Why Does My Dog Look Away From Me? Different Dog Behaviors 101

Why does my dog look away from me?

About the Author: Jean Colt, a valued writer at MyPetDoggie and a dedicated student of English Literature at Yale University. Jean’s love for dogs, coupled with her literary skills, allows her to create engaging content that resonates with our pet-loving community. Her work reflects her passion for dogs and commitment to enhancing pet care knowledge.

I was playing with my pooch and he was continuously avoiding me, which puzzled me. As a dog owner, you will relate if this happens it will be a devastating moment when your dog friend occasionally avoids making eye contact with you by looking away. I was confused by his behavior and wondered why my lovely friend sometimes looked inactive and even cold. 

After all, we both have a strong relationship and I want my precious moments back. I was asking myself again and again Why does my dog look away from me?

In the search of getting the answer, I found many elements on “why my dog is inactive toward me.” The pooch will not respond properly if he has to fight with some natural behaviors or evolutionary qualities to social cues and emotional states.

It is essential to motivate the pooch if we want to improve communication and build a strong relationship. Understanding the deep and downs of circumstances will fairly help us to alter the behavior and will maintain an enjoyable, positive vibing connection with the furry pet.

The various elements that may affect your furry friend are explained throughout the article, including their breeds, natural desires, their need for private space, their body language ability, and their mental state. Here we will look thoroughly at every piece of how to resolve the issue that might pop up and promote an environment of love, care, and understanding, which will cure the canine thoroughly.  

But before starting, keep in mind that like human beings each dog is different and may have different reasons for looking away.

Why does my dog look away from me?
Two dogs sit together in a bath tub

You might be interested in: Learn the reasons behind why dogs stare out the window and what they might be looking at.

Communication and Body Language of Dogs

It’s essential to examine the confusing world of canine body language and communication to understand our lovely friends. Like us, dogs have their strategic method of communicating, and one of the most important ways is through non-verbal cues.

Escaping eyes from the master is one of the most common non-verbal signals of dogs. This behavior might be unsettling for dog owners, who are used to regular eye contact as a sign of involvement and connection. Dogs may perform this action of avoiding attention due to some reasons.

Showing respect to their owners

Dogs are social animals who have an appealing communicating body language system. Sometimes for showing an expression of deference or respect and to honor their owner they slightly down their eyes and don’t make eye contact with their parents(Human Owner). I feel this is polite behavior of my canine towards me, which makes our relationship stronger.

Submissive Body language

Dogs may make obeying actions by turning away their eyes, due to their dominant social structure. They recognize the dominance of their master or some other dominant pooch by changing direct eye contact. 

For Getting Relief from Stress or Anxiety

Dogs who are passing through a stress or anxiety trauma may also turn away their sight. They do this to keep the danger and difficult situations away, mainly dogs can perform the avoiding action for their self-soothing and for decreasing anxiety if they find themselves in an Unfamiliar environment or detect something unnatural.

They are showing this type of behavior to relax and push themselves to get normalized.

Trust, connection, or bounding with their owner

When the pooch feels that he is secure with us, sometimes he shows this behavior to show that he did not need ongoing watchfulness and supervision anymore. He just needs some “HE TIME”.

studying dog behavior
The dog walking in a garden

Eye Language is crucial in dog communication

Dogs cannot talk with us, the only thing they do is sometimes communicate with their eyes. Dog-to-dog communication is easy because they are the same trait when it comes to Human-to-dog communication it becomes difficult. 

For knowing the reasons why does my dog look away from me? It is important to build a strong and positive relationship with our partners and understand them in every circumstance.

Understanding the causes of changing behavior can help us to look after their needs and feel them. Like us, we have a desire for something. We probably first show it with our eyes and when no one is noticing us we ignore them. I think the same strategy goes with the dogs, they wanted to communicate with their eyes. Then it is crucial to understand the canine eyes’ language if we want to build cemented relations with them.

Eye Language is crucial in dog communication.
A dog lying peacefully on a floor

Unfamiliar or stressful environment

Sometimes, when they open to an antisocial or unfamiliar environment they start irritating you. For getting rid of stressful environments dogs may avoid direct eye contact. If they are showing that they are getting irritated and become aggressive easily and not listening to you continuously it may be they are disturbed by a cozy environment.

Change the environment and notice his behaviors regularly. Here they say that you are the only source of their peachy environment. 

Personal space

Dogs are turning their eyes because sometimes, like us, they also need their private space. If you notice that your friend has some private space, go ahead. Give him some time for self-soothing. We need to understand them and respect their personal decisions.

Their Age

This piece comes from my personal experience of a canine getting old. They tire easily and when they get exhausted they simply ignore us. This means “I need to take some rest buddy, please don’t disturb me.” 

Are they tired

The same thing mentioned above, even if they are young they get tired. So, give them less burden of exercising and allow them to feel the fresh air from the window. 

