You may be busy at some task only to look up and find your pet staring at you, watching your every move intently. Staring usually means your pet wants something – like food.
But there are other reasons pets stare. Some examples can be seeking attention, wanting praise, waiting for direction, inquisitive, defiant, sad. A pet may be looking for comfort and for assurance that you are not leaving.
Our pets, particularly dogs, are adept at reading our facial movements and body language. More often than not, pets will hold the stare for a few seconds. When you return the look, dogs generally start wagging their tails and cats sometimes roll belly-up for a scratch.
If your involved in something you just can’t get away from, a simple slow eye blink and a whispered “I love you” or a smile or wink will let your pet know you recognize their need, whatever it may be.
Eye contact is important when training your pet. You want his/her full attention directed on you and eye contact provides that.
Staring is not always a good thing, certainly not with a dog that has aggressive tendencies. Dogs especially can view staring as a challenge. It’s best to avoid eye contact with an unfamiliar animal.
But when our pets stare at us, who can resist the loving looks they give us. As special as they are to us, they return our love a thousandfold and more.