Senior Member sagira's Avatar
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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    O. M. G. I woke up this morning on the couch, and I had no idea how I got there. But guess where I found my dog? Yup, that's right, sleeping in my bed. Do you think... No, it's not possible.
    LOL You cracked me up!

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    Re: My dog stares at me . . . what does it mean?

    Nia wil only stare intently at me if she wants something from me. For example shell stare at me sometimes if she wants to play or go outside to potty or something.

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