Potty time can be a puzzling experience to the average dog owner. You take them outside as usual and they begin what seems to be the pooping ritual. They begin to sniff and sniff every square inch until they find just the right spot to do their business. Your dog begins to defecate and the intense stare down begins. Is your dog mocking you? Are they asking you to mind your own business and look away? Maybe they are looking for affection for doing the right thing?
Humans have been spoiled with modern luxuries that keep us safe and comfortable. We never have to worry about hunting for food or searching for clean drinking water. While dogs may experience similar luxuries at the comfort of our homes, they are still in the mindset of the hunter gatherer days of our past.
Defecation is one of the times in an animal’s life when he is at his most vulnerable. He must posture to perform the task and because of this, he is not in a position to readily fight or flee. Can you imagine squatting down in a bad neighborhood where violence is ramped and someone began assaulting you? You’d be at a massive disadvantage and probably end up in the hospital with missing valuables and an expensive bill to top it all.
When your dog stares you down, it is not because he is embarrassed. He is not wishing you would look away or give him privacy while pooping. He simply trusts you with his life to keep an eye out for potential predators. In the wild, predators can take advantage of this vulnerable position, and having a fellow pack member on the lookout is helpful. By locking eyes with you, your dog is making sure you're doing your due diligence to protect him from predators.
Animals have a unique way of thinking and will remain the same for thousands of years. When the stare down begins, ensure your dog that you’ve got his back! You’re a team, so look around and reassure your pet that there is no danger present. Dogs are on constant alert and protect us from danger. Often we find that barking every time someone approaches the front door is annoying but they are letting us know that strangers are near. Next time your dog gives you that awkward look, you should feel happy that he trust you with his life.
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