Dominant Dog-to-Dog communications

Sometimes they find another canine as the dominant one, they simply neglect eye contact with the owner. They just wanted to keep the peace in the environment.  To understand their emotions and give them a safe zone.

You might be interested in: Discover why dogs show their belly when they feel guilty and its behavioral significance.

Health Issues can also be the Reason!

There may be some health issues that can make your dog look away from you!

Turning Eye contact Discomfort

Dogs are known for their expressive eyes for expressing a variety of emotions. Sometimes turning his head and avoiding eye contact may be a result of some discomfort. If he is continuously not looking at you and not as responsive as he was before it means he is facing some health issues. Some of the registered Health problems are;

Pain or discomfort in their eyes

There may be chances of eye pain which is continuously irritating him. Problems like eye infection, corneal ulcer, or maybe some foreign particle are disturbing him every second. 

These problems can cause serious intense pain and make their eyes more sensitive. If the dog is constantly rubbing his eyes then you should visit his veterinarian.

Oral issues

Another health issue is oral problems like gum diseases, and tooth decay which can be more painful than you think. 

These pains can extend the facial regions, including the eye’s surface. Therefore, the dog is looking away from you. 

Ear’s Problems

Canines may be suffering from ear problems like Ears infection, allergies or mites can cause irritation and pain in the ears.

Along with turning their eyes if he is turning his head more than normal, that means he may have these problems and maybe discomforting him.

Nausea or digestive issues:

May the dog be facing some stomach problems like stomachs, indigestion, constipation, or motion sickness. This type of sickness can result in loss of appetite, vomiting, and nausea or diarrhea. If the dog is continuously looking away from the food then there is a chance of stomach-related problems.  

Want an engagement in other activities

It’s hard to pinpoint the real cause of his ignorance of dogs towards me. Sometimes he just wanted to show that he needs tiny other involvement in exciting activities.

Look if you are regularly taking him outdoors just for a normal walk then so sorry to tell you. You are not a good parent, because they need some enjoyable memories too.

Make their day special by playing with them. Maybe he is looking at else’ pet owner who is warming his activity. He will turn his eyes on you.

Your Behavior with the Dog

Some owners are not good enough with their pets. They don’t have enough time for their canines. Which kind of behavior may upset them. 

Look at yourself, is your behavior with the dog okay?

If not, you have to change buddy. Provide them with a familiar environment that they love.


This may be another reason for turning his eye contact. Maybe he is depressed from something. Maybe he is expressing something unregular these days, which is upsetting him day by day. Build a strong relationship with your companion and cure his all pains with love and care. 

Maybe you notice him inaccurately

Sometimes they are looking at you but suddenly turn their eyes and we did not notice them correctly. If he is acting the same as he does all day. Then there is no need to worry. Your dog is fit and healthy.

Positions of Dog Body That Tells So Many Things

I have added this section because if his body is showing any type of the position that’s mentioned below. You have to do something then.

position of dog body
The dog sits on the floor in front of his owner

Dog’s Ear Position

His ear’s position can indicate the mood. If the dog’s ears are in a forward direction then they may be alert or curious. If they are pinned back, they may be stressed or frightened.

Dog’s Tail Position

Tail’s position can also indicate his mood. If his tail is wagging wide and loosely, they are happy and excited. But, if it is tucked between the legs, they may be scared or in stress.

Stiffness in their body

Their body gets stiff when they are uncomfortable and anxious. If you are feeling any stiffness provide them some private space and allow them to identify the environment for realizing everything is okay.

If they feel any danger or are overwhelmed, you may see them “freeze” as well. Again as mentioned above, allow them some free space.

Yawning or Lip Licking

Dogs may lick their mouth or yawn to express that they are uncomfortable or stressed. When you notice this behavior give them some space.

 Fear or Frightened of Something

 Sometimes when they get frightened, they start to look away. If there is something that makes him frightened, immediately provide him with a safe environment. Make him relaxed.

Sometimes the owners shout at pets who fear them too much and start fearing the owner.  If you make this mistake then love him 2x more to make him comfortable.

They are Guilty of Something

The most common reason for looking away from their owners is that they hide their mistake or they are guilty of it. If he has done something that’s not good, don’t panic. Just say them next time, be careful. Good bread animals never repeat their mistakes.

Poor health or Injury

When a dog looks away from his master, it may sometimes be an injury or poor health of dogs. Like humans, dogs may face many types of physical discomfort or pain due to various reasons.

Various injuries or poor health can cause dogs to turn away their eye contact and look away from their owner as a way of protecting themselves. 

In such cases, it is essential for owners to observe their dog’s behavior closely, and notice extra cues of distress like limping, changes in body weight, or lethargy. 

If an injury or health issue is detected then it is necessary to seek veterinary care to assure the dog’s health and treat any of these underlying issues. owners must provide a comfortable or safe environment for their canines or pets for reducing the risk of injuries or poor health. 

Regular activities and a balanced diet and regular check-ups can contribute to maintaining a dog’s health. 

