Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Stare At Me When He Poops?


Dog sometimes display some strange behavior, and while some are explainable, others are limited to a few dogs. However, all dogs have a particular behavior which they exhibit while they defecate. They try to make eye contact with their owners when they are pooping. This behavior is in no way caused by shame or embarrassment on the part of the pet. This does not also mean that you should give the pet some privacy or look away as he does his business. Rather, it is a much deeper reason, and this article will highlight the reason.

Dogs are a species which are tuned to their immediate environment and their home in this environment. For their survival, they must be alert always. During defecation, an animal is at its most vulnerable state. The dog must assume a posture to perform this task and because of this, the dog is not in any position to readily flee or fight. In fact, it would be too difficult for the dog to defend himself/herself or even to escape impending danger while he is eliminating waste. Your pet is aware of his/her vulnerability.

But your dog is also mindful of the fact that they is a member of your “pack”, and you are a part of the dog’s pack or family. If your dog stares at you during this period, it is because the pet is relying on you to give them a heads up or body language signal if they should be afraid. The dog may also look for you to defend them should the need for such arise. If you quickly leap away, you can see your dog respond also.

Likewise, a few dogs will not defecate if anyone is watching (or if they are on a leash). Maybe, the dog feels safer if they are away from your home turf and will not draw attention. Instincts control your dog’s reaction to his own vulnerability during this awkward period.

Whether your dog slips away or looks to you during “poop time”, you know that the dog is only doing what is instinctive to them. You should honor their wishes as long as it is safe. Try not to startle the dog in any way if they are staring at you while they defecate. Respect the pet’s natural instinct to be away and modify the environment to accommodate them as much as possible.

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