If your Golden Retriever has a habit of staring at you then you’re probably wondering why it is doing it. This post will show you a number of reasons that your Golden Retriever might stare and will show you a number of things that you can do about it.
So, why does my Golden Retriever stare at me? Possible reasons are that it does it for attention, it wants something from you, it does it because it loves you, it’s waiting for you to do something or that it needs to go outside.
There are actually many different reasons why it might stare at you but there are some things you can consider that will help you in figuring out the exact reason. There are also a number of options you have when getting it to stop doing it.
Reasons why your Golden Retriever might stare
There are a number of reasons that your Golden Retriever might stare and I will mention a number of them below.
The cause could be that it does it for attention. This would be more likely if it stares at you when you have not been giving it much attention and if you often give it more attention when it does it.
If you want it to stop, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, exercising it and playing with it but to avoid rewarding it with attention when it stares unless it seems to be doing it for a different reason.
To get something
The cause could be that it waiting to get something. This would be more likely if it tends to stare at you at a certain time such as when you would normally feed it.
It could also be the case that it is staring because it wants something you have such as food. This tactic is commonly used by dogs and if you have caved and given it something when it stares in the past then it might have learned that doing so can get it what it wants. To correct this you can try ignoring it when it stares and then rewarding it when it doesn’t stare at you when it normally would.
A 2015 study found that when people and their dogs look into each other’s eyes the oxytocin levels (a hormone that promotes social bonding) increases in both. This could be the reason as to why your Golden Retriever has a habit of staring at you.
But, don’t stare if your dog has signs of aggression since staring at a dog’s eyes can be perceived as an act of aggression and cause it to become defensive.
It could be the case that it has been doing it aggressively. This would be more likely if it also shows other signs of aggression when it does it such as growling, showing its teeth and standing more stiffly.
The cause could be that it is waiting for you to do something such as to take it for a walk. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you would normally give it something like a walk.
It has misbehaved
The cause could also be that it has misbehaved and it is waiting to see what your reaction will be. If you normally punish your Golden Retriever in these circumstances then you should consider changing your approach to one that is focused on reinforcing positive behavior.
Often dogs will stare at their owners when they are pooping because they want to see that their owners are looking out for them when they are in a vulnerable position.
It needs to pee
It could be the case that it stares when it needs to pee. This would be more likely if it does it when it has not been able to pee for a while and if it does it when standing near the door.
Waiting for your command
If you have given it lots of training it could be the case that it does it because it is waiting to see what you will tell it to do. This would be more likely if it tends to stare in situations where you would normally give it instructions.
How to get your Golden Retriever to stop staring
Below are some options you have if you want to get your Golden Retriever to stop staring.
If it seems like it is doing it for attention or in order to persuade you to give it something such as your food, one option would be to ignore it and to reward it when it is being well behaved.
By doing this you should be able to teach it that trying to make you give it attention won’t work but behaving well will. When ignoring it the best thing to do is not to interact with it at all not even in a negative way. It’s also important to note that the ignoring doesn’t need to be for long it just needs to be long enough for it to stop and then you can give it attention.
Give it attention and exercise
It would also help to give it attention and exercise daily so that it is less likely to seek stimulation from you. Generally, it is recommended for Golden Retrievers to get at least an hour of exercise every day, if yours has not been getting that much and it is healthy it would help to make sure that it does.
Get help from a dog behaviorist
If you can’t figure out why it has been doing it or you can’t get it to stop, one option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so you should be able to see how to train it effectively and to see exactly why it is doing it.
Things to consider
It’s not necessarily a bad thing
It is not uncommon for dogs to stare at their owners. It could just be that it wants attention, direction or to get something like exercise.
When it first started doing it
It would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it could be because of a sudden change in its daily routine such as if you started feeding it at different times especially if it started staring when you would normally feed it.
When it does it more
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to stare more. If there is then it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it stares when you would normally walk it then it might be waiting to get a walk.