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7 Reasons For Dog Side Eye And Dogs That Have Perfected It

7 Reasons For Dog Side Eye And Dogs That Have Perfected It

There are many quirky things that dogs do that make us laugh, but these things can also be signs of how they are feeling at that moment. They can have different ear positions and different body stances that are based on how they are feeling.

Some of these things are more obvious to detect than others and are obviously showcasing a certain emotion. But what about the dog’s eyes?

We as humans have some eye movements that can show another person how we are feeling without speaking. The most popular ones are the eye roll and side eye. But have you ever heard of dog side eye?

Yes, this might sound crazy but dogs tend to give us the side eye from time to time. This is also called a whale eye or a half-moon eye.

Most of these do not mean that your dog is aggressive or antisocial but that they are having a moment when they are not feeling in their element.

This is one of those funny things that dogs do but it can mean some serious business. We are here to explain dog side eye in more detail so you can understand what it means.

Dog Side Eye Meaning

bulldog giving sideways glance while lying on the couch

Keeping an eye on your dogs body language is important. As dog owners, after some time you get used to all of your dog’s movements.. You know how your furry best friend is feeling just from their ear position.

Some body languages can be confusing and mean a couple of things. This is the case with dog ear positions and dog side eye.

Even though catching your dog giving you side eye can be cute, funny, and a bit unusual, you need to know that it can mean a couple of things.

Some of the things are a bit more serious and you need to react, while others are just cute.

Here are a couple of emotions that your dog may be feeling when he is giving you side eye.


Dogs tend to feel a bit awkward and confused just like us humans. If a person they don’t know comes to them and wants to pet them they might give them side eye. This is a signal that they don’t want to be touched and don’t know how to express it.

This does not mean that they feel angry, just a bit confused and are looking to you as their savior. You can almost sense them thinking ˝What does this human want from me?˝

They might change some other parts of their behavior, for example, they might all of a sudden refuse to walk and just lay there in one place until the thing that makes them feel awkward goes away.

The reaction that might come after this is just them standing up and isolating themself from the situation.


This is one of the most common reasons for your dog to give you side eye. If they did something that they were not supposed to they will most definitely feel guilty. Some dogs tend to hide and tuck their tail between their legs.

Other dogs tend to be more courageous but know that they did something wrong.

They will not be able to look at you directly, which is why they will turn their head from you, but they will keep an eye (or more specifically a side eye) on you to see if you are really mad.

You may not even need to raise your voice at them as a way of discipline because they will automatically feel guilty.

You may also experience some other behavioral changes like your dog sitting on you or refusing to go too far from you.

When your doggo does something that might make you angry, but you see them behaving like this, the best thing is to calm yourself down, discipline them a bit, and then make sure that you give them a pet or a couple of words of affirmation.

Try to never use physical punishment because this can cause a dog some trauma.

RELATED: Will My Dog Forgive Me For Hitting Him? Advice For Dog Owners


This is the tricky part about the dog’s side eye. This is usually showcased when they are in contact with another dog or animal. They may not feel comfortable around the other dog or even sense negative energy from that dog.

This can happen to even the best dogs. This does not mean that your dog is aggressive or that your dog does not get along with other dogs. This is a moment where they met another dog or even a human that they don’t really like.

If you see this, the best thing is to isolate your dog from the situation. If you don’t remove them from the situation, a fight might happen.

You can consider this type of side eye as a warning sign to the other dog in the sense of, if you don’t back up, we might have a problem.

RELATED: How To Socialize An Aggressive Dog: A Simple Guide For Dog Owners


shih tzu dog looking aside protecting something

In this situation, the dog is probably protecting something that they are eating or playing with.

This may be a small sign of potential aggression, and this is one of the reasons for you teaching your dog that you can be around them when they are eating or that you can take their toy in the middle of them playing with it.

You will be able to see your dog’s ears getting straight and them being a bit stiff. They won’t move anything but their eyes as a way of saying that you better take a step back.

This can be dangerous if you have small kids around and they try to take the dog’s toy or mess with them while they are eating.

It can end up with an attack or a warning growl. If you notice this with your puppy it is fine. It can be a teaching moment because they are still young, so you can teach them that this behavior is unacceptable.

If an older dog starts doing this, it can be a problem because as they say, ˝You can’t teach an old dog new tricks˝. This will be harder to control but not impossible.


Sometimes when there is a lot going on around a dog they might feel confused. They don’t always know how to express it, so they might just look around moving nothing but their eyes.

This can end up with a side eye or them just confusingly glaring around.

For example, this can happen when they receive a lot of attention from a person that usually does not give them any.

This is commonly showcased when a dog that is not used to kids is approached by a child that wants to play with them.

If they are playing with a toy and you all of a sudden take it from them because you want to play with them, they might get a bit confused as to why are you taking their toy all of a sudden.

There can be many scenarios where the dog might get a bit confused but this is nothing to worry about. The side eye will last for a short time and after they will either just start to play with you or show a bit of the confusion by barking.

RELATED: Do Cocker Spaniels Bark A Lot? Here’s The Honest Answer!


This can also come from a couple of scenarios but mostly it is connected with other dogs or even kids. When someone interrupts their peace time by wanting to play is the most common moment when they will give you side eye.

If a child or a dog is annoying them a bit, the side eye will not be directed to them but on the contrary, to you. This is because they are telling you to remove the thing that is interrupting their peace.

The funny thing is that in these moments you can almost see them roll their eyes. A lot of memes on Instagram or Tiktok are made when a pooch is giving you side eye with a clearly annoyed face.


When your dog is stressed, there are many things they will do to show you, and side eye /whale eye is one of them. You will be able to clearly see the whites of the eyes in these situations.

