Why Do Dogs Stare At You When They Poop? It’s Not Because They’re Embarrassed.

Are you constantly wondering why your pet stares at you while he poop? If you’re a science fan, you’ve probably always wondered why your pets stare at you while they poop.

Okay, maybe you’ve never thought about it but, now that we’re on the topic, dog scientists (a.k.a. veterinarians) have figured out the reason WHY dogs stare at their owners while defecating.

It’s not because the dog is embarrassed, says Dr. Kathryn Primm, a veterinarian at Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee.

Your dog is not wishing you would look away or give him privacy while he “does his business” either.

While he “does his business”, your dog is not wishing that you would look away or give him some privacy.

Dr. Primm says it goes much deeper than that…

Dogs are animals and they are very tuned in to their environment and their own place in it. For survival, they must be aware of risk.

Defecation is one of the times in an animal’s life when he is at his most vulnerable. He must posture to perform the task and because of this, he is not in a position to readily fight or flee.  In fact, it would be rather difficult for him to defend himself or to escape danger while he is eliminating. Your dog is instinctively aware of his defenselessness.

But your dog also knows that she is a part of your “pack”. You are a member of the family group. If your dog watches you during this time, it is because she is depending on you to give her a body language signal or “heads up” if she should be afraid. She may also be looking to you to possibly defend her should the need arise. If you suddenly leap away, you can bet your dog will respond also.

Likewise, some dogs will not defecate with anyone watching (or on a leash). Perhaps he feels safer if he is away from your home turf where he will not draw attention. Instincts dictate your dog’s reaction to his own helplessness during this awkward time.

Whether your dog looks to you or slips away for “poop time”, it helps to know that she is just doing what comes naturally to her. You should honor her wishes as long as it is safe to do so. Try not to do anything that will startle her if she is looking at you while she defecates. Respect her natural inclination to be away and modify your environment to accommodate her as much as possible.

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