Why Does My German Shepherd Stare At Me?

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As a German shepherd owner, you might have noticed that your dog can show a new habit now and then and he leaves you wondering what was that meant for or what do I do about that? For instance, why will my German shepherd keep on staring at me?

There are several reasons why your German shepherd is staring at you like; when he needs your attention, he is fearing something, wants a potty break, when studying you, guarding what is his, and because it is in his genes


Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Is Stares At You

Wants your attention

 If you routinely exercise your German shepherd, he will stare at you when the time you normally do it has arrived.

 German shepherds are energetic dogs and need lots of exercise to keep them healthy. You can play games to engage him physically and mentally.

Begging for something

This is most common when you are eating, he will stare as a way of begging you to give him some. Mostly he can do it if his pleading eyes got him some food in the past.

The solution to this is to ignore his stares and reward him the next time he doesn’t stare at you while eating.


When your German shepherd is in fear, he will stare at you so that he can predict your next move. This normally happens when you had earlier disciplined him in the wrong method installing fear.

You should use positive reinforcement when disciplining your German shepherd to prevent stress and anxiety.


Your German shepherd might stare at you when you try to approach him, this can be a sign for you not to go any closer. He might also bare his teeth or growl, at this point do not go near him as he will bite.

This behavior is common when two dogs want to fight.

Guarding What Is His

A German shepherd will be aggressive when you touch his toys or food. This is not a good signal and should be addressed by a dog behaviorist.

 As a way of studying you

Your German shepherd will stare at you when he studies your behavior. Dogs learn quickly and can study and know when one event leads to another. E.g. He can know that anytime you pick his leash you are going for a walk, or when you seat on a certain chair he can join you for cuddles.

 A Show of Affection

A study has shown that staring between humans and dogs promotes bonding by raising their oxytocin. That might be the reason why your German shepherd is staring at you to strengthen the bond or check if you love him too.

It has misbehaved

If your dog has done something wrong, he will stare at you waiting for your next move. You should use the best way to discipline your dog.

He Needs Potty Breaks

When your dog wants to visit the potty area, he can first stare at you to pass the message. Dogs feel like they are prone to predatory attacks when pooping. He might be requesting you to watch over them while they do their business.

It is in Their Wolf Ancestry

Dogs are wolves’ descendants. In the wolves’ families, staring is interpreted as rude and threatening.

Note: if your dog shows signs of aggression while staring, you should not continue to look at his eyes directly because he can be tempted to attack.

Tips To Get Your German Shepherd To Stop Staring At You

Ignore Him

Anytime your German shepherd stares at you, avoid giving him any kind of attention. If you give him any kind of attention either bad or good, you will be encouraging him to stare more.

You should not ignore him for so long but it should be long enough for him to get the message.

Give Him Enough Exercise

German shepherds are energetic dogs and they need a lot of exercise to keep them healthy and prevent bad habits like staring and aggressiveness.

Use positive reinforcement training

The method of training your German shepherds with positive reinforcement will improve their behaviors. If you use force and inhumane ways to punish him, he will be aggressive or fearful which will lead to excess staring.

Consult a Behaviorist

If your dog continues to stare after following the tips above, you should seek dog behaviorist assistance. A behaviorist will give you the cause and the best ways to stop the staring habit.  

2 Facts about German Shepherd Staring

It is Beneficial

You should not worry if your German shepherd stares at you because it does not indicate bad behavior always.

It is common

Many German shepherd owners have had times when their dogs stared at them, no need to panic you are not alone.


The next time your German shepherd stares at you, am sure this article will help you know the possible cause and what to do about it.

If your German shepherd staring is too much and you don’t seem to understand the message he is intending to pass, don’t hesitate to seek a behaviorist intervention.


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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