Why does my dog stare at me constantly

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Does your dog stare at you at a specific time every day? Does he turn his gaze upon you while you are at your dinner table? Does he keenly observe you while you are watching your favorite TV program?

Virtually all pets have the character of looking at peoples’ eyes at one point or another. However, dogs do this to a greater extent because they can maintain eye contact mutually for a prolonged period compared to other pets.

The truth of the matter is that there are many reasons to explain why your dog is staring at you all the time and it is important also to mention that all dogs have this behavior as it is not specific to some.

8 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Staring At You Constantly

1. It is a display of Love

Biology explains that whenever a dog identifies you as a friend and starts staring at you, his body releases the oxytocin hormone which is commonly known as the love hormone.

This is the same hormone that is released when a mother breastfeeds her child and it is necessary for developing the bond between the mother and the child.

Loving Dog

The same case applies to our canine friend, once the oxytocin hormone has been released in its body, he will identify you as a good friend and will express the social attachment through constant eye contact.

In addition, dogs show us affection by licking us. If your dog licks you a lot and you want to understand this behavior, check our article on “Why Does My Dog Lick Me So Much?” 

2. They want your attention

Since we have seen that dogs have the ability to develop very strong social and emotional attachments towards human beings, it is, therefore, reasonable that they crave physical attachment.

A dog would not want to call for your attention by doing something outrageous like biting you hard. He does so by simply staring at us.

Dog seeking attention

Dogs will literally want our attention throughout the day so long as they are awake and bored. It is therefore very important to engage your dog in some physical exercises and games that will quench his thirst for your attention.

Read my article on how long can dogs be left alone. 

3. They are aggressive

Dogs are not always aggressive to their owners and friends. This one will mostly apply to visitors’ in the house.

A dog will constantly stare at anybody who seems to pose a threat in the owner’s presence. They do this because of their love towards the owners and it acts as a sign of protection from possible threats from strangers.

Anticipatory dog

The next time you see your friend’s dog staring at you constantly without rocking his body and wagging the tail, you can conclude that he is trying to tell you that he’s on the watch.

Similarly, if a strange dog is staring at you constantly with a stiff posture and without blinking his eye, it is better to back off and leave the place because he is expressing a negative emotion to you.

4. They want to eat or drink

Being an animal, your dog will not tell you that it’s dinner time. They use body language to express hunger and thirst towards their human friend.

Keeping eye contact with the owner is a common way that dogs use to remind us that it is food time for them.

If you have trained your dog to feed on fixed times throughout the day, he will always approach you at the said time to remind you that it’s time to eat.

Hungry dog

This not only applies to dogs’ food. Canines have the habit of desiring whatever their owners are partaking as food.

If you are having your meal at the dinner table, you will probably see your dog hanging around you with his eyes fully fixed on you and the plate.

Dogs believe that whatever is good for you must also be good for them. So, if you are eating something that appeals to your dogs’ taste buds, he believes that he should get a share too.

5. Anticipatory look

New dog owners often ask ‘why does my dog stares at me all time’, especially when the canine is new to him and they have not developed an attachment to a greater extent.

Your dog will stare at you in anticipation of what you are planning to do next. We can also call this curiosity, and it mostly applies when the dog is trying to learn your behaviors and character.

Anticipatory dog

An anticipatory look also occurs when the dog is watching out for what you want to do next for him. Are you giving him a treat? Is it mealtime for him? Are you going out?

These are the questions that linger in the dog’s brain and he will wait to see what you are up to as he fixes his eyes on you. 

6. They are waiting for an order

Dogs show a lot of discipline, especially to their owners and friends. You will realize that whenever you are training or doing some exercises with your dog, he will keenly keep eye contact with you to wait for orders and further directions.

This applies even when the exercise is over, you will realize that your dog will turn a glaze to you whenever he wants a physical engagement with you in terms of communicating orders such as sitting and running.

We can also put it that the dog is exhibiting a state of slight confusion when he stares at you constantly in this manner.

This stare is mostly accompanied by a tilted head and pricked ears; the dog does not show any aggressiveness in this state.

