Why Does My Dog Stare at the Floor? [9 Reasons]

Why Does My Dog Stare At The Floor?

Are you wondering why your dog spends so much time staring at the floor? This behavior can be perplexing, but there are several reasons why your dog may be doing it. This article will explore nine possible causes of this behavior and provide helpful tips. Let’s get started!

So, why does your dog stare at the floor?

Dogs stare at the floor due to sadness, anxiety, and aging effects: they see insects; they are about to throw up; they see a reflection of something; they have a compulsive disorder; they have some health issues. Getting sufficient attention, socialization, exercise, boredom relief, and meeting with a vet are possible solutions.

Since your dog may do this for both normal and abnormal reasons, it is essential to look for specific causes to apply appropriate solutions or treatments.

Reasons Why Your Dog Stares at the Floor

When I first experienced this, my Roxy (female Doberman) was staring at the floor with her head hanging low as if she had been caught in something.

But the problem was, at least from my perspective, everything was okay.

So, I decided to determine the exact reason behind this unusual behavior. Of course, there were several causes that I suspected. But here are the common reasons your dog would look at the floor:

  1. Sadness
  2. Separation anxiety
  3. Spotting small insects or snakes
  4. They are about to throw up
  5. Seeing reflections
  6. Chilling with shadows
  7. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  8. Getting older
  9. Health or other psychological issues

1. Sadness

Just like humans, dogs also can feel sadness for many reasons. So, if your canine friend suddenly starts consistently staring at the floor, chances are that something has gone wrong.

Here are some common causes for your dog to be distressed:

  • Frightened
  • Loss of beloved human or animal friend
  • Some behavior changes in the owner — can be either emotional or physical
  • Dogs are usually distressed If they feel something odd about you, like unhappiness. Dogs are communication specialists and understand us, especially therapy dogs, including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Poodles
  • When moving to a new house
  • An illness

Sadness in dogs isn’t something you want to ignore.

We will look into the possible solutions in detail under the solution section. So, let’s head over to the next reason.

2. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is also one of the main reasons why some dogs stare at the floor for a long time. This circumstance is often encountered in homes where the dog is overly attached to one person.

So, the company of other family members cannot satisfy these dogs.

Your dog may be more prone to separation anxiety for the following reasons:

  • Are you the dog’s new owner, and is this their first few weeks? If this is the case, your canine friend most likely suffers from separation anxiety.
  • Dogs have a very accurate internal clock, so changing their routine can make them anxious.
  • Again, the loss of a family member.
  • Being left alone for a long time. Click this link to understand whether Shelties be left alone (written by a veterinary undergraduate).
  • Moving out of an animal shelter.

If you find the reason is anxiety, curing it is essential. Fix this underlying cause, then their obsession with the floor will disappear.

Anyway, we will discuss the possible actions you can take in such a circumstance under the section on solutions.

3. Spotting Small Insects or Snakes

If your dog keeps staring at the floor for a long time, it might be fascinated by small animals like mice, termites, or even ants!

But one of the worst reasons can be a small snake crawling under the carpet (actually, this is based on my own experience). Generally, our canine friends have an excellent sense of smell and eyesight. So, if this is the reason behind this odd behavior, watch out!

If this eagle-eyed behavior in your dog persists, it is time to hire an exterminator.

4. They Are About to Throw Up

Vomiting or trying to vomit is a sound that most dog parents hate to hear. So, if your dog keeps staring at the floor awkwardly, he may be about to throw up.

Some causes for this vomiting are entirely normal, and sometimes the dog needs the attention of a veterinarian.

5. Looking at Reflections

Some dogs are more inclined to stare at the floor for ages. Perhaps the dog sees the reflection of something. Then they get super curious and enthusiastic to get that thing out of the floor by scratching.

After that, they tend to stand watch to ensure they can spot it again.

Dogs do this often whenever they play outdoors, maybe in the backyard on sunny days. Although this is rare among adult dogs, puppies that haven’t yet been adequately socialized are always curious.

Suggested Reading: Why do some dogs not sit on hard surfaces?

6. Chilling With Shadows

Some dogs, even adults, can act super enthusiastic about staring at the floor for ages, wagging their tail as they do it.

Herding dogs like collies are more inclined to do this if they don’t get sufficient exercise.

7. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

We can generally expect this obsessive-compulsive disorder circumstance from stressed, under-stimulated, bored, overactive dogs seeking something to do.

