Why Do Dogs Stare At You When They Poop?
Have you noticed that dogs stare at their owners when they poop? Taking your dog out to do his business often leads to an uncomfortable staring contest that you don’t really want to have. Some owners believe that it’s a sign of “Am I doing the right thing?” while others see it as taunting.
What does it all REALLY mean?
Let’s find out….
Dogs are… animals…
Humans have an incredibly difficult time understating this concept. Dogs become part of the family like our brothers and sisters. We understand each other through a silent language of love and respect. Dogs really are man’s best friend as researchers have shown they can recognize emotions in humans by combining information from different senses. They are the only creatures outside of humans who have been observed to have that ability.
Dogs, like all other animals, thrive in the world from a submissive-dominate mind set. Pack animals such as lions or hyenas fight to the death to be the alpha leader. Grey wolfs for example let the pack leader eat the nutritious liver of their prey. The alpha male is the boss. He eats first, has his pick of mates, and leads the pack during hunts and when dealing with threats to survival. While domesticated dogs hunt squirrels and cats for fun, they do see us at the alpha pack leader. We provide food, shelter and most importantly love and affection.
In the animal world scent marking is serious business. “Scent marking is an instinctual behavior in which a dog deposits his own odor in the form of urine or feces onto his environment to mark territory or make a statement” -Vet Street. Males will pee on just about anything to claim territory. Our four legged friends will sniff thoroughly to ensure they are not stepping on anyone’s turf. This also explains why dogs like to use the same spot to do their daily business.
Did you know that dogs enjoy squeaker toys because it simulates an animal dying?
So why does my dog taunt me when it poops?
While your dog’s poop stare might seem a tad shameless, it has a really important reason. Defecation is one of the times in an animal’s life when he is at his most vulnerable. Your dog is instinctively aware that it cannot defend herself or flee if necessary. As stated earlier, dogs see their human owners as pack leaders and will glance at them for signs of approaching danger. Just like in the wild, they anticipate a predator to sneak around and attack when most vulnerable. This reinforces our previous argument that although domesticated dogs live in a sophisticated modern society, dogs live life as if they were deep in the African jungle struggling to survive.
Next time your dog goes to poop simply give them a reinforcing look and keep a look out. This will comfort them when they need it most and will in fact create a stronger bond. Learn to understand dog behavior and utilize it to train and develop good habits. That awkward poop stare is just another example of how humans misinterpret a common act as something funny or weird instead of seeing it as a opportunity to create a stronger bond between them and their dog. Remember, you are the alpha pack leader, act like one.
Dogs are incredible creatures that love us and will kill to protect us. We provide them with food, shelter and most importantly love and affection. While we treat them as family members, we cannot ignore our pet’s primal instincts. Dogs are wild domesticated animals and require a different approach to fully understand what they truly need or want. Next time your dog give you the look of shame, simply look them it the eyes and say “I’ve got your back”.
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