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7 Reasons Why Your Chihuahua Stares at You

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Have you ever caught your Chihuahua staring at you with his adorable big brown eyes and wondered, “What are you trying to tell me? You’re so cute; I wish I could understand you!”?

brown long hair chihuahua staring and looking over shoulder

If your Chihuahua is staring at you, there’s usually a good reason for it. In this article, I’m going to tell you seven possible explanations for why your Chihuahua is staring at you.

1. Your Chihuahua wants to be cuddled.

The first reason why your Chihuahua is staring at you could be because he just wants some love from you. Context is key to understanding dog behavior.

For instance, you may have been stroking your Chihuahua a few times before stopping to turn back to your computer work and your Chihuahua continues to sit next to you or on your lap and stare at you. In my experience with cuddly dogs in general, this is usually a dog’s way of saying, “Pet me some more, please!”

One of the sweetest reasons there is for a dog to stare at you is when he’s telling you, “I love you!” It’s the canine equivalent of a human giving their loved one a look of adoration.

2. Your Chihuahua needs to go outside.

The second possible explanation for your Chihuahua staring at you is because he may be asking you to follow him to a door that leads to the outside.

So, if your Chihuahua interrupts what you’re doing by approaching you, stopping in front of you and staring, maybe ask him, “Do you need to go out?” or whatever your key phrase is for telling him when it’s time for him to go potty, and walk towards a door.

3. Your Chihuahua may be going into “fight or flight” mode.

fawn chihuahua puppy looking up

This is another reason to pay attention and note the context behind a Chihuahua staring at you. A stare can be a warning sign that your Chihuahua may be about to bite you, so again, don’t ignore your Chihuahua’s stare.

What’s going on in your Chihuahua’s environment at the time that he’s staring at you? Is a toddler running towards him, making noise or petting him too roughly? Is the person interacting with the Chihuahua acting calm, confident, and friendly, or is the person acting nervous, stressed, or grumpy?

Is there any sort of tension in your Chihuahua’s environment? If so, be cautious when you see that stare and do your best to put a stop quickly to whatever is bothering him so that he doesn’t have to resort to biting.

4. Your Chihuahua is begging for your food.

chihuahua standing by food on plate on table
Chihuahua standing by food on dinner table

Perhaps this is the most obvious reason, but with it comes a gentle warning that while it is cute to see a tiny dog sitting next to you and gazing up at you with big, sad puppy dog eyes, rewarding his begging may leave you with a troublemaker.

The saying, “Give him an inch and he will take a mile,” applies to begging dogs as well. I’m not saying all dogs that beg will do this, but you run the risk of turning your dog into one that’s always trying to figure out how much he can get away with for the sake of obtaining extra food.

You’d be surprised at the amount of mischief a small animal can get away with that a large animal could never get away with!

5. Your Chihuahua is trying to understand you.

When your Chihuahua hears you say a word that he recognizes, whether you were speaking to him or to someone else, this is another time when he may direct all his attention to you in hopeful anticipation of a reward coming!

He could be hoping that you’re about to take him for a walk or a car ride or offer him some food.

Other times, you might not be speaking at all, but simply going about your business and your Chihuahua looks up and stares at you. During these points in time, he may simply find what you’re doing to be the most interesting thing in the room, or he may just want to learn more about how you’re doing at that moment. Most of a dog’s communication with you is nonverbal!

6. Something is wrong in the dog’s environment.

It’s amazing that dogs seem to have the ability to sense when a catastrophe is about to occur before we even notice something’s wrong! I’ve always admired the work of seizure or diabetic alert dogs and cancer detection dogs, how they can tell just by smell or some other sense that not all is well in their environment.

The issue may also be something is wrong with the dog. The dog may have injured himself in some way or he’s feeling under the weather.

7. Your Chihuahua is confused.

If you give your Chihuahua a command that he doesn’t understand well yet, he may just look at you. It’s the canine equivalent of how you would react if someone spoke to you in French and the only language you speak is English.

Another example is that you might throw a ball for your Chihuahua to fetch in the living room, only for the ball to accidentally roll under the sofa. Your Chihuahua puts on the brakes in front of the sofa and looks back at you with wide eyes, perky ears, and a wagging tail as if to say, “A little help? You told me to get the ball and bring it back, but I can’t bring it back.”

There’s a wealth of information to discover in the canine branch of nonverbal communication! Since dogs don’t speak English, we do ourselves and them
a favor by taking some time to educate ourselves on some of the most common ways dogs communicate with each other and with humans, and what the dog is trying to say.

Cathy signature with cartoon chihuahua
blond woman holding white chihuahua

Cathy Bendzunas

Pet Blogger

I have had dogs all my life. I have been a pet groomer, worked in a pet hotel, and a kennel, and have bred and showed dogs.


Friday 12th of January 2024

I can get mine to eat. I rescued her but she is 4 but she won’t eat unless it’s a treat or table food I can’t let this go on We have now bought 3 different brands and she won’t eat. HELP!!!

Cathy Bendzunas

Friday 12th of January 2024

You can try adding some warm beef broth to the food. That helped one of my dogs to eat in the past after he stopped eating. I also will add a little shredded cheese or a dog food topper for some of the dogs I pet sit for who don't want to eat when their dogs are out of town. Or you can make your own dog food. I have to do that for my 2 Yorkies who are very picky and one has severe allergies. Let me know if you want my recipe.

Tonya Virden

Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Hi Cathy & Happy New Year! Sending continued Prayers to you & Pup's.

I, too make sure to eat my Peas & Greens for upcoming luck:)

Sooo enjoyed the article on why my baby stares at me...loved it.

Thank you for all you do!

Cathy Bendzunas

Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Thanks Tonya and Happy New Year!


Monday 27th of March 2023

My sweet Yoda was staring at me as I was reading this, and tapped me on my arm as I'm typing this. Seems very interested in the article, maybe I should read it to him out loud? )))))

Crazy story about your neighbor! But seems like you both were lucky because that fire could have damaged a lot more (especially since you said it was windy).

Hope the radiation continues to go side affect free for you Cathy! You remain in my prayers!


Monday 27th of March 2023

Thanks Vera. Yes, I'm so grateful the firemen got the fire under control before it got my house. Maybe you should ask Yoda why he stares at you. He may have reasons I don't know about. LOL


Saturday 25th of March 2023

aaawww so cute Cathy! HOLY COW on your neighbor ! "thanks a lot Mr ,for burning down my fence !!" hope you are doing well Cathy! how's the radiation going? stay well my friend ! as always ,Your Fan ,Cheryl


Saturday 25th of March 2023

Hi Cheryl, I know, right? I feel bad for him. The back of his house is wide open. Any critter or person could walk in and cause more damage or steal things. Radiation is going ok. No side effects yet and hopefully there won't be. I have 21 more treatments to go.