Why do dogs stare?

April 13, 2012

There are many reasons that can cause a dog to stare. A dog may stare because of social reasons and medical conditions. By being aware of your pet’s behavior in health, you will be able to spot when staring indicates a problem.

When a dog stares when it interacts with another dog or a person, it can have different meanings depending on the situation. In a situation where a dog needs comfort or help, the dog may stare pleadingly. A dog that is begging for a treat or food may stare at the treat or at a person who is eating food.

A dog may stare back at an alpha personality dog in an aggressive situation if the dog who stares at an alpha dog has intentions of challenging the alpha dog. A dog that is fearful may stare and if the pupils are greatly dilated, the dog should be removed from the situation.

A dog may also stare if the dog suffers from an illness or other medical condition. Neurologic trauma, neuralgia, nervous migraine and amaurosis are examples of medical conditions that will produce symptoms including staring. Rabies, pain, injury, trauma, poisoning and shock can cause a dog to stare.

Unless a dog is healthy and is staring for social reasons, the staring activity can indicate a problem. If your dog suddenly starts to stare, you must seek out a proper medical diagnosis and treatment from a veterinarian. Staring can indicate a serious medical problem that should be treated and if the pet is in pain or shock, it should be treated as quickly as possible.

A dog may stare at a morsel of food with great intent or it may stare vacantly from sickness. Your pet has a variety of ways to communicate about itself to other dogs and people. When you can begin to understand your dog’s body language, you will have greater success at building a great relationship with your dog.

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