Why Do Dogs Look at You When They Poop?

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If you’re a dog owner, you’d already know that your furry friend likes to watch your every move.

Whether they are enjoying a bone or chew toy or sitting beside you on the lawn, you’ll find your dog spending a lot of time staring at you.

But it gets awkward when dogs don’t break eye contact with their owners while pooping.

It’s perfectly normal for dogs, and there are multiple reasons why they show this behavior.

Why Does My Dog Stare at Me When Pooping?

Dog pooping in the woods looking at me

The following are the most common reasons why your dog likes to stare at you while pooping.

Related: Why Do Dogs Eat Human Poop?

Ensuring Your Safety

Dogs want to protect their owners, and it could be one of the reasons why they make eye contact while pooping.

They feel vulnerable while pooping because of the squatting position and think you’re vulnerable too.

Dogs also have the instinct of a pack animal. It means they want to make sure they watch out for your safety.

In simple words, your pet just wants to remind you that you’re completely safe, even if your guard is relieving itself.

Bonding Experience

Because of their pack animal nature, your dog wants to be with you all the time.

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So, they will do everything for you no matter whether they’re eating or pooping.

Making eye contact with you is just a bonding experience for your dog.

It also releases oxytocin hormone in dogs[1], which is responsible for attachment and love.

The longer the eye contact, the more oxytocin is released into the dog’s body, strengthening your dog’s bond with you.

Asking for A Rewarded

Happy dog looking at me

A simple “good girl/boy” from their owner means everything to dogs because they thrive on positive reinforcement.

So, if your dog looks at you while pooping, it could be looking forward to being rewarded.

You’ll observe this behavior more often if you usually reward your pup with a treat once they are done with their business outside.

The awkward stare could be the way your dog uses to ask for a treat.

After all, they’re animals and don’t understand the strangeness of making eye contact while pooping.  

Related: Why Do Dogs Eat Their Own Poop?

Observing Your Every Move

If you have a strong bond with your dog, they will love to observe your every move.

It’s like a full-time job for your furry friend to make sure they don’t miss a single thing you do, and it doesn’t stop even while pooping.

Your dog might also want to make sure that you don’t leave them behind while they’re busy.

Some dogs also like to play around and run after pooping.

They want to make sure that you stay right beside them as long as they’re doing their business outside so that they can play with you after.

Looking for Approval

Dog looking at owner before pooping

Approval from their owner is extremely important for pet dogs, and it could be one of the reasons for making eye contact.

It’s especially true if you’re potty training your pup.

If you have ever scolded your dog for pooping in the wrong place, your dog would want to make sure that they are relieving themselves in the right area.

If you feel your dog needs to go to the restroom, always take them to the place that you wish them to use.

It will allow your pet to get the approval they want by better understanding potty time and place.

Feeling Safe

One of the most common reasons why your dog makes eye contact with you while pooping is that they need to feel secure and safe.

As mentioned, the squatting position that dogs need to make while relieving themselves makes them feel vulnerable.

So, they look at their owners for safety.

Your dog wants you to watch their back, and you can use the following tips to make sure your pup feels comfortable:

  • Don’t make any sudden movements
  • Give your dog an approval
  • Don’t make loud noises
  • Stop and don’t walk
  • Don’t turn your back toward your dog
  • Reward your dog with good words or a treat

The tips mentioned above will come in handy if you have a nervous dog who doesn’t feel comfortable pooping in public.

Conclusion

Dogs are curious animals by nature, and not only do they stare at you, but they also want you to look at them while they’re pooping.

It makes them feel comfortable and allows them to make their bond even stronger with you.

It feels a little awkward at first, but it’s a part of dog ownership, and you should embrace it for the happiness and well-being of your furry friend.

You can also close your eyes or start looking somewhere else if you want.

FAQs

Here are a few other common questions people ask.

Is it Normal for Dogs to Lock Eyes When Pooping?

It might sound a little strange to new dog owners, but it’s completely normal for dogs. The reasons behind this behavior range from feeling safe and comfortable to ensuring your safety. Don’t scold your dog or make sudden movements if you experience it for the first time. Just close your eyes or look somewhere else if you don’t feel comfortable.

Do Dogs Get Embarrassed When They Poop?

No, dogs don’t get embarrassed while defecating. They don’t need privacy and also don’t want their owners to look away. Your dog will stare at you while pooping because they feel most vulnerable in that squatting position. Embarrassment is a secondary emotion, and measuring it is very difficult when it comes to pets. However, your dog can feel something similar if you scold them for some reason.

Why Do Dogs Face North When They Poop?

Some studies show[2] that dogs align their bladder and bowel by using the earth’s magnetic fields. They prefer to squat along the north-south axis to relieve themselves. The studies have also found that most canines don’t poop by aligning themselves in an east-west direction. 

Resources

  1. https://www.rover.com/blog/dog-eye-contact/#:~:text=Dog%20eye%20contact%20triggers%20the,a%20whopping%20300%25%20increase).
  2. https://frontiersinzoology.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1742-9994-10-80.pdf
  3. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/why-does-my-dog-stare-at-me/
  4. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/dogs-poop-in-alignment-with-earths-magnetic-field-study-finds

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