Dogs 'talk' to their owners with their eyes

Nearly two thirds of dogs use their eyes to tell their owners when they want something, new research has revealed.

A survey of 1,100 owners by Pet Munchies and K9 Magazine found that 58% of dogs stand and stare to communicate their needs, rather than barking, whining or nudging their owners.

Dogs often do this because they want food, but an intense look can also be a dog’s way of expressing concern for the family’s safety.

Another 57% of dogs bark or whine to get attention, while over a third (39%) stand by the door to indicate they want to go out.

Just under a quarter, 22%, run around in circles or move back and forth when they want something, and 7.5% resort to stealing something to get attention.

Nine out of ten dog owners surveyed said their pets were very good at communicating what they want with their eyes and body language.

Nevertheless, 40% of owners would like to be able to ask their pet what they could do to make them happier.

A further 19% said they would like to be able to ask their pet if they were ill and 18% confessed they wanted to ask about their dog’s past.

K9 Magazine publisher Ryan O’Meara said that staring is “a dog’s way of trying to actually talk to us”.

“They know we will understand what they are trying to tell us because as our relationships with dogs have evolved, we have learnt to read their signals as well as they read ours,” he added.

“Whether it’s going outside, getting a treat, or encouraging us to change our focus onto them and give them some fuss, we clearly understand what our dogs want.

“Communication comes down to either staring or barking or whining for dogs.

“Where staring fails, barking will always work — although it’s a bit less subtle.”

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