May 19, 2022

The surprising meaning behind that 'side-eye'

The surprising meaning behind that 'side-eye'
Dr. Chris Brown

It’s without doubt one of the most adorable things the furry family do. But if you see this one sign, it probably doesn’t mean what you think. Here’s what side eye really means…

It’s called everything from 'whale eye' to their guilty face. But this ‘side eye’ says a huge amount about what’s going on inside of their mind at that exact moment.

So what does side eye mean?
Well, they’re in a state of intense inner conflict. Which makes sense when you think about when they pull the side eye on you. It’s usually when they’re in a confusing or confronting situation. They might be scared by a loud noise, another dog barking, whether you REALLY meant to say ‘outside’ or even where you might be going in the car. What if it's the groomer...or the vet?!

And as adorable as it looks, it’s a reminder that this particular moment is one they may need some help getting through. That side eye is their roundabout way of seeking out some reassurance about what’s about to happen next. And a polite prompt for you to help ease that anxiety they’re feeling.

So here’s how you can help:
Managing that baseline anxiety and predicting the moments that cause stress (like separation from you, exposure to loud irritating noises, the neighbour’s dog barking) will help a lot. Giving my Calm + Collected treats at least an hour before will ease that inner conflict and anxiety without sedating them. They’re proven to reduce irritability and stress a very natural yet effective way.

Calm + Collected
Calm + Collected

Once you have that nailed down, you can also work on distracting them away from the source of stress with the ‘Look at Me’ command where you refocus them onto something they feel like they are in control of, like shaking a treat container and performing a simple command for a reward. See my article on 'How to ease Reactive Barking in 4 Easy Steps' for extra tips...

That way, you can ensure both eyes are firmly planted on you…in the calmest way possible. Provided you're not ACTUALLY going to the vet. Right...right?! I'll try not to be offended...

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