If you cannot figure out that this is stress, they will show you through other body languages.

Some of the other body languages that your dog will exhibit when they are stressed are:

– Yawning

– Barking

– Pacing


– Whining

– Shaking

– Pacing

Frequent blinking

– Unusual body posture

Licking your hands

– Trying to hide or escape

– Shedding

– Eye Contact

A stressed dog can lead to either an anxious dog or an aggressive and destructive dog. This is why it is important to get to know your dog and what situations make them stressed.

It can be something like the sound of fireworks or meeting a new person. The socialization process is important for this reason.

The more sounds, people, animals, and environments they are exposed to as puppies will make them less likely to get stressed in the future.

Dog Breeds That Are Masters At Giving You The Side Eye

beagle giving sideways glance indoors

Some dogs are better at expressing their feelings than others. This is not scientifically proven, but some dog breeds are really good at giving you the side eye. Every breed has distinctive personality traits and is better at some things than other breeds.

One of those things is side eye. It can look that with some breeds, giving side eye comes naturally. This is usually in a fun way when they might be feeling a bit annoyed or confused.

The first thing they will do is give you side eye and then proceed with other body languages.

Here are some of the dogs that are masters at giving side eye:

Husky: These cute dogs are known for their expressiveness. They are sometimes almost human-like. You can sometimes feel that they are on the verge of starting to speak to prove their point.

Their facial expressions are always on point. Most memes that are out there when it comes to side eye are from Huskies.

Golden Retriever: These pooches are known to be gentle-natured so you probably can’t imagine a Goldie giving you side eye. But do not be fooled, if they are feeling some type of way they will let you know by looking at you sideways.

German Shepherd: This working dog is a professional when it comes to everything. They have their ways of showing you how they feel but in a moderate way.

But if they feel a bit annoyed don’t be surprised if you get side eye from them. They are true naturals when it comes to this.

RELATED: 7 Things You Need To Know About The German Shepherd Ears Chart

Pug: When it comes to dogs that have flatter faces with wrinkles, some of the facial expressions might be harder to figure out.

But when it comes to side eye you will be able to see it clearly. They might not do it frequently, but when they do you feel almost ashamed, like another human is judging you.

Boxer: These pooches are known for their goofy personalities. You will be able to see side eye with Boxers often, but in most cases, it is showcasing that they are feeling a bit confused.

You can be sure that almost every aftermath of side eye will result in them having zoomies. It is their way of getting out of an uncomfortable situation.

Cocker Spaniel: These doggies are masters when it comes to puppy dog eyes, but giving you side eye is something that they have perfected as well.

You will not be able to see it too often with these cuties, but when you do see it, you will for sure know that they are feeling some type of way.

Beagle: These dogs have such a relaxed in my opinion. They will have moments where they look like they are smiling, but for the majority of the time, you will not be able to see how they are feeling from their facial expression.

But when they start communicating with their eyes by means of side eye, you will see it more than clearly.

Chihuahua: These small dogs are masters in this field. The thing about this breed is that if you see them giving you side eye, you can be sure that they are angry.

These doggies are known get annoyed a lot, but it can sometimes also translate into them being aggressive. You can often see a Chihuahua looking at you sideways.

Shiba Inu: This dog breed is known to be loud, and they have one of the most interesting barks when they are stressed. But they are not just loud vocally, their facial expressions and eye movements are equally as loud.

French Bulldog: These dogs are known for their expressive eyes, mostly because they tend to get really lazy, and the eyes are the only things that they are willing to move. So, you can say that they are amazing at giving you side eye.

Dachshund: These pooches seem to be giving the side eye constantly, but it is mostly out of confusion, or they are just a bit nosey and listening to the conversation.

What To Do When Your Dog Gives You The Side Eye

pug dog looking aside why lying on the couch

This depends on the situation. The best thing may be to just give them some space, especially if you sense that your dog is angry or being protective of something. Try not to touch their toys or food in these moments.

If they are guarding a certain object try to even leave the room and let them calm down. When they leave the object try to take it and approach them with it.

If you see that they still look a bit mad, hide the object for some time and then offer it again later.

If you see that one particular object is causing this behavior, it would be best to throw it out.

If your dog is confused or a bit annoyed, you can always give them some special treats or extra love so they know that you are understanding their emotions.

If this situation involves kids, you need to approach both the kids and the dog. You need to explain to the kids that they should give the dog some space, and you need to calmly introduce the kids to the dog, so they do not get overwhelmed.

If they are giving the side eye to their canine companion this does not mean that they are all of a sudden hating on each other. It may be just a bad moment and usually, the dogs isolate themselves from each other.

If your dog is all of a sudden following you everywhere, even to the bathroom, while looking at you sideways from time to time, this might mean that they are a bit nervous.

It is important to get to know your dog so that you can understand t all the body languages that they give you.

Don’t worry, some can be confusing but we are sure that you will be able to figure it out quickly.

Try to always stay calm and talk to your dog with a positive and happy voice. This will calm down any situation that may be causing some stress to both you and the dog.

To Sum It Up

Reading a dog’s body language can be confusing and overwhelming sometimes. You may notice that something is off but cannot figure out what the problem might be. Especially if you are dealing with a puppy.

It takes some time to get to know your dog so do not be too harsh on yourself.

Other times it is clear as daylight what our dogs are trying to tell us. The clearest signs are when they are happy and angry.

Some of their body language may be a bit confusing because it can mean many things, and one of those is the dog side eye.

When it comes to this you will be able to see the whites of their eyes, and it can truly mean many different emotions. This is why it is important to read all of the body languages that your dog is showing you, because it can make it a bit easier to detect what the problem is.

We hope that the list of emotions helps you out in figuring out what your dog is feeling.

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