Confusing canine behavious: why does your dog look at you when he poops?
You know that look. Your dog squats and peers up at you. The expression seems to be part guilt, part embarrassment. But unless they somehow notice you’re not equipped with a poop bag and they’re momentarily ashamed to be with you, the look is not one of embarrassment.
Ok. You’ve read this far, so we assume you’re willing to admit, at least to yourself, that you’re as curious as we were about this.
One of our staff was walking a couple of dogs and was laughing to herself about this common and rather guilty expression that washes over a dog’s countenance when attending to such matters. She mentioned it to us and had some amusing thoughts as to what was “behind” it. It’s never been in our extensive new-staff training program. (And we don’t plan on making any addition in this respect.) We did think it might be one of those things you’d always wondered but didn’t want to ask.
When your dog crouches to do his or her business, there’s something else going on. They’re pack animals. Historically, this would be a rather vulnerable, defenseless moment in a dog’s life. Having a rival or predator sneak up at this time would be rather unsettling. They’re looking to you for assurance that everything’s alright – that you’ve got their back, as it were.
So the next time you find yourself on the receiving end of an awkward “number two” glance, you can trust that your pup is just putting faith in you as a purveyor of safe pooping.