This Is Why Your Dog Stares At You As It Poops 6 years ago

This Is Why Your Dog Stares At You As It Poops

When you've got to go, you've got to go - but do you have to stare at me?

As much as we humans enjoy personifying animals and trying to explain their ridiculously cute expressions and actions, often they don't have the motives we suspect, as veterinarian Dr. Kathryn Primm explains in a recent blog post on


Her post, titled "Ask a vet: Why does my dog stare at me when he poops?", examines a question that puppy lovers have wondered about since time immemorial: why dogs seem to enjoy awkward eye contact while going to the toilet?

The answer is stranger than expected: the dog isn't embarrassed, stressed or even in search of privacy. It's much deeper than that.

Dogs, highly instinctual as they are, know that taking a quick break leaves them exposed to attack and unable to defend themselves against predators and potential enemies.


As a pack animal, your dog is essentially using you to watch his back, and to check for signs of danger while he chills and takes a casual dump. Pretty smart, huh?

As Dr. Primm explains:

"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 defencelessness."

Don't believe the vet? Try making a run it for it the next time you're out walking man's best friend.


This article was originally posted on