Dogs are very intelligent animals, and a common trait among them is their ability to communicate with humans. However, at times the messages that your dog is trying to convey to you might be misinterpreted, and this is especially true when your dog stares at you intently before going to sleep. This post will show you why your dog might be doing it and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog stare at me before going to sleep? Likely reasons why your dog stares at you before going to sleep are that it wants something from you, it has some separation anxiety, it is waiting to see if you leave, or that it is being protective.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog stares at you before going to sleep and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Reasons why your dog stares at you before going to sleep
Below are a number of likely causes and what would make each of them more likely.
The cause could be that it has some separation anxiety and it wants to make sure that you are in the same room as it is. This would be more likely if your dog tends to become anxious when you are leaving and if it also tends to follow you around the house during the day.
It wants something from you
The cause might also be that it is waiting to get something from you such as to be fed, given exercise or training. This would be more likely if it tends to stare at you more before you have given it food and exercise and if it does not stare as much after getting food and exercise.
It is being protective
Another possible reason is that your dog is being protective. This would be more likely if your dog tends to be overly protective when other people are around you.
It is showing affection
When dogs stare into their owner’s eyes, a bonding chemical called oxytocin is released. The reason why your dog stares at you before sleeping could be that it is actually being affectionate and showing that it loves you. This would also be more likely if it also tends to stare into your eyes at other parts of the day. However, be careful not to stare at it too much yourself because staring can be considered as an act of aggression by dogs.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your dog always stared at you before sleeping
If your dog did not always stare at you before sleeping, it would help to consider if anything else changed at around the same time that your dog first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as you feeding or exercising it later in the day or because you stopped letting it sleep in the same room as you at night causing it to watch to see when you leave.
The timing of when your dog stares at you before sleeping
If your dog does not always stare at you before sleeping, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not stare at you. For example, if it does not stare at you when you have already fed and given it exercise, the cause might be that it is waiting to see when you will give it exercise or food.
What to do about your dog staring at you before sleeping
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Limit reasons why it might be anxious
If your dog seems to be doing it because it has separation anxiety, it would help to try to limit possible reasons why it might have separation anxiety. Ways to do so could include letting it out to pee and poo, feeding it and giving it exercise before leaving it.
Let it do it
It is not unusual for dogs to stare at their owners before sleeping. If your dog has not been behaving unusual in other ways, it is likely normal behavior. In this case, one option would be to simply allow your dog to continue doing it.
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