Staring at the floor is one of the visible signs of compulsive disorder. Chasing their tails, chasing shadows and lights, and licking their tails are other signs your dog may have this disorder.

The good thing here is that a compulsive disorder cannot harm your dog. They act like this to get your attention when they get bored.

8. Some Old Dogs Naturally Stare at the Floor

As human beings, we know that many people suffer from various cognitive problems as they age. That’s precisely the same when it comes to dogs.

One of the common cognitive issues among dogs is CDD (cognitive dysfunction syndrome), and you have to meet your vet to understand whether your dog has CDD.

Apart from staring at the floor for a long time, several other symptoms will show:

  • Restlessness
  • Sudden confusion
  • Excessive licking
  • Excessive barking
  • Refusal to play
  • Loss of appetite
  • Strange sleeping habits
  • Anxiety

9. Health or Other Psychological Issues

Several health or psychological issues may influence your dog to stare at the floor for a long time. Here are some of the common problems:

  • Epilepsy
  • Neurological problems
  • Fly snapping or biting

Epilepsy: This is one of the common chronic conditions among dogs that may cause repeated seizures.

Neurological problems: These are the kinds of illnesses that impact a dog’s peripheral nervous system.

Fly snapping or biting: This is a rare condition called fly snapping syndrome or flycatching syndrome. Here, the dog seems to be directing their gaze to try and bite or catch something in the air.

Suggested Reading: Why do dogs run into walls?

What Can You Do if Your Dog Stares at the Floor?

Anyone can get confused with this kind of weird behavior. Since this can happen due to both normal and abnormal circumstances, you must carefully monitor and determine the cause.

Therefore, knowing the exact cause makes applying appropriate remedies or solutions easy.

  • Give sufficient attention
  • Provide consistent routine
  • Provide sufficient socialization
  • Break up their boredom
  • Consider consulting the vet
  • Playtime!

Give Sufficient Attention

Dogs are attention seekers. They love to do anything to get your attention. You can help your dog cure many psychological issues, including stress and anxiety, by setting aside at least 15–30 minutes of your day and spending quality time with your dog.

As discussed above, dogs stare at the floor when anxious, fearful, and sad. Give your dog extra attention when they lose a beloved companion, be it either a person or another pet.

Moreover, if you bring a new member into your home, let your dog feel as little change as possible. Say, if you get another pet, ensure to give them the same love and attention as you used to.

Provide a Consistent Routine

Most dogs can exhibit signs of sadness or anxiety when moving in with a new family or if significant changes happen. That’s mainly because of the change in routine.

You will find it difficult to solve this issue within a few days. But being consistent and sticking with a specific routine will help solve it.

Often, dogs have difficulty adapting quickly to a new schedule. So, they may start doing odd behaviors like staring at the floor for no apparent reason.

Provide Sufficient Socialization

Since a lack of socialization can be one of the main reasons most dogs stare at the floor, consider socializing them properly and letting them experience the outside world.

Going to dog parks downtown, visiting neighbors, and participating in socialization classes will help.

Break Up Their Boredom

If your dog is used to looking at the floor for ages, chances are that your dog is suffering from boredom. Physically and mentally unstimulated dogs tend to suffer more from boredom.

Consider the following things to ease your dog’s boredom:

  • Spending more time with them
  • Providing exciting toys, especially puzzle toys
  • Teaching new tricks every day
  • If you are away for an extended period, keep your dog in a daycare
  • Get another dog


Consider having a doggie playdate. This will be much easier for you if you have a nice backyard. You will be able to engage in the following activities:

  • Fetch
  • “Find the treat” game
  • Tug of war
  • Frisbee
  • Bubble chasing
  • Walkies
  • A longer-than-usual walk or hike

Consider Consulting the Vet if Your Dog Keeps Staring at the Floor

As we discussed earlier. Dogs may exhibit this odd behavior due to possible health issues. So, if you feel something is wrong with your dog, consider meeting your vet as soon as possible.

Things to Be Aware Of

  • Never punish your dog for this kind of behavior
  • Praise positive signs of improvement
  • Checkup with your vet regularly
  • Seek veterinary advice before creating an exercise schedule for your dog
  • Never leave your doggo alone for more than a few hours


Thank you for reading this comprehensive guide on why dogs stare at the floor. We have covered nine possible reasons and solutions for this behavior.

By understanding why your dog is doing this, you can help them overcome it and improve their overall well-being. I hope this article was informative and beneficial for you and your furry friend. Have a great day!

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