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Why Does My Dog Stare at Me While Pooping? Unravelling Canine Behavior

There are a few reasons why your dog might stare at you when he poops. One possibility is that he is looking for reassurance and protection. When dogs are vulnerable, such as pooping, they may look to their owners for help.

Why my dog stares at me when he poops?

Why Does My Dog Stare at Me While Pooping? Anyone with the good fortune to live with a dog knows how capable these creatures are of surprising us with incredible and captivating things.

They shake with joy when we come home from work, chasing sticks, balls and Frisbees endlessly and mindlessly. However, they sometimes engage in strange and somewhat mysterious behaviour.

Let’s take a closer look at the daily walk with your dog: After a couple of runs in the park, your four-legged friend sniffs some grass, turns in a circle and then squats.

It’s time to go potty. And there we are, ready with poo bag in hand to look at our pup to ensure we don’t lose sight of the incoming ”treat”; but there, Fido is practically maintaining eye contact straight at us as he goes about his poo.

He stares at us. The whole time. Creepy. But why does it happen?

Indeed, this is not a universal attitude: like any other sentient being, dogs are not all the same and do not all have the same character.

Legend has it that some of them excrete their needs without maintaining any visual contact with their owner, in total privacy and naturalness. However, as evidenced by numerous ‘testimonials’ on social media, most insist on maintaining eye contact.

Some veterinary experts and trainers have proposed plausible theories about why such behaviour may occur. In addition, there are scientific studies that can justify the need for eye contact between owner and dog, regardless of the current situation.

Why does my dog stare at me? The expert’s response

Why does my dog stare at me? The expert's response.
The significance of prolonged eye contact.

A 2009 study in Hormones and Behavior focused on the significance of prolonged eye contact between humans and their dogs. It found that mutual gaze produces a physiological response similar to mothers and infants.

So basically, if your dog has prolonged eye contact with you, it could mean he thinks of you as his mum.

Madeline Friedman, a canine behaviour expert and trainer with Innovative Dog Training, said dogs might also hope to do their physical needs outside rather than in some inconvenient corner of the house.

“Dogs, when they are puppies, most dogs are rewarded.

But most owners do not reliably maintain this habit when training their dogs, at least not as often. So instead, I think the dog remembers the training period and hopes to get a reward,” Friedman told The Dodo.

Alternatively, a dog may also be looking for your blessing. “If a dog stares at its owner when it does its physical needs, it is probably trying to get approval to ensure it is doing the right thing.

Perhaps the owner has reprimanded him for doing his business in the wrong area. This may have caused him much anxiety,” said Nick Jones, dog behaviourist and trainer with Alpha Dog Behaviour in London.

Another option is on instinct. “The position for needs is a vulnerable position for dogs. The feeling of vulnerability comes from their ancestor, the wolf, which still has to defend itself in the wild.

I think the dogs ensure their backs are covered while in that vulnerable position for an extended period,” Friedman said.

What are dogs looking for when they poop? Matter of herd.

Dr Kathryn Primm, a veterinarian from Tennessee, supported Friedman’s theory, explaining the concept in detail: “Defecation is one of the moments in an animal’s life when it is most vulnerable”.

Therefore, it has to assume a position to perform the task and cannot fight or flee readily. The dog is instinctively aware of its ‘inertia’.

“But your dog also knows he is part of your ‘pack’. You are a member of the family group. So, if your dog is watching you during this moment, he depends on you to signal him with body language to ‘warn’ him in case of an alarm. You can bet your dog will get excited if you jump suddenly.

Perhaps this is why he won’t let us go to the toilet alone: he wants to tell us that he has our back. So, what can we do to make our dog feel safer while expelling his physical needs?

We don’t have to do anything to reassure our dog in such a delicate moment as his needs. However, we must remain relaxed and avoid sudden, jerky movements, which the puppy may interpret as a sign of danger.

What are dogs looking for when they poop? Some exceptions

Sonja Olson of BluePearl Veterinary Partners said that some dogs might not even like the eye contact we might unconsciously trigger. Instead, they might just be asking for some privacy through that look.

“Some dogs prefer a bit of privacy when doing their physical needs. For example, they might try to hide behind a bush or a tree because they feel safer,” Olson said.”

This behaviour can vary depending on the breed, the relationship with the dog and other factors. Or maybe it’s just you who triggers and maintains eye contact,” he concluded.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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