Understanding dogs’ behavior is an ongoing process for pet owners. One of the more bizarre habits is staring at their owners while peeing.
Does your dog lock eyes with you every time it relieves its bladder? Are you wondering, “Why does my dog stare at me when he pees?” If you answered yes, you’ve found the right place!
Here, you’ll learn the most common causes of your pup staring at you when it pees, how to stop your dog from staring, and more.
Table of Contents
Common Reasons Dogs Stare at You When Peeing
If your dog has always stared at you when peeing, it’s likely due to one of the reasons listed below.
Dogs have a different understanding of our relationship with them. While we think of our relationship as pet and owner, dogs are pack animals, so they think of the relationship in terms of a pack. And, since you call all the shots and also provide everything for your dog, you’re considered the pack leader.
The pack leader has a lot of responsibilities, but the most important is protecting the pack from danger.
When dogs use the bathroom, they feel vulnerable. So, it will stare at the pack leader while in this vulnerable position to make sure you’re keeping the territory safe from any threatening predators.
We all have a bond with our furry family members. However, like all relationships, this bond needs to be constantly nurtured to keep it strong. Dogs understand this too.
Whenever we feel a bond with someone or something, our brains release the chemical oxytocin. Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone. When people talk about “falling in love,” they’re actually talking about the rush of oxytocin they feel when seeing or interacting with the person or animal with which they share a strong bond.
Your pup also gets these oxytocin doses when looking at you. So, if your dog stares at you while it’s peeing, it’s optimizing the time it has with you to strengthen your bond.
Seeking a Reward
This reason goes back to potty training. When your pup was a baby, and you were training it to go only pee outside, you likely offered a reward whenever it did so.
While dogs don’t have great short-term memories for everyday events, when reinforcement is attached, either negative or positive, they’re capable of remembering things for the rest of their lives. Reinforcement is how your pup remembers all its tricks and also how to behave appropriately.
Whether you gave your pup a treat, pulled out its favorite toy, or did a crazy happy dance every time it peed outside, it remembers. So, your dog might be staring at you in preparation for the reward it remembers receiving as a puppy.
Other Reasons Dogs Stare
If staring while peeing is a new development in your dog, or it only does it sometimes or in certain situations, there could be other reasons behind it.
Anyone who has taken their dog to a puppy class or a beginner training class knows that the first command they learn is “look.”
“Look” trains your dog to look at your eyes whenever you say the command. It’s an imperative command for your pup to know because when your dog is looking at you, it focuses solely on you and your next move or command.
So, if a dog is very well-trained, it will constantly be staring at you to find out what it should do next – even when it’s peeing.
Your Dog Is Trying To Read You
Dogs are incredible at reading body language and facial expressions. They also like being in the loop at all times. If your dog is staring at you while peeing, it’s likely thinking, “are we going for a long walk, or is this just a potty break?”
Staring can be a sign of aggression. Aggressive behavior in dogs most commonly stems from fear or anxiety. So, if your dog has suddenly become aggressive, and you’re not sure why, you should examine if anything has changed in your dog’s life.
Have you moved house recently? New environments can make a dog fearful since everything is unfamiliar. Or maybe you’ve changed jobs and aren’t around as much to spend time with your dog.
Lack of socialization and exercise can make your pup anxious.
How To Stop Your Dog Staring at You?
Staring at you while peeing isn’t a huge deal, but if your dog stares at you all the time, it might bother you or make you anxious.
If you’re wondering, “why does my dog stare at me when he pees, and how do I stop it?” you should teach it the “place” command. To teach this command, do the following:
- Choose a spot to be your dog’s “place” – its dog bed, a comfy blanket on the floor, or any other place where it’s out of the way.
- Call your dog to the spot, and lure them to lay down, but instead of saying your command for down, replace it with “place.”
- Once your dog lays down, reward them.
- Continue the above steps until your dog goes to the spot and lays down every time you say “place.”
You can use any word or phrase you like for this command. “Spot,” “mat,” or “on your bed” are a few popular choices.
Not only will this help with staring, but it will help with separation anxiety as it teaches your dog to relax by itself. It will learn that it doesn’t always have to have its eyes on you to feel safe and calm. This command is also helpful for hyperactive dogs that have trouble relaxing, like working breeds.
Does your dog stare at you during other activities that have you puzzled? Here are some questions related to “Why does my dog stare at me when he pees?” to give you more information.
Why does my dog stare at me when I go to the bathroom?
When the roles are reversed, even though your dog sees you as the pack leader, it will likely stare at you while you use the bathroom to keep you safe.
Alternatively, your dog may have separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is likely if your dog follows you wherever you go, not just the bathroom. Because of separation anxiety, your dog stares at you to ensure you’re not going anywhere without it.
Why does my dog stare at me when it’s eating?
Your dog may stare at you while eating its food for a few of the reasons listed above. However, the most likely is for protection. Dogs feel vulnerable when eating and look to you to ensure they are safe and nothing will attempt to steal their food.
Another reason is aggression. Aggression may be the case if your dog is protective of its resources, like food and toys. So, they may stare while eating as a way of telling you to keep your distance.
Why does my dog stare at me while I pet it?
This behavior is linked to bonding. Your dog stares at you while you’re petting it because it’s getting a rush of oxytocin and feels an incredible bond with you. The puppy-dog stare while petting your pup is the equivalent of your dog saying, “I love you.”
There are a few reasons why your dog stares at you while it pees, but they’re rarely anything to be too worried about. Just be mindful of aggressive behavior. Remember, there are training techniques that can alleviate this issue – if it does develop into one!