Why Do Dogs Stare At You?

“My dog stares at me” In this blog, we learn why dogs stare at you! We’ll learn what they hope to achieve by staring at you, why they might be staring at the wall, or why they might stare at nothing…

Nov 21, 2023·5 min read
Why Do Dogs Stare At You?

Have you ever spotted your dog staring off into space, directly at the wall, ceiling, or even at you? Here are the potential reasons your dog is staring…

Why Is My Dog Staring At Me?

They love you; a lot of the time, dogs will stare at you because they love you. Staring can literally be an expression of affection! It can also help release “the love hormone” oxytocin which enhances feelings of trust for your dog.

They want something; if you’re eating a snack or some dinner, it’s very likely your pup is staring because he wants a piece of it too (not that you should give in! Some human foods can be bad for dogs)! Staring at you may be a way of them asking for a bathroom break outside or they may want to go for a walk. 

They are trying to work out what’s going on; they may be a little confused as to what’s about happen, and as their master, you’re the decision-maker! They may just be staring to try and work out any clues you’re giving off: Is it time for “walkies”? It is time to be fed? Are they going to try and give me a bath? Anything!

They’re about to become aggressive; staring can sometimes be a threat. If they’re not blinking, their stance is stiff and they’re walking backward slowly, they may be getting ready to defend themselves – this can sometimes happen if there’s food to be fought over. If this behavior happens often and is a cause for concern in your home, contact a local, ethical dog trainer who can help you safely and kindly eek this behavior out.

a brown and white Jack Russell with a blue collar looks forward with brown eyes

Why Is My Dog Staring At The Wall?

There’s something in the wall; a dog’s hearing is exemplary. They may be hearing a mouse in the wall, bees, termites, or another infestation of sorts. If their head is tilting whilst they stare, it’s probably because they’re listening. Try listening with them to see if you can hear anything too and contact an exterminator accordingly. 

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD); as dogs get older they can sometimes develop “doggy dementia”, although dogs don’t experience dementia in the same way we understand it in humans. It is more common in senior dogs, but if they’re staring at walls, getting stuck in corners, walking aimlessly, and/or seem disorientated this may be something to look into.

They’re having a seizure; seizures don’t have to be dramatic, shaking, scary affairs. A focal seizure or a partial seizure may just involve the brain checking out and cause your dog to stare off into space or at a wall. If this happens frequently, get your dog checked over by a vet as the underlying cause could be something like epilepsy or even cancer. 

the profile of a small black Frenchie staring ahead with brown eyes

Why Is My Dog Staring At Nothing? 

Seizures or CCD; as above, doggies staring at nothing could also be experiencing CCD or maybe having a small partial/focal seizure.

They’re in pain or are anxious; if your dog has a glazed-over look in their eyes this could indicate that your dog is experiencing some form of pain – they’re excellent at masking physical aches and discomfort so they could be feeling a little under the weather. 

They’re anxious; if they’re staring out of the door or into a room where a loved one usually is or resides, they may be experiencing separation anxiety and wanting to be back in the company of their loved one. 

Their eyesight is deteriorating; much like humans, as dogs get older their eyesight deteriorates so they may be staring off into space because their eyes are having a little trouble focusing.

They have an infection; a disorientated dog may have an infection or be unwell with something like a UTI (urinary tract infection). Infections may be accompanied by other symptoms like darting eyes, difficulty standing or tilting their head. 

They’re attention-seeking; sometimes your dog may be gazing into thin air in the hope that you’ll notice them and then make a fuss of them out of concern. And hey, if you’ve searched “why is my dog staring at nothing?” it worked!

Dog Staring

In most situations, your dog is staring as a way of communicating with you or in anticipation of you communicating with them. However, if they’re staring at the wall or at nothing frequently, and you’re noticing other behavioral changes, it’s probably worth having them checked out by their vet. You can also consider videoing the episodes when they happen, making a note of how long they last and the date and time, so your vet can see what’s happening at home, no matter how minor it may seem to you.


“Why Is My Dog Staring At Me?” Oscar & Hooch https://www.oscarandhooch.com/blog/why-is-my-dog-staring-at-me/

Author Burke, Anna “Why Is My Dog Staring At The Wall?” American Kennel Club, May 17. 2015 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/why-dog-staring-at-wall/

Author Natcheva, Petya “Why Does My Dog Stare Into Space? 7 Reasons Revealed” Dogs & Clogs https://dogsandclogs.com/why-does-my-dog-stare-into-space/

Sarah MiltonS

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
*In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022
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