Surely it has happened to you that you have woken up in the middle of the night and have found your dog staring at you in the dark.
The first time it happens it can scare us. Why is she looking at us? Is something wrong with me? Is something wrong with him? Is there anything in the house that I should be concerned about?
But it begins to happen more or less regularly and we understand that it is a habitual behavior of the dog. And we search on the internet and read that this happens very regularly.
Although it is normal and we do not have to worry, there may be important reasons why our dog is staring at us so intently at night. And understanding them will facilitate coexistence and nighttime rest for both us and our dog.
Why does my dog stare at me when I sleep?
The reasons why our dog looks at us when we are sleeping can be divided into several categories: he may do it to observe the environment (he wants to observe us, control us or take care of us), he may do it to take care of himself (due to stress, fear of night, boredom), to let us know that something is bad or hurts, or to let us know that they have any need (hunger, thirst, desire for attention or to play, etc)
He is observing the environment
When a dog arrives at a new house he will need to get used to it. If you have just adopted your new pet and he spends the night watching you, it is because he is curious about your movements, reactions, and nocturnal patterns.
If your dog has been part of the family for a long time and has started to do so, it may mean that he notices variations in your night patterns.
Dogs are animals with a sensory capacity greater than ours and they are capable of detecting changes in our breathing rhythms or micro-movements with our body that can alter them.
It is possible that if they detect, hear or smell something that may concern them, they will come and take a look to verify that we are alive, we are well and nothing happens to us. In short: they care about our well-being
Something worries him/her
There is a high probability that his reason for watching you is, plain and simple, that he is bored. Dogs are animals that need to have a high physical activity:
go for a walk, run and play several times a day. If they don’t waste their energy during the day, they’ll stay awake and bored for too long at night.
Looking at you will be his way of trying to get your attention. If he is a rescue dog new to the family or something scary has happened during the day, he may have trouble sleeping due to stress.
On some occasions, shelter dogs may have suffered long before reaching your family and may have night terrors or fear of abandonment… or worse.
In those cases, it is important that you love him and make him feel that he lives in a safe place where nothing bad can happen to him
He has a special need or just wants attention
But often the reason is the simplest thing in the world: he wants to be pet, attention and wants you to take care of him. If he is an older dog or has been ill, even if he or has not learned regular routines, he may simply want to pee or he might be thirsty or hungry and his bowl is empty.
Put him on strict routines and visit a vet if he’s older. If he is a dog who is always given attention, cuddles, caresses, food and treats, he will become a dog in need of attention twenty-four hours a day.
To correct it, you only have to change the way you treat it: do not pet him so much, only when he does things well and deserves it. And at night, don’t pay attention to him even if he comes to claim you.
Little by little she will realize that these are not hours to play. In short, your dog has good reasons to look at you. It is normal and common for them to do so, but they usually have an important reason for doing it.
If you communicate with him and you are an attentive family, you can quickly understand why he does it and acts accordingly.