The EYES Have It.
If we want to understand our dogs then we must learn their language.
Dogs are all about body language and eye contact is very important in dog land.
When dogs first meet they avoid eye contact because in this setting eye contact means aggression. If a dog means no harm it will approach another dog slightly turned away from it but if it is challenging that dog it will be straight on with full eye contact. Every dog knows this signal; understanding it is a matter of survival.
Humans need to remember this; no matter how cute the dog is it will not like being looked at directly in the eyes.
Generally speaking it is a good idea to let a dog approach you and not the other way around.
No matter how cool the dog looks it is best to play by their rules and treat them with respect. If you see a dog avoiding your gaze he is showing you respect particularly if he is giving you space at the same time.
If the dog is on his home turf expect him to be concerned about you at the start. Watch to see if he gives you space before trying to enter his property. Again his eyes will give you valuable clues. And your eyes will help him to know what your intentions are.
Eye contact from your dog is a sign of respect and love. When you are out walking and your dog looks at you he/she is telling you that they are having a great time and that they love being in your company.
Asking for eye contact from your dog is an important part of of your dogs training as eye contact is one of the ways that the pack communicate with each other.
The pack leader only needs to look at a dog that is behaving baldly and the behaviour stops!
You want your dog to see you as it’s pack leader so communicating with yours eyes is vital. A stern look is worth a thousand words. Always get eye contact with your dog after it has done something you disagree with.