Have you ever felt those big round puppy dog eyes locked in on you, as if they are dead set on melting your heart and getting their way, and before you know it you are completely at the mercy of your tiny little pooch?!
I swear those beady little Chihuahua eyes can put me in a trance! It’s no wonder my daughter can’t resist sneaking food to our dog Bear when she knows she’s not supposed to! All he has to do is make eye contact with her, give a little whimper and all reason goes out the window! Those puppy dog eyes are so hard (dare I say impossible) to resist!
Although it’s often the reason, it’s not always food that he’s trying to get. Chihuahuas stare at you as a way of communicating with you. They will often stare at you looking for cues of what is going to come next. They stare when they want something from you, or even when they are just trying to show you admiration and affection.
So how do you tell what the different stares mean? Why is it sometimes creepy when your Chihuahua stares and you and of all things, why on earth does he stare at you when he poops! Consider this article your one-stop shop for winning the Chihuahua stare down!
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Why Does My Chihuahua Stare at Me?
Your Chihuahua is Trying to Read Your Cues
The biggest reason our dogs stare at us is because they’re trying to figure us out. Dogs are social and even before becoming loving companions for us humans they belonged to a pack. Their instinct is to look to their pack leader for guidance and direction.
Not much has changed except well…. of course…. who the pack leader is. In their eyes, you are the Alpha! That’s right if your chihuahua is well trained, then they look to you as their pack leader. They want you to tell them what their next move should be.
Have you ever noticed your Chihuahua feeds off your emotions? If you are excited and full of energy then your Chihuahua gets excited and starts dancing around or running in circles. If you are ready for bed or a nap your Chihuahua will most likely follow you to bed or snuggle up with you to sleep.
If they aren’t sure what’s going to happen next then you get that all-familiar Chihuahua stare! Staring at you helps them figure out what you are feeling and even what you may be thinking, and knowing that can help them predict what you might do next.
Dogs are really smart, there’s a good reason they make such good companions for us, when your Chihuahua stares at you he is drawn to look at your eyes because as this study shows they actually can read your emotions which will help them interpret what may come next!
Your Chihuahua is Communicating Love
Another reason your Chihuahua is staring at you can simply be explained that he loves you!
When a new mother holds her new baby and they look into each other’s eyes it has an amazing effect of releasing a powerful hormone called oxytocin. This hormone is often called the love hormone as it helps us connect and bond with one another.
Eye contact is a big thing to us humans, and dogs may be the only species that really understands that. A study shows that dogs and their owners alike both experience an increased release of oxytocin when we stare amorously into one another eyes. Dogs are the first and possibly only species besides humans that have been observed doing this.
This explains why our Chihuahuas may just be our best friends. The release of this hormone will actually help you and your Chi build a stronger bond and build more trust with each other.
Here are some other ways to tell that your Chihuahua loves and trusts you.
- Curls up in your lap
- Greets you enthusiastically while wagging his tail
- Gets excited when he sees you after you’ve been separated for a time
- licks you or wants to kiss and lick your face
- Sleeps on his back and exposes his belly when he’s close to you
- Leans against you, or lying down next to you
- Sleeping with or carrying around your dirty smelling laundry
- Wants you to play with him
- Pees out of excitement when he sees you
- Stares at you lovingly
So next time you are feeling stressed and need a pick me up, try having a staring contest with your sweet little Chi and see if that helps you both feel a bit better.
Your Chihuahua Wants Something
Your Chihuahuas stares might not always have loving intentions. If your Chihuahua is staring at you with an accompanying whimper or whining he’s most likely trying to communicate that he wants something from you.
Learning how to read your Chi’s body language can go a long way in helping you bond with your Chi as well as helping them to be better behaved.
Your Chihuahua may be asking for you to let them outside to use the restroom, he may want you to play with him, or maybe he is dying for you to share some of your delicious chicken sandwich you are eating. Either way, pay attention and you may soon discover how to understand your Chi’s secret language.
My family has had first-hand experience with this. When our one-year-old Malchi (Chihuahua Maltese Mix) Bear needs to go outside to use the restroom he often jumps up on my husband’s lap or sometimes even climbs onto his shoulder, looks him straight in the face, and starts pawing or whining.
The first time he did this we were so confused! He was very adamant that we needed to listen to him. We could tell he was trying to tell us something, but we had no idea what it was. Now that we understand him better we know right away that he is telling us he needs to go outside to do his business.
Your Chihuahua is Trained to Look at You
When you bring home a new puppy and first start teaching and training it, one of the most important things to teach them first is to look at you. Teaching them how to sit, stay, heel, settle and all the other important commands is so much easier when your Chi first knows to look at you.
Dogs often recognize visual cues much easier and sooner than they can figure out what you want them to do purely by speaking the command. When our Chihuahua is trained to look at us they are able to see our movements and interpret whether we want them to sit, stay, come, or something else.
So for training purposes if your dog looks at you a lot that will make your job a lot easier. Take advantage of all that attention and see what fun tricks you can train them to do. So far our puppy Bear knows how to sit, stay, come, roll over, drop it, walk (on 2 hind legs), jump, kiss, and high five.
This attentive stare may also explain why your Chihuahua looks at you while he’s pooping. He’s not doing it to gross you out, but most likely when you trained him to go poop in his spot outside you gave him lots of praise, attention and maybe even treats. He may continue to stare at you because he’s expecting more of the same.
Your Chihuahua is Confused
If your Chihuahua is looking at you and you’re are confused as to why, that may just be your answer as well. Sometimes we humans do funny and unpredictable things. If your Chihuahua is looking at you with his head tilted to one side and his ears perked at the attention he’s probably confused and wondering what you are doing or trying to communicate to him.
Another sign of confusion in your Chihuahua may be licking of the lips or a quick shake of his body. This could show that the confusion is causing a bit of stress in your dog.
Your Chihuahua may be asking for more clear directions and understanding of the behavior your are looking for from him.
Unfortunately as your Chihuahua ages and becomes a senior his confused stares could indicate something more serious such as cognitive dysfunction. If you have an older Chihuahua and they are also forgetting basic commands, wandering aimlessly in circles, or having accidents in the house it’s time for a visit to your vet to see what can be done.
Your Chihuahua is Confrontational
If your Chihuahua has an icy hard stare accompanied by a low growl or baring of teeth, proceed with caution. Chihuahuas are unlikely to show this behavior to their owners but will do this when feeling threatened.
Situations where your Chihuahua might feel threatened can include:
- Resource guarding a treat, special toy, or food
- Being approached by a stranger or someone that makes them feel uncomfortable
- An unfamiliar animal that is invading his space
- Any interaction that is unfamiliar, unsettling, or startling
Other signs that your Chihuahuas staring could lead to confrontation may include a rigid or stiff body, holding very still, tail tucked or not wagging, and ears laid back on his head. If this is your Chihuahua or any other dog that you may be approaching break eye contact and back away. Give your Chihuahua some space to calm down and evaluate why he may have reacted that way. You will also want to work on training him to not be aggressive in order to avoid potentially dangerous situations in the future.
If you need help in training your Chihuahua to be less aggressive here is a good resource by wagwalking.com.
So next time your Chihuahua is staring you down, and your first reaction is to think about how creepy it may be, think again. Most likely that intense stare means that your Chihuahua is your lifelong companion ready to please and protect you no matter what.