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Why Does My Dog Stare at Me When He Poops? 5 Reasons for This Behavior

Nicole Cosgrove

Whether you’re a new dog parent or have owned pets all your life, some of their behavior may seem a bit odd to you. While some dogs do have tendencies to be a little goofy and dramatic, most of their behavior can be explained simply enough. Still, you may be wondering about that stare. Yep, you know the one I’m talking about.

We’ve all been there. You’re outside, taking your dog for a walk or letting them run around the backyard. You’re minding your own business when you feel someone or something staring at you. When you look up, there is your best friend, mid-poop, giving you the look. The entire time they’re relieving themselves their eyes are locked on you and you have no idea why.

You may think this is strange behavior, but before you start trying to pinpoint when your dog became so creepy, there are some things you should know. While you may feel uncomfortable having your dog staring you down while they go potty, it’s normal canine behavior.

Let’s discuss 5 reasons why your dog feels the need to stare at you while he poops. These reasons may answer the questions you have about your pet’s dramatic behavior and allow both of you the chance to enjoy outdoor time without any awkwardness.divider-dog

5 Reasons Your Dog Stares At You While He Poops

1. They Need Your Protection

This may sound a bit odd to you, but for a dog, pooping is when they feel most vulnerable. Dogs are loyal companions and fierce protectors. When they are mid-squat, they don’t feel so protective. This is a point in time when they expect you to guard them. While there may be nothing in your backyard threatening to attack, don’t be upset with your pup for their actions. It’s ingrained in them.

Your pet may have come from a long line of lap dogs, but their ancestors were wild animals who thrived as packs. Life in a pack consisted of looking out for one another. When a member of the pack needed to relieve themselves, the others stood guard to ensure deadly predators didn’t attack while their pack mate’s back was turned. Your pet may have never run in a pack, but their wild roots are still part of their psyche.


2. Rewards Are Expected

Sweet-Potato-Dog-Treats-Recipe-pakornkrit-Shutterstock
Image Credit: pakornkrit, Shutterstock

Our pups love praise. When they are outside or on a walk, telling them how great they are for going potty in the proper area is like second nature for dog owners. To our pups, it’s something they thrive on. Dogs love positive reinforcement. This makes them try harder to please us. When they lock eyes with you while using the bathroom, they may be waiting to hear your voice praise them for what they’ve done. To keep your dog feeling like they’ve accomplished something when they are using the bathroom, always tell them what a good job they’ve done.

If you’re a pet owner who rewards your pet with treats when you go back inside from a potty break, your pet will get used to this action. Considering our pups love treats and don’t understand how unusual their stares may be, this becomes their routine. You’ll simply need to get used to the looks you receive.


3. They Have a True Bond With You

You are your pet’s favorite person. It may seem like an odd time to show it, but a dog staring at you while they poop could be their way of trying to show just how bonded they are to you. Our pet’s stares can help them form psychological bonds with their humans. The situation may be awkward for you, but for your pet, it’s the perfect time to show you just how important you are in their lives.


4. They Are Protecting You

Dogs are naturally protective of their masters. With you being the most important thing in the world to them, they want to know you’re safe. This need for protection doesn’t change while they’re using the bathroom.

If you’re within sight while your dog is pooping, keeping an eye on you helps them relax. If they can see you, they know nothing bad is happening. Your pup, no matter their age, needs the reassurance of your safety at all times. If they think you’re in danger, they’ll be ready to react at a moment’s notice.


5. They Want to Know You Approve

Happy Dog
Image Credit: Branislav Nenin, Shutterstock

For all dogs, approval is important. This is especially true when they are potty training. Often, when your dog stares at you while they are relieving themselves, they are seeking your approval. This could mean they are trying to make sure they are going potty in the right area. Especially if they have been scolded for going potty in the wrong area, like in the house. During your time outside, always take your pet to the area you wish them to use. This helps them understand potty time better so they can get the approval they want from you.

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Feeling Safe Is Your Dog’s Number One Goal

Yes, having your dog stare at you while he is pooping may feel odd, but for him, it’s the most natural thing they can do. The main thing to remember when you’re trying to learn why your dog is exhibiting this type of behavior is that it all comes back to feeling safe. Your pet wants to feel safe, even when they are going potty. Instead of reacting in a bad way, always show your pet approval and love, even at times like these. That’s the best way to make them happy as part of your family.


Featured Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.