7. They are mastering your body language

This reason will answer the question ‘why does my dog keep staring at me’ especially when you are in the house doing your normal chores and routine.

Your dog will keenly observe as you reach out for your mop to clean the house. He will pay close attention to try and understand what you are doing in the kitchen and so on.


Once a dog is acquainted with your body language and routine, it is easier for him to know when you are not available to play with him and when you can.

Remember your dog is like the human friends we have. We try to understand how they behave and they also strive to know that.

8. It can be a sign of sickness

Take a keen note of how the dog behaves as he stares at you. If he is in a state of discomfort and keeps wagging his tail while moving up and down, it is a clear sign that there is something probably wrong somewhere and it can be on the dog’s health.

Sick dog

You might notice that your older dog is staring at you constantly with no apparent reason or any sign of urgent need. In this case, your dog might be suffering from cognitive dysfunction which is common for old dogs.

However, this sign is not enough to conclude that your dog is having cognitive dysfunction syndrome, there are other signs to look for before you make the conclusion.

I recommend seeking the service of a qualified vet to ascertain the exact problem with your beloved friend if you suspect any sign of sickness.


As you have seen, it is very important to try and understand the possible reason why your dog seeks your attention by staring at you constantly.

The common one is that dogs express love to human beings through eye contact, but it can also be another sign of sickness for your beloved friend.

Does your dog keep staring at you all the time? How do you handle the situation? I hope you have not turned your dog off for maintaining eye contact with you. Please let me know your experience in the comment below.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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4 Responses

  1. My American yellow lab Molly will come and either sit or lay down right in front of me on the couch and stare at me for hours…right at me. Doesn’t want food or need to go out. It drives me nuts sometimes. I hate when I tell her to go lay down or go away, she then will lay down with her back to me. Ugh. Prior to this she drools A LOT!I
    She also loves to lick my legs feet and hand in excess when she can. Is my dog just very close to me or a bit of a dork?

    • Hi Vickie, your dog staring at you could mean that he loves you, another reason could be he is very curious to know what are you going to do next and wants to follow you, does he usually follow you everywhere you go in the house? If you feel none of these is the reason, then maybe your dog wants your attention all the time and doesn’t like it when you sit on your couch and watch TV or read a book. He could be very needy and wants all the attention to him.

      With regards to the drooling, have you ever checked with a vet if there’s a medical reason for that? because as far as I know this breed doesn’t drool a lot so maybe it’s worth to check it with a vet.

      Licking is another act for dogs trying to show us affection, if not it could be that your dog likes the salty taste on your skin. Or it could as well mean that your dog is needy. I would say that your dog has a needy personality so he tries to stare at you or lick you to show you affection and ask for your attention.

  2. My little Pomeranian/Shih Tzu around 10 years old. Three years ago, my wife– his mama– passed away after a long illness, most of which time she was home. I have a girlfriend now who he obsessively follows around the house (or runs outside when she goes to our enclosed porch where he is not allowed). He sits and stares at her, obsessively, all the time. When she goes to the bathroom, he sits by the door (even against the door) until she comes out. If she’s in the kitchen, he will sit in the living room, covertly staring at her from under a table or between furniture. He’s been doing this the entire time we’ve been together. My girlfriend firmly believes he’s possessed, and demons are surveilling her through his eyes. It has unnerved her so much that she’s asked me to find another home for him. Thing is, he’s my baby– he is the last “gift” my wife passed on to me when she died. I don’t want to lose either one of them, but my girlfriend’s decided that if I don’t *make* him stop, or get him out of there, that I have “chosen” him over her. It is starting to break down our relationship.

    • Hey Mathew I am so sorry about this! Did your girlfriend ever have a dog before? If not, it is very important that you explain to her that dogs behavior and body language always have an explanation. Your dog staring at her can be a sign of love or curiosity, I would recommend that you share with her my article and other ones as well so she can understand the meaning behind his behavior. And never let go of your dog, he is part of your family and I am sure he loves you unconditionally, to me this is not even an option as it will affect his mental and physical health when you let him go even if you give him to a good family.

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