Why Does My Dog Stare At Me When I Cry?

Why Does My Dog Stare At Me When I Cry?

Have you ever cried and realized your dog was staring at you? It could last for five minutes or fifteen! And you might have wondered why my dog stares at me when I cry.

Why does my dog stare at me when I cry? The best answer that I can give you is because they genuinely care for you! Dogs think that they can share your hard feelings and give you some relief. If you have ever tried to hug your dog when you cry, they will provide you with the shoulder to hold your head and cry for hours.

Why Does My Dog Stare At Me When I Cry?

Now let us dig deeper into your question; Why does my dog stare at me when I cry? When their owners cry, dogs become upset and will do whatever is in their power to comfort them. 

You must be wondering if dogs’ reactions to seeing you cry are similar to those of people. 

Yes, dogs frequently give you a loving stare when you cry to let you know they are there for you no matter what. You and your dog engage in this staring; it releases oxytocin, sometimes known as the “love hormone.”

This hormone strengthens bonds and fosters feelings of love and trust. Therefore, it is natural for your dog to stare at you when you cry.

They might not necessarily understand all the feelings you are experiencing. However, your dog will sense your discomfort and feel the need for a quick distraction.

Do Dogs Comfort You When You Cry?

Yes, dogs comfort you when you cry! In fact, according to recent research published in 2018, dogs not only experience distress when they witness their owners in pain, but they also attempt to comfort and support them.

Thirty-four pet dogs of various types and sizes were brought into the laboratory with their owners for the study.

Dogs could see and hear the owners since they were asked to sit behind a glass door. They could open the door by lightly brushing it with their paws or noses even though it was held closed by three tiny magnets.

Every 15 seconds, the owners were instructed to cry out for help in either a distressed or not-distressed tone.

The pet owners who called for help in a non-distressed tone were also instructed to hum the “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” poem in between their calls.

The pet owners who called for help in a distressed manner were asked to produce crying noises in between their calls.

The dogs’ behaviors in both situations were captured on camera, and the researchers also monitored the dogs’ heart rates to look for variations in heart rate that might be signs of stress.

It discovered that even when their owners were humming and asking for help, their dogs wanted to be with them but did not open the door more frequently than when their owners were crying.

On the other hand, the dogs with their owners crying in between the calls for help opened the door roughly 40 seconds faster to reach the owner.

It shows that dogs are genuinely great creatures and would undoubtedly provide us comfort when we cry.

But how can they know we’re sad and upset? How is this possible when they don’t actually experience these complicated emotions?

We’ll look at several ways your dog can tell when you need comfort below.

  • Expressions On The Face

A 2015 study demonstrated that dogs could tell the difference between human displays of happiness and unhappiness.

They can recognize the difference between your facial expressions even though they might not understand precisely what they mean.

  • The Tone Of Voice

A study at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences discovered that your dog could differentiate between your happy and sad voices.

Because of this, in the previous study, the dogs responded to the distressed voice more quickly than the non-distressed one!

  • Nonverbal Cues

Dogs are incredibly perceptive to how humans handle their bodies. Your dog can tell how you’re feeling just by looking at your posture, the angle of your head, and how you move.

What Do Dogs Do When They See You Cry?

Now you have a clear answer to why my dog stares at me when I cry. But what do dogs do when they see you cry?

  • Make physical contact with you by pawing, placing their heads on your lap, attempting to cuddle up to you, or even resting their noses on your head.
  • Distract you by putting his toys in your lap or attempting to take you for a walk by constantly staring out the door. It could be beneficial since exercise and fresh air can lessen negative feelings, worrisome thoughts, and a depressed mood.

But occasionally, if the dog notices that you are crying, they will offer you some alone time. The dogs will stare at you and wait for you to return to your normal state.

So, why does this happen? It’s not that your dog doesn’t love you; instead, it’s that they are both distressed and uncertain of what to do when you cry.

Dogs’ sympathetic nervous systems are triggered as soon as they detect human emotional pain, which is why they can become distressed when they see us crying. 

Dogs are also employed as emotional support for long-term hospital patients to lift their moods. You can benefit from it as well when you’re feeling low.

You will even forget what you were crying for with your dog by your side as an excellent companion.

However, you can train your dog to comfort you when you cry if you think they may become distressed in such a situation.

You might try acting sad and using the term “cuddle” before hugging him and giving him a treat when he approaches you. It can be repeated for around five minutes each day for a week.

Then, whenever you cry (for real) and say cuddle, your dog will surely come over to comfort you to the maximum of his ability, and you won’t be wondering why my dog stares at me when I cry.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your four-legged friend.


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

    [email protected]

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