Why Does My Dog Stare At The Floor? (9 Reasons Explained)

If you have been asking yourself: what does it mean when a dog stares at the floor? Probably because you’ve seen your dog with his eyes fixated on the floor. In this post, we will describe the reasons, as there’s always a rational explanation for any behavior picked up by your dog.

Why does my dog stare at the floor?

Your dog stares at the floor because he is sad, suffering from separation anxiety, old age, experiencing neck or back pain, looking for insects, or suffering from a compulsive disorder. 

But wait – there’s more.

Read further below to discover the common reasons and in-depth explanations why a dog just stares at the floor.

Suggested reading: Why Does My Dog Keeps Staring At The Door (new tab)

1. Your dog stares at the floor because he is sad

If your furball continually fixes his gaze on the floor, there is a good chance he is unhappy about something. The sadness your pooch feels may come from several reasons.

  • Your dog may be sad and stare at the floor because there is a new addition to the home. Maybe the arrival of a new baby or another pet to the house, and he feels this event is stealing your attention from him. So he may stare at the floor because he isn’t the center of your attention.
  • Your dog may be sad because he is frightened of something. Maybe he is scared about moving to a new home. If your dog stares at the floor too much, it could be a result of the fact that he is sad about his new environment.

If you notice your dog suddenly stares at the floor for long periods, he may show signs of sadness, and if he is sad, then all he needs is some love and happiness. It may not be much to worry about.

2. Separation anxiety

Dogs are very emotional and don’t do well with separation anxiety. It could be a major reason why they stare at the floor too much. This is often because they get attached to particular persons in the home.

Dachshunds often get so close to one member of the family, so they are breeds that easily get disoriented by anxiety, especially if the person in question becomes unavailable for long periods.

sad depressed dog staring at the ground

Also, if you’re the new owner of your pooch; the previous owner may have sold him to you, or he moved from a shelter.

He may look at the floor more often because he misses his former owner.

If you discover your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, help him get over it by giving him more of your time to feel the void of lonesomeness he has.

3. Just looking at tiny animals

Canines have an incredible sense of smell and great vision, so they quickly pick out sudden movements of things around them. Your dog may be fascinated by tiny crawlers and creepers as they move about in your home.

Do you know how canines like to be curious about everything in their environment? Your furball’s gaze may have been caught by little mice, termites, an ant crawling across the carpet, or even a tiny snake spiraling in front of him, and he may begin to stare continuously at the ground.

4. Your dog stares at the floor because he wants to throw up

Vomiting or retching isn’t something dog parents like to see their pets do. It may sometimes signal that the doggy is sick or about to be. If your pooch is staring awkwardly at the floor, he may want to throw up.

And perhaps after staring, you hear the sound of his vomiting. You would need to take him to the potty if you’re not too late by then and clean up afterward. Vomiting isn’t always a sign of an underlying or incoming ailment.

5. Sees a reflection on the floor

Curiosity comes naturally to dogs, so they often get the inclination to stare at reflections of things on any surface, including the floor. They may get super curious about the thing in the reflection and try as much as possible to get it away from their view.

They may scratch the floor several times to ensure they don’t see it again, then stand over the area to check if it’s still there. Dogs usually do this when they play outside on sunny days when the sun randomly casts reflections of shiny things on the ground.

The behavior is often common among young pups who are still trying to make sense of their environment.

6. Your dog is staring at a shadow

Light from the sun (especially when it is an outdoorsy day for your dog) or electric lights may cast shadows on objects on the ground, and your doggy may begin to stare. He may be staring at his own shadow and wagging his tail while he is at it.

Senior dogs like to stare at shadows of themselves. They even play with the shadows. It is a very normal dog behavior.

7. Compulsive disorder

For dogs, compulsive disorder may include chasing their tails, lights or unseen objects, freezing, excessive drinking of fluids, acral lick dermatitis (licking a particular site on the body which causes injury to it), sucking, licking, and chewing on objects, or humans, circling, licking the air, pacing about, excessive barking and staring.

There may be a genetic disposition for this kind of activity, or it could be that your dog is stressed, overactive or bored.

8. Older dogs tend to stare at the floor due to age

Humans usually experience cognitive disorders as they grow old. It is not so different with dogs, as senior dogs struggle with mental issues when they begin to age. They often get Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDD), which comes with a lot of floor-staring, anxiety, sudden confusion, and restlessness.

9. Psychological problems

Psychological disorders like epilepsy, neurological diseases, and fly-snapping syndrome may cause your dog to stare at the floor for a long time.

Epilepsy causes staring and seizures. There may be problems in your dog’s nervous system that may cause his gaze to be fixed on the floor at all times.

10. Your dog may be experiencing neck or back pain

If you notice your four-legged mate stares at the floor all the time with a sad face and a wince, it may be because he is in pain.

Pain can come anywhere in the body, but most likely, back or neck pain will make your canid always position a certain posture that will help him to lessen the pain.

It could be due to a slipped disk, a joint problem, or an ear infection. Take your dog to the vet if you notice that pain is why he stares at the floor.

What to do if your dog stares at the floor

Since staring at the floor is a weird behavior in dogs, you may get confused about what to do in this circumstance. You should first determine the cause of the staring so that you can apply effective solutions that would help you curb the behavior.

How to stop your dog from staring at the floor

How to stop your dog from staring at the floor

1. Socialize your doggy

Younger dogs often stare at the floor because they haven’t been socialized well. It would be best if you took your dog out for walks, to the park, and to meet new people and other dogs (like a doggy meet and greet) so he adjusts well to his new surroundings.

2. Exercise your pooch well

A change in the routine or home of a dog can make him sad and cause separation anxiety. Also, overactive dogs can get bored quickly and begin doing weird things like staring at the floor.

You should provide enough exercise and activity for your pup to relieve stress and anxiety. Engage him in dog sports and games, and be consistent with a particular routine when you do this. This will help him adjust to the new activity schedule and gradually stop the behavior.

3. Give your dog proper attention

Dogs are attention-loving animals. They would do anything to get the attention of their owners. So it would help if you spend quality time with your canid as it will help him cure many psychological problems that may come with his age or breed, problems which may cause him to stare at the floor a lot.

Ensure you give extra attention to your doggy if he is grieving or suffering from separation anxiety. Adjust yourself enough to spend time with your pup. He, too, needs you.

4. Break the Boredom

If your doggy looks at the floor a lot because he is bored, he could be under-stimulated mentally and physically, or he may be an overactive/ energetic dog.

You need to play with your dog and engage him in different dog games like puzzles, frisbee, fetch, tug of war, and bubble chasing. You can also teach your dog new tricks every time or let him play with his toys. You could still get another dog to play with him to make sure he isn’t bored all the time.

5. Medical Assistance

Psychological or physical problems may predispose your pup to stare at the floor. It would be best if you endeavored to take him to a vet for a proper medical checkup and treatment.

Final thoughts on why does my dog stare at the floor

Making sense of why your dog stares at the floor can seem puzzling at first. However, this common canine behavior usually stems from boredom, anxiety, hunting instincts, or simply trying to get your attention.

No matter the cause, remember that staring at the floor is generally normal dog behavior – not something to overly worry about.

Leave a Comment