Your dog is a member of your family, and it’s only natural that he would be interested in what you are doing.
So it is natural that he has a strange fascination with you when you are asleep.
This blog will help you understand why this happens, and give you some tips on how to deal with the situation.
Your dog is staring at you when you are asleep because he is curious about your muttering or snoring. He is showing you his affection, watching over you, or checking your breathing rhythm. Your absence is missed by him, or you smell differently. He could also be needing something from you.
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His Natural Curiosity Drives Him
Your dog is curious about what you do when you are asleep. You may be muttering in your sleep and that has caught his attention, and he is trying to figure out what you are saying.
Or perhaps you are snoring loudly, and he finds that interesting too. Maybe you have an unusual sleeping position, and he is wondering why you are sleeping that way. It could be anything.
The point is, he is naturally curious about what you are doing when you are asleep. And that’s Okay! It’s normal.
He is just being curious and interested in what you are doing in your sleep.
To Show His Affection
When you were still a toddler, did you often wake up from sleep and see your mom staring at you passionately? This is her way of expressing her affection for you.
This approach also applies to dogs as well. A dog’s eyes reflect his feelings. This is the most basic form of non-verbal communication.
When your dog stares at you with his bright and lively eyes, he is expressing his love and devotion for you.
It is important for you to understand that your dog is not just looking at you with his eyes; he is expressing his innermost feelings about you.
Therefore, when you are interacting with your dog, you should try to read his eyes. What he is conveying to you is not only what he sees, it is what he feels.
He Is Watching Over You
When your dog is staring at you when you are asleep, he is in fact guarding you from any threat. He knows you are very vulnerable at that moment and will do anything within his power to keep you safe.
He will keep a close lookout for any “bad guys” who might try to hurt you while you are sleeping. Therefore, he will become very alert and watchful of everything around him.
This is his way of showing you how much he cares about you. You will find that he is also always watching over you while you are awake too.
He will consider this “watching” as his job when he sees you as part of his pack.
Therefore, if any “bad guys” comes near you when you are sleeping, his instinct will be to warn you and protect you.
So don’t make the mistake of thinking your dog is just playing around.
He Is Checking Your Breathing Rhythm
Do you have any known history of sleep disorder issues? I got to know about this strange finding from a friend who found his dog likes to sleep on his chest and stares at him whenever he is asleep.
It was later found out that he was suffering from sleep apnea disorder and whenever his breathing stops, his dog would start to bark in an attempt to wake him up.
Once his breathing resumes, he will just rest again on his chest and stare at him, keeping a close watch out for his signs of breath.
This goes on until he finally wakes up and starts exhaling with a loud “Ahh!” which signals his dog that it is time to stop watching and go away.
Your Absence Is Missed By Him
If you happen to be away from home for a long period of time (more than a week), you will find that your dog keeps staring at you when you are asleep.
This is his way of telling you that he misses you so much and wants to be with you again. He wants to ensure that you do not leave him again.
You know what? That’s true love. All dogs feel this way about their owners. They don’t understand why they have to stay away from their owners for such a long period of time.
What you should do, as a matter of course, is to reach out and pet him whenever you are back home.
Spend more time interacting with him during the time when you are around to build up his trust in you.
This will let him know that he is important to you.
It also lets him know that even though you are away from home, he is still part of the family and that you will never abort him.
He Needs Something From You
Your dog needed something from you but was afraid to wake you up. So he just has to patiently stare at you waiting for your reaction.
He might be feeling hungry or need to go outside for his potty. Or he simply just wants you to wake up and play with him as he is feeling bored.
If your dog finds that simply staring at you will make you wake up and address his needs, he will be repeating this behavior over and over again whenever he needs something from you.
Whatever the case, if you are able to read your dog’s body language (and most owners are NOT even aware of their own dog’s signals), you will be able to know what your dog needs without him having to tell you.
You can plan for his needs (meal, potty and exercise times) accordingly so that your dog gets what he needs without having to wait patiently by your side.
It may take a little extra time and effort to figure out what he needs, but the payoff…is huge!
You should also make sure that you provide an outlet to help your dog release his pent-up energy daily.
This can be done through playing some physical games such as fetch, or mental games like hide-and-seek with him.
If he is not getting enough exercise, he will begin to get cranky and develop various behavior problems such as digging, chewing, barking and so on.
So make sure that you provide him with ample opportunities for play and exercise every day! You must find something for him to do that is both physically and mentally stimulative for him.
Your Scent Is Different
If you are putting on new perfume or some clothing that your dog is unfamiliar with, such as a bulky coat or a new blanket that comes with a scent that is new to him, he will keep staring at you trying to identify the source of the smell.
Don’t be alarmed. This is just his curiosity getting the best of him and nothing to worry about.
What you can do is to let your dog get used to the smell of any new clothing or bedding by letting him sleep with you until he gets used to the smell.
You’ll be amazed at how fast your dog will get over his “freak out” reaction!