Why do dogs just sit and stare at us?

Why Does My Dog Just Sit And Stare At Me?

Have you ever looked up only to see your dog sitting and staring you down?  I definitely have.  If you are wondering some of the reasons why dogs just sit and stare at us, this article will dive into the various reasons.

Reasons Why Dogs Sit and Stare

They need something

One big reason your dog may sit and stare at you is because they need something.  My dog will stare at me when she needs to go outside, and if I take too long to move the staring could change to whining.

If your dog is staring try and figure out what your dog could need.  They may want to go outside to potty, go for a walk, or play. 

They are watching what we are doing (i.e. reading us)

Cute puppy staring

Dogs are very observant.  They sit around and watch what we do and many times they can tell what we are going to do because of our patterns of behavior.  For example, if you always pack your suitcase before a trip, your dog will learn that packing means your leaving for a few days. 

Accordingly, sometimes dogs sit and stare at us to try and read and understand what we are doing to determine if something exciting is about to happen.  Another example is I usually wear a certain type of pants whenever it’s time for walk, so whenever my dog sees me getting that type of pants, she pays attention because she thinks its walk time.

See if you notice certain patterns in your behavior that would lead to your dog’s staring.

They are confused by what we are doing

Another reason your dog could be watching you is because they are confused by something you are doing.  Dogs are observant but they don’t always understand why we do what we do.  So if you are doing something out of the ordinary, your dog could be staring because they are confused about something new you are doing.

They want attention

A big reason why dogs stare is that they want attention.  If you have been busy all day and your dog hasn’t gotten a normal amount of attention, play, or exercise, they could be staring to get you to interact with them.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and they get used to certain things happening at certain times.  Accordingly, if you normally walk your dog first thing in the morning, but today its 1pm and you pooch hasn’t been walked yet they may start staring at you to remind you they are ready for walking time. 

They are looking for guidance

Sometimes our dogs stare because they are looking to us for guidance about something.   Maybe you told them a command and they aren’t sure what you are asking so they just stare while they try and figure it out. 

Or maybe they got a toy stuck under the sofa and they are looking for you to show them how to get their toy back.  Our dogs learn to depend on following our guidance so sometimes they are looking to us to show them what they should be doing.

Your dog is showing affection

Dogs are affectionate, so sometimes they are staring at us as a simple sign of affection and adoration.  Sometimes that affection comes in the form of a lick and other times it’s a gaze.  Eye contact is very important to a dog’s communication, and soft eye contact can just mean that they love their human companion.

Your dog is waiting for you to do something

Another reason your dog may be sitting and staring is that they are waiting for you to act.  If your dog is waiting for you to get their food or take them for a walk, they may sit around until they know you are ready. 

For example, every morning my dog sits and stares at me while I brush my teeth, wash my face, etc., because she is waiting for me to be done so we can go outside.

Why Does My Dog Stare at me When I Sleep?

If you have a dog, you may have woken up a time or two to those glossy eye staring you down.  Dogs sometimes watch us while we sleep.  But why? 

It can be for a variety of reasons, but most often I find that dogs watch us while we are sleeping to wake us up in a subtle manner.  Multiple times a week I wake up to my dog sitting on the side of my bed staring at me.  Once I open my eyes, she is content and goes back to lie down and wait for me to wake up, and get out of bed.  However, if I fall back asleep the stare fest will start again. 

Dogs also watch us while we sleep to check on us to make sure we are ok, especially if we haven’t moved or made any noise in a long time.  This is also common if you are sleeping later than normal.


If you have ever wondered “why does my dog just sit and stare at me”, hopefully this article gave you some good insight.  There are many reasons why dogs stare at us.  Since they don’t have words sometimes, they use their eyes to communicate what they want, what they need or just their affection.

Does your dog stare at you?