Whether you find it endearing or creepy, huskies love to stare.
This article explains the reasons why huskies engage in prolonged eye contact with their owners and what it signifies.
The two main reasons why your husky stares at you are either wanting his dinner or he needs to be let outside. Other reasons include seeking your attention, wanting to play with you, showing affection, or he’s anticipating that you do something for him.
What’s more interesting is what you may find out upon taking a closer look at his facial expressions. Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
Does Staring At You Equal Affection?
Before we take a look at several different facial expressions and what they mean, I want to share something very interesting.
A recent study by Japanese researchers found that dogs who often held a long continuous gaze at their owners had higher levels of oxytocin in their brains. This is a hormone in the brain that is linked to nurturing and attachment. Similar to the bonding that happens between parents and their children. Source NYTimes
So the next time your dog is staring blankly at you, it’s very possible he’s trying to bond with you and build the companionship link between you and him. Or, he just needs a pee...
What Your Husky’s Facial Expressions Tell You
Let’s go through some of the common facial expressions that dogs give us and take a look at what it could mean.
1. The head tilt
While not exactly being a facial expression, it can tell us something particular. Your dog is confused/curious by what it is you’re doing, saying or the way you are looking back at your dog. Head tilting is often followed by some level of impatience and excitement to resolve this confusion.
2. The soul stare
This is a very engaging stare that your dog is partaking in. For the most part, eye contact between dogs is a challenge signal. However, once your dog knows, trusts and accepts you as his owner, staring from him is not a sign for a challenge, its a sign of being relaxed and attentive to you. (or he’s just waiting for a juicy treat)
3. Ears and head facing down
There’s definitely something wrong if your dog looks like this. This is a submission/scared and even potentially aggressive look. If it’s due to fear or being scared then you will usually find that he keeps very low, while looking up. If it’s coming from aggression your dog will likely be frozen with the head still raised somewhat ready to bite if he feels like he needs to.
This kind of look also signifies some level of guilt. It’s very common to see your dog in this type of position if he knows he has done something wrong. Even if you have never reprimanded your dog, this reaction can still be seen.
4. The big grin
It’s true, your dog is smiling. However, this isn’t smiling necessarily due to being happy or satisfied. It usually comes from being excited. Other experts also refer to this as a submissive grin or that he is looking to appease you. Whether it’s submissive or appeasing, it’s generally accepted as a positive look and he is likely enjoying himself whatever is happening.
5. Wide-eyes & raised eyebrows
When your dog looks like this, he’s waiting for your next move and expects you to do something or take some kind of action. Your dog knows when it’s getting close to his dinner time and he knows when you usually take him for his walk every day. This is a look of great anticipation and usually happens before regular routine events.
This look can also be linked to feelings of confusion or not knowing exactly what’s happening. If this is the case it will be common to see some head tilting as well.
6. Squinting and blinking
Constant squinting and having closed eyes can be a sign of pain or illness. But, it can also mean contentment, joy, and happiness. It’s common to see your dog squinting his eyes during a belly rub or when you make a big fuss out of him. He’s feeling completely relaxed and comfortable.
With this facial expression, it’s important to look at it in context. For example the photo above, he’s clearly happy. But if you see him looking at you with squinted eyes while he’s laying down in his bed with nothing particularly exciting happening, it may signify something a little more serious.
7. This one is just hilarious
You can learn a lot from your dog’s body language so it’s worth putting in the time to get familiar with the signals.
It is important though, to always take your dog’s body language in context. A smile may not be a sign of contentedness if his head and ears are down, it could be showing fear or aggression.
Can I Stare Back At My Husky?
Well, yes you can, but your dog will consider it as being rude or as a threat. Normal eye contact lasts around 1-2 seconds and then looking away is the best thing to do.
Like us humans, if you stare at someone for more than a couple of seconds it’s uncomfortable for the other person or it will be taken as a threat/challenge. It’s the same for our fluffy friends too.
If you stare at a dog it’s common to see behavior such as looking away, backing away, raising a paw, lowering ears, or squinting.
It’s actually a common myth to think that making eye contact or staring at your dog gains dominance, it doesn’t. Most dogs just don’t like it and disengage with you. You don’t gain any dominance from doing this.
Thank you for reading and always be sure to pay close attention to your dog’s body language. Your relationship will grow as you learn more about your fluffy friend.
If you have had any experiences staring at your pooch, whether it be good or bad, comment below! We would love to talk about them here 🙂
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