One dog staring at another dog means I’m-about-to-bring-some-whup-ass-up-in-here. At least that’s been my experience on the mean streets of Santa Monica. If you are a well-balanced dog, you look at another dog, look away, look back, yawn, look away, and when you get the same response you move in for the ever-tantalizing butt sniff. Staring warns my dog that you are an aggressive dog and she will either sneeze, bark or lunge at you (and sometimes all three). Staring = no bueno.
The no staring rule also applies in the human realm where gawking at a person for an uncomfortable length of time means that you are a creepy jerk. This same rule, however, does not seem to apply to the dog-human relationship. Today, my dog stared at me for an hour. First, she was on the floor staring up at me while I sat cross-legged on the couch reading home decor magazines, and then next to me on the couch where she stared some more. If I pet her, she’ll eventually get sleepy and take a nap. If I leave her be, the staring can go on for a long time. She’s a total stalker.
When she’s gazing at me I like to believe she is thinking I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you can I have a treat I love you. More likely it’s pet me pet me pet me pet me pet me why aren’t you petting me right now.
Perhaps she isn’t thinking anything, like when people space out while fixating on an object they aren’t really seeing.
Either way, it’s a little freaky.