Why Does My Dog Stare At Me When I Sleep?
[All you need to know]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Do you have a dog that stares at you when you sleep? Of course, cats do it too, but dogs seem to be obsessed with this activity. The question is, why do they do it, and what does it mean?

There are many theories about the meaning behind your pup’s staring behavior. Some believe that dogs stare at their owners while they sleep because they want attention or need something. Others believe that dogs stare out of concern for their owner’s safety and well-being during sleep time. What theory best fits your situation?

In this blog post, we will go over several reasons why your dog may exhibit such behavior, as well as potential solutions.

Dogs Stare At Their Owners When They Sleep Because They Want Attention

When people sleep, they are often vulnerable because they are not aware of what is going on around them, and in rare cases, this may make for a very dangerous situation. Dogs are known to be loyal and protective. So, when a dog stares at its owner when they are asleep, it could be that the dog has an attachment to the person and wants attention.

Another theory as to why dogs stare at their owners during sleep is that dogs have an instinct to protect their pack, so they might be monitoring for any threats or dangers while the owner is asleep. Dogs in environments with many animals will sometimes exhibit this behavior due to their nature to protect the pack. This is especially true for dogs that are dominant or high-energy.

If you have a dog with this behavior, it’s important to check the environment in which they sleep and their sleeping habits during waking hours. For example, it could be that your pup wants more attention from its owner when awake or needs something else, such as an extra toy at bedtime.

Does your pup have a reason to be concerned for you while you are asleep? If so, it might need more attention or playtime with their owner during waking hours to feel satisfied and content.

If the dog’s behavior is out of concern for its pack member rather than wanting attention, try leaving them on their own for a while during sleep time and see if that calms them down. It could be that your pup wants to protect you at all times, even when it’s not necessary.

Consult your vet if your pup seems overly aggressive or hasn’t shown any changes in sleeping habits for months. Separation anxiety is one of the most common causes of aggression in dogs. Dogs with this condition often exhibit anxious behavior and may have trouble sleeping or eating when left alone for an extended period of time. 

If your dog has been diagnosed with the disorder, try following up on these tips to help calm them down:

  • Create an environment where they can feel safe by closing off entryways and adding a comfortable blanket or toy for them to sleep on.

  • Talk with your vet about getting prescription medication if the dog’s anxiety gets too severe.

  • Create a schedule where you spend time with your pup before sleeping so that they are less likely to feel anxious when left alone. Set up an alarm clock so that you are aware of when to return.

Dogs Stare At Their Owners When They Sleep To See If They Are Okay

Dogs stare at their owners when they sleep to check on them. When a dog watches its owner while sleeping, it’s telling the owner that they’re not going anywhere without letting the owner know. Also, dogs can’t talk, so their body language, including their stares, serves as a way to talk to the owner.

It may seem like dogs are judging us when we sleep, but their stares are actually quite loving and caring. So rest assured that the look in their eyes is one of concern and care, not judgment.

Dogs also stare when you sleep because the owner’s eye contact is comforting to them, and it makes them feel safe. So never think twice about why your dog stares at you while sleeping. They’re just showing how much they love you!

Dogs Stare At Their Owners While They Sleep Out Of Concern For Them During The Night

One theory about why dogs stare at their owners in their sleep is that it is because the dog wants to watch over their sleeping master.

One study found that when people look at pictures of their pets with a very close-up face, dogs stared back and were more attentive than other animals in the photographs. This may be a way for some dogs to ensure that their owners are safe during the night while they sleep. So, you don’t have to be concerned if your dog stares at you when you sleep.

Dogs’ eyes are sensitive to light, so if they have a bright bedroom or an ever-lit TV going in the background, it can be distracting for them!

Since dogs only see red, green, and blue colors as black and white images, this could also mean that their vision is not great during the night, and they may have a hard time telling what is going on.

It Could Be Any Or All Of These Reasons

There is no set answer as to why dogs look at people who are sleeping – it could be any or all of these reasons, and there may be others we haven’t thought about yet! Dogs sometimes get the urge to make eye contact when feeling lonely, excited, or curious.

It’s also possible that your dog feels like he needs to be a sort of watchdog from his place in your bedroom. 

Or maybe you sleep with a stuffed animal, and the dog picks up on that scent and wants to see for himself what it is! 

Even if another family member sleeps in your bed (or used to), the dog could have learned painful memories of being left behind. It might even just be that he’s so happy to get some one-on-one time with you finally!

So, you can see no one’s got a concrete answer to the question, “why do dogs stare at sleeping people?”

Dogs use their eyes to communicate just like we do!

Understanding how dogs communicate and how their eyes communicate can help you understand why your dog stares at you as you sleep.

Every day we see our dogs in a variety of situations and notice in their eyes how they are feeling.

Dogs communicate with their eyes in a variety of ways. For example, dogs use information from their senses such as sound, smell, and sight to create a picture of their new environment and what’s going on in it. They can then use this information to adjust their behavior to meet what’s expected of them.

Dogs may communicate how they feel through subtle expressions of the eyes, including widening the pupillary membrane; dilating the pupil; squinting (in response to bright light), or looking away from someone (avoidance). A dog may also show submission by lowering his head and averting his gaze.

Dogs also communicate with their eyes by looking at a person’s face and body to gain information about them. These signals can include watching someone closely or shifting the position of the head in relation to another dog (to maximize eye contact).

This behavior is a lot like how humans communicate with their eyes. For example, we may use our eyes to express interest in someone or something. Men and women often make eye contact longer than the other gender because they want to establish dominance over one another; people sometimes look away when they are lying or don’t want others to know what’s going on.

Dogs also use their eyes to communicate during playtime. For example, dogs may use eye contact when they are playing with other canines or humans because it is a sign of submission and respect in canine social hierarchies.

Dogs also use their eyes to form friendships through reading the emotions conveyed by others’ expressions – for example, if someone has an angry or fearful expression on their face, a dog may try to appease that person by looking away.

Dogs are naturally social animals and use eye contact as a way of bonding with humans or other canines!


Dogs stare at people because they want attention or feel like it’s their duty to watch over them while the person sleeps.

There is no set answer as to why dogs look at people who are sleeping – it could be any or all of these reasons, and there may be others we haven’t thought about yet!