Poor training techniques and socialization

Poor training and socialization can be a unique contributing factor in dogs looking away from their parents. They may not have proper training or not be socialized yet.  Which may result in avoidance through their eyes.

This may happen because they lack essential skills for responding and understanding their master cues or commands. Poor training techniques may lead to confusion, anxiety, and a lack of trust between the owner and his canine. 

Sometimes owners and their dogs may encounter difficulties due to a lack of skills. If training methods are not good enough it can lead to stress, anxiety, and destroy the trust level between the owner and the dog. Consequently, this can result in challenges when it comes to responding to cues or commands.

It’s a suggestion to the owners to invest some time and some effort with pooch using the right techniques and expose them to different environments and people for proper specialization. By giving the right training, the dogs may feel confident and secure in any circumstance, which reduces the chances of turning their eyes away.

Breed Different Specific Characteristics and Their Tendencies

It’s essential to consider the breed’s specific characteristics and tendencies when it comes to recognizing why my dogs look away from me. Different dog breeds have variant specific purposes over different eras, resulting in variations in communication styles, and behaviors. These different specific traits play a significant role in how to interact with masters. 

German Shepherd
A adult dogs sit on a ice with his little dog

Active dog species

Different breeds of dogs have behaviors and responses that are based on their intended purposes. For example, German Shepherds are known for their abilities while Greyhounds have an instinct for chasing objects. On the hand, Border Collies possess a talent for herding. These unique traits that vary among breeds can greatly influence the behavior of dogs. Certain active breeds like Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, White Shepherds, and German Shepherds exhibit qualities such as activeness, and intelligence. They tend to pay attention when their owners give them signals or make eye contact. However, reserved breeds, like Huskies, Basenjis, and Akitas often do not respond strongly to eye contact.

Shyness or anxiety

Some dogs’ due to shyness or anxiety cannot make direct eye contact. SHIH TZU and  CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL are the type of species that feel direct eye contact movement as stressful and uncomfortable and in turn, they turn their eyes to avoid their stress.

Breed behaviors and responses to eye contact

It’s essential to remember that individual dogs within specific breeds still have unique personalities and preferences. Not all the canines of a particular breed will show the same behaviors as eye contact.

Recognizing the dog’s breed traits and their different tendencies will help you to better interpret their communication cues and body language. It allows you to make a perfect bonding between you and your dog and will improve eye contact based on their breed’s variant traits.


Is it OK to look a dog in the eyes?

It is not generally recommended to maintain long eye contact with a canine, especially if he is a stranger or a nervous dog.

Dogs detect direct eye contact as a sign of challenge or danger. Looking at the dogs may make them feel uncomfortable, or threatened or can make them more aggressive.

However, with well-trained and familiar dogs, gentle and brief eye contact can be a way of direct communication and will strengthen the bond between the owner and the dog. It is important to be aware of a dog’s body language and to respect its boundaries.

If you don’t know how? Then the best way to consult the professional or a vernier for the seeking of guidance.

Why does my dog look away from me when I talk to him?

A dog will not look at its owner to prevent eye contact. In dogs, staring is usually known as a challenging task and they sometimes find it as a sign of threat. So turning their eye’s away is the primary way of pacifying for preventing the potential conflict.

How do dogs identify their owners?

Dogs may identify their owners through their sounds and using sound properties like noisiness or pitch. They can differentiate their master’s sound from strangers and can find them through the owner’s smell.

Why do dogs stare at you awkwardly?

Dogs may stare at their master awkwardly for too many reasons. Like they might be trying to communicate with the owner for their needs or desires, such as for eating food or for getting attention.

Some dogs learn that staring at their owners may be helping in fulfilling their needs. Sometimes they stare at you just because they are confused and want help with clarification.

Why do dogs look at you when they poop?

They may look to their parents for several reasons including expecting rewards, seeking protection, showing their bond, and may want approval during the poop training.

Why does my dog stare at me and then look away when I look at them?

When they look at you and you look at them he suddenly looks away, this may be a sign of respect.

Final thought

The behavior of dogs looking away from their owners can be due to various factors, each will carry its effect. It may seem confusing at first, but understanding the reasons can provide precious insight into a dog-human bond.

As we know, dogs are a pack of special behaviors. By turning his eyes he may be signaling respect to his owner, recognizing their value. This cue is usually seen when the dog detects some threat or the owner is displaying his dominance.

Dogs like human beings have their comfort zone. If the dogs face unfamiliar environments they may also look away from you so you need to provide them with a special environment, which relaxes them.

If he is ignoring you for no reason it does not mean he is showing any disrespect. Sometimes, when they recognize that their owner is not in the mood. They turn their eyes away and allow us to enjoy our free space. Another way of showing submission.

By understanding the various reasons behind this behavior, we can strengthen our bonds with the canine and can create an environment of love and trust. Hope this article will answer why my dog looks away from me. Wish you an amazing life with your pooch. GOOD LUCK!

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