HomeBEHAVIORWhy Do Dogs Look...

Why Do Dogs Look at Their Owners While Defecating?

Free Subscribtion

Dogs are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors that often leave us puzzled. One such behavior is the tendency for dogs to stare at their owners while defecating. It may seem strange and even uncomfortable, but there are actually several reasons behind this behavior. In this article, we will explore the various theories and insights from experts to understand why dogs exhibit this behavior and what it means.

YouTube video

The Vulnerability Factor

When a dog assumes the position to defecate, it is undoubtedly one of their most vulnerable moments. In the wild, animals are at their most defenseless when they are focused on eliminating waste. They are unable to fight or flee easily, making them easy targets for predators. This vulnerability is deeply ingrained in their instincts, and even though domesticated dogs may not face the same level of danger, this instinctual behavior remains.

According to Dr. Michelle Burch, a DVM from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance, dogs stare at their owners while defecating to ensure their safety. They rely on their owners, who are considered part of their pack, to be on the lookout for any potential threats. By keeping a close eye on their owners, dogs are seeking reassurance that they are not in danger.

Seeking Comfort and Security

Another possible reason for dogs staring at their owners during this intimate moment is the need for comfort and security. Nicholas DeRoma, a Veterinary Technologist and Canine Behavior Specialist, suggests that dogs may feel comforted by the presence of their owners when they are in a vulnerable position. This behavior may be particularly true for dogs with a history of fearful or anxious experiences related to defecation.

Jen Jones, a Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Specialist, adds that dogs look to their owners as protectors. By maintaining eye contact, they are essentially asking their owners to watch their backs while they attend to their business. This behavior may seem uncomfortable for us, but it is a testament to the trust and bond that dogs share with their owners.

Non-Verbal Communication

Dogs are pack animals by nature, and they have a strong instinct to stay within eyesight of their pack members. Alexandra Bassett, Owner and Lead Trainer at Dog Savvy Los Angeles, explains that eye contact is a form of non-verbal communication among pack animals. It helps them stay connected and promotes a sense of security as the pack roams. In the case of defecation, dogs rely on eye contact with their owners as a way to maintain a visual connection and ensure their safety.

- Advertisement -

Furthermore, dogs have a keen sense of smell, and the scent of fresh poop can attract other animals. By maintaining eye contact, dogs are also signaling to their owners that they are in a vulnerable position and need protection. This shared ritual between dogs and their owners during potty breaks reinforces the bond and trust between them.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Sara Ochoa, a Veterinary Consultant for Doglab.com, suggests that some dogs may stare at their owners while defecating as a way to seek attention or rewards. Dogs are highly attuned to their owners’ reactions and behaviors, and they quickly learn that certain actions lead to positive outcomes. If a dog has been rewarded or praised for making eye contact during training or potty breaks, they may continue this behavior to seek attention or treats.

On the other hand, Ochoa also mentions that some dogs may avoid eye contact or hide while defecating. This behavior may be a result of embarrassment or a way to express dissatisfaction or defiance towards their owners. Dogs can be quite perceptive and intuitive, and they may use their body language to communicate their emotions.

Understanding Your Dog’s Individuality

It’s important to remember that every dog is unique, and their behavior may vary based on their personality, past experiences, and breed tendencies. While the theories mentioned above provide valuable insights, it’s crucial to observe and understand your own dog’s behavior in the context of their individuality.

If your dog tends to stare at you while defecating, take it as a sign of their trust and reliance on you. Respect their vulnerability and provide them with a safe and comfortable environment for their bathroom breaks. Avoid doing anything that may startle or disturb them during this time.


The behavior of dogs staring at their owners while defecating may seem unusual at first, but it is rooted in their instincts and their dependence on their owners for protection and comfort. Dogs are pack animals, and they rely on non-verbal communication, such as eye contact, to stay connected with their pack members. By maintaining eye contact, dogs seek reassurance, security, and attention from their owners.

As responsible pet owners, it is essential to understand and respect our dogs’ behaviors and provide them with the care and support they need. By creating a safe and comfortable environment for their bathroom breaks, we can strengthen the bond we share with our furry companions.

Remember, each dog is unique, and it’s important to observe and understand your own dog’s behavior to better respond to their needs. So the next time your dog stares at you while defecating, embrace it as a testament to the special connection you share.

Type Keywords to Search


Most Popular


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Articles

The Danger of Chocolate for Dogs: What Every Middle-Aged Dog Owner Needs to Know

As a middle-aged dog owner, it's important to understand the dangers that certain foods can pose to your furry friend, and chocolate is one of the most toxic. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is harmful to dogs and can even be deadly in large quantities.

Can Dogs Eat Bananas? A Comprehensive Guide for Dog Owners

As a dog owner, you may have wondered whether it's safe to share a delicious banana with your furry friend.

What Dogs Really Think When They Get Scolded: Understanding Canine Behavior

As dog owners, we've all experienced those moments when we come...


Read Now

The Ultimate Guide to Helping Your Noise-Phobic Dog

If you have a furry companion who becomes anxious or fearful at the sound of loud noises, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or even the vacuum cleaner, you may be dealing with a noise phobia. Noise phobia is a common condition that can affect dogs of all ages...

Can Dogs Safely Enjoy Tomatoes?

Can dogs eat tomatoes? When it comes to feeding our furry friends, it's important to be mindful of what we offer them. While dogs often want to eat whatever humans eat, not all human foods are safe for them.

Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to our furry friends' diets, it's important to know what's safe and what's not. One common question that pet owners often ask is, "Can dogs eat bell peppers?"

How to Eliminate Dog Odor in Your Home: A Comprehensive Guide for Pet Owners

As a proud pet owner, you adore your furry companion and consider them a cherished member of the family. However, there's one aspect of pet ownership that can be a challenge – dealing with unpleasant dog odors in your home.

The Most Dangerous Dog Breeds: Protecting Yourself and Others

As responsible pet owners, it's essential to understand that any dog can potentially bite or attack a human.

Canine Blood Donation: A Lifesaving Act for Man’s Best Friend

The establishment of canine blood banks is a relatively recent development in the field of veterinary medicine. Previously, veterinarians had to rely on their own dogs or those of colleagues and clients when their patients required blood transfusions.

What Colors Do Dogs See? Debunking the Myth of Dog Color Blindness

If you've ever wondered about the vibrant colors your dog sees, you're not alone. Many dog owners have heard the myth that dogs are color blind or can only see in black and white.

Why Do Dogs Have Such a Powerful Sense of Smell?

Dog sense of smell vs human? Dogs and their remarkable sense of smell have always been a subject of fascination. While humans rely primarily on their vision, dogs depend heavily on their sense of smell to navigate the world around them.

Can Dogs Safely Enjoy Spinach as a Nutritious Addition to Their Diet?

Spinach can be a nutritious addition to your dog's diet when fed in moderation and prepared correctly. It offers vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can contribute to their overall health.

The Benefits of Natural Rubber Dog Toys: A Comprehensive Guide for Dog Owners

Choosing dog toys that are stimulating, durable, and above all safe for our dogs should be a top priority.

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails: Decoding Canine Communication

Your dog wagging tail? Dogs have always captured our hearts with their wagging tails. It's a universal symbol of happiness and friendliness, or so we believe. But the truth is, a wagging tail doesn't always indicate a dog's mood.

Long-lasting Dog Toys: The Ultimate Guide for Aggressive Chewers

We understand that every dog deserves the best, and that's why we've curated a selection of durable, safe, and entertaining toys that will keep your pup engaged for hours on end.