It's the same thing every day. You take your dog outside, there's some sniffing, circling, squatting, and then you feel it… your dog's eyes boring straight into your soul, for the entire duration of his poop. As much as you love your furry friend, the impromptu staring contest is a little intense. So why do they do it? Here are a few explanations from the dog experts at The Dodo.
1. Thinks you're Mom:
A 2009 study on eye contact between humans and their dogs found that the mutual gaze produces a physiological response very similar to that between mothers and infants. So it's not just the constant baby talk then.
2. Wants a reward.
Like a junkie, your dog just wants his next fix. He hasn't forgotten his puppy days when he was getting crazy praise for doing his business outside. Dog behavior expert and trainer Madeline Friedman said, "I think the dog remembers the reinforcement and hopes for more."
3. Wants your permission.
That intense stare could just be looking for approval that she's pooping in the right spot. She hasn't forgotten being punished for taking a dump on the rug that one time.
4. Wolf pack instinct.
"The feeling of being vulnerable is left over from their wild ancestor, the wolf, who still has to fend for himself in the wild. I think dogs are making sure we have their backs while they're in that vulnerable position for an extended period of time," Friedman told The Dodo.
5. Maybe it's us?
Vet, Dr. Sonja Olson brought up a good point: "Maybe it's you that's initiating and holding the eye contact." Oh yeah, it could be possible that we're the ones staring at them, anxiously awaiting to scoop that sh*t up as soon as it hits the grass, and they are just looking back at us like WTF.
And that's why they return the favor when we're in the bathroom.