Why Does My Dog Freeze and Stare at Nothing?

Sometimes, our four-legged family members can exhibit strange behavior. You may be curious about your dog’s behavior if he freezes and stares at nothing.

Is it possible that they see something else than you do, or are there other reasons for their strange behavior?

Why is my dog staring at nothing and freezing?

It can be quite disconcerting to watch your dog stare at nothing and freeze. It’s hard to know what your pooch is paying attention to and if they are experiencing a problem.

Most cases can be explained by a simple explanation. It could be a sign that there is a more serious problem.

Sensing Something You Can’t See

Dogs can freeze and stare when they take in the information we don’t know about.

Dogs are more sensitive to smell and hearing than humans. They may be able to pick up on things that you can’t. They may be looking for or listening to something if they stare at a particular place or tilt their heads. They may be sniffing out a scent by lifting their nose into the air or smelling it.

They are gaining more information via smell, sight, and scent. It’s something they sense, even though it may seem insignificant to you.

Doggie Dementia

Canine cognitive dysfunction is also known as doggie dementia. It’s similar to alzheimers or dementia in humans. This could be why your senior dog is staring at nothing.

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Doggie dementia usually starts at 9 years of age. The condition affects 40% of dogs by the age of 14.

Doggie dementia is a condition that affects your dog’s ability to think clearly, remember and retain information. Anxiety, insomnia, pacing and disorientation are all common symptoms.

Another sign is the inadequacy of vocalizations such as howling, barking, and whining. Common signs include house accidents, depression, and avoidance of social interaction.

Doggie dementia can cause senior dogs to stare at nothing due to disorientation or confusion. However, it is not known if this is the cause.


Dogs can also have seizures, just like people. You may think of a grand mahl when you think about seizures. This kind of seizure can cause uncontrollable shaking and body movements, leading to loss of consciousness.

Not all seizures are so severe. Certain types of seizures can cause your dog to freeze and stare at the sky.


A compulsion is one of the most common reasons dogs may stare and freeze. Dogs can develop compulsive behavior. Compulsive behavior can include barking and licking as well as pacing.

It appears that the dog cannot control his desire to do the act, even if there are negative consequences.

Dogs can become compelled to stare at people and stop. This could be the cause of your dog’s behavior.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the last reason dogs might stop looking at you. You can also accidentally teach your dog something that you don’t want.

They love your attention. If they do something they don’t like, and you pay close attention, they will learn that it is a good way to get what they want.

They will continue doing this in an effort to grab your attention.

It is possible to pay more attention to them if you are confused or worried about why they are staring at you. However, it can be a motivator for them to continue their stare.

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Why is my dog staring at strangers and freezing?

There are several reasons why your dog might freeze up and stare at strangers.

Fear or stress

Fear and stress are often reflected in freezing. Ever heard the expression “frozen in fear?” It can happen to dogs as well as humans.

Dogs that aren’t socialized well may be fearful of strangers. You may also find that your dog is afraid of strangers for some reason. This can cause them to feel stressed.


Dogs can also stare and freeze in aggression. This is a very common form of aggressive body language. It could be as close to biting if your dog freezes and stares in aggression.

Why do my dogs stare at me when I go on walks?

It’s possible that your dog is experiencing stress if they are freezing or staring at you when you go for walks. It is possible they are detecting danger. Overstimulated animals can also cause anxiety.

A negative experience in the area may have led to stress and fear in dogs on walks. Your dog may become agitated if they are near the location where they were involved in a fight.

Why is my dog staring at other dogs and freezing?

This is most likely a display of dominance. Staring contests are essentially what dogs will do. Dogs eventually learn to look away from each other, which allows the dominant dog to take control.

What do I do if my dog stares at me and freezes?

It is important to do the right thing if your dog stares or freezes. This will depend on the reason your dog is staring and freezing.

Fear or Aggression

Remain calm if your dog is acting out of fear or aggression. You can remove them from the situation. Do your best to distance yourself from any dog that is aggressive towards an animal or a person. You should not put yourself in between the dog and its target of aggression. Accidental injury can occur.

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Curiosity and Observation

You can trust your pet to use its superhuman senses to find information. Give them time. After they are done, they can start moving and acting normally again.

Medical Questions

There is nothing you can do if your pet has a seizure. Make sure they don’t injure themselves during the seizure.

You should immediately seek veterinary attention if your dog’s seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, or if it causes unconsciousness.

You will need to schedule an appointment for your pet if they haven’t been to the vet for seizures.

Doggie dementia should be confirmed by a veterinarian if it is suspected. This condition is not curable.

How can I get my dog to stop staring and freezing?

The cause of your dog’s behavior will determine how to get him to stop staring and freezing. You will need to consult your vet if there is a medical problem.

A animal behaviorist is your best choice if it’s behavioral. They can help you identify the root cause and fix the behavior.

It would be a good idea to reward your dog when they do this. You could also reward your dog if they don’t freeze as often as they would normally. Your dog will learn that freezing is not rewarded and not being frozen is rewarded.