In dogs, eye contact is an important way to communicate. And even if they have been living with humans for a very long time, dogs still tend to perceive staring as an unfriendly gesture; they may even take it as a challenge.
In dogs, a stare can be an important trigger for fights. A dominant dog can intimidate a submissive dog by giving them a direct stare. In effect, a dog’s eyes reveal so much about what is running through their head and what they’re feeling.
Being stared at by another dog, human, or other animals is often considered by most dogs as rude. But eye contact with their owners or people who are familiar to them may not be as threatening and challenging. In fact, some dogs make eye contact with their humans when they’re feeling relaxed and happy. For some pet owners, teaching their dogs to make eye contact is one way to get their pet’s attention. For more information, ask your veterinarian.