When looking at our face, how do dogs know how to look into our eyes?

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  1. Quirinus profile image68
    Quirinusposted 6 years ago

    When looking at our face, how do dogs know how to look into our eyes?

    When looking at our face, how do dogs (or possibly other pet animals) know how to look into our eyes, instead of for example at our mouth where the sound of our speech is coming from? It is a humanlike behavior we commonly observe among dogs that we can take for granted.


  2. katyzzz profile image60
    katyzzzposted 6 years ago

    Search me, ask the dogs, but seriously dogs are such wonderful animals, and how do we know who and where to look at when we're young, instincts perhaps and/or encouragement.

    In my opinion animals are much smarter than we think and they have such remarkable qualities, clever cookies!

  3. tlmcgaa70 profile image72
    tlmcgaa70posted 6 years ago

    animals communicate more by body language than they do vocally. to read another animals body language, they observe it by watching closely because if they read it wrong they could be attacked. part of body language is expressed in the eyes...a hard glare or a soft stare, but more than that, tenderness can be expressed in the eyes as well. it is instinctive for animals to search our eyes, to better read the rest of our body language. we humans depend on vocal communication, and so we dont catch many signals that pass between our pets. watch your pets communicate amongst themselves, learn what signals they give and how the other pets react to those signals, and then learn how to mimic them in order to better communicate with your pets.

    1. DrMark1961 profile image98
      DrMark1961posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Hi tlmcgaa70 I was just curious about the coydog you mentioned. Are you sure he was not looking at your face and not your eyes? A lot of wild carnivores tend to look at our face to read intentions and cats tend to do the same. (ran out of spaces,sorr

  4. NiaG profile image89
    NiaGposted 6 years ago

    I have no idea. My little Pepper just looks into my eyes sometimes and I always wonder what she's thinking. And really in training them isn't looking into their eyes a form of showing who's the alpha. And when they look away it shows a sign of submission? So how do they know when it's okay to longingly look into our eyes? Or have we lost that "alpha behavior" when we add our human characteristics that says it's okay to look one another in the eye into the equation. Just rambling out loud.

  5. Brett Winn profile image88
    Brett Winnposted 6 years ago

    It is a learned behavior that is unnatural to dogs. In dog language, when a dog stares directly into another dog's eyes, it is a sign of aggression, an attempt to intimidate. Dogs never sustain eye contact with one another except in rare circumstances such as these. Our dogs learn that that is how WE communicate. As a dog obedience competitor, I train my dogs from puppyhood to look at me in the eyes with sustained attention, but it does have to be taught and/or learned. I think it's just one more sign of how wonderfully adaptable "man's best friend" is to us and our ways!

  6. sangre profile image97
    sangreposted 6 years ago

    I think it comes from your shape, scent and sound of your voice. They hear you, identify it's you and then are visibly able to know it's you from these 3 factors.

    Plus how many times do pet owners just hold their pets face and look into their eyes, it just comes naturally to them after that to look at you. They are after all smart creatures. :-)

  7. sarmack profile image55
    sarmackposted 6 years ago

    What a darling dog!  I think it is natural for friends to look one another in the eye.  Even dogs, or cats for that matter, will avoid looking you in the eye at some times... For instance, if a dog knows that he/she has done something wrong, just like a human being, they will avoid looking you in the eye.  Love is displayed in many ways, don't you think.  One of those ways is through the eyes.  It is natural to want to see Love and Acceptance from the ones you Love.

  8. DrMark1961 profile image98
    DrMark1961posted 6 years ago

    Brett is correct. It is very unnatural and dogs do it for us because they are such wonderful, adaptable animals. Most animals will not even bother to look in the eyes.

    1. tlmcgaa70 profile image72
      tlmcgaa70posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      if this is true then why did a feral coydog i was trying to tame look me in the eyes briefly when we first met, and even after, he would glance into my eyes to better understand my outstretched hand of offering of food.

    2. DrMark1961 profile image98
      DrMark1961posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      That is interesting but most wild animals will avoid looking in your eyes. He must have been very perceptive


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