“My dog keeps staring at a wall! Is it a paranormal activity? What medical conditions can cause it? Is there any solution?”

Observing your dog standing still and staring at a wall may prompt you to think about what could possibly be the reason behind the dog staring at a wall. Luckily, some well-established scientific facts can help find the truth. Besides, there are some other theories as well that can aid in solving this riddle. Though what exactly is going on in the mind of your furry friend cannot be found, let’s try to make sense of it.

Common Reasons Underlying Dog Staring at Wall

Here are the few possible reasons why your dog stares at a wall:

1. Your Dog Is Aging

Dog staring at wall

Unfortunately, our furry friends may suffer several cognitive issues as they become senior, the most common ones being dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The dog version of the latter issue is called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). It leads to the loss of memory, learned behaviors and tricks, and motor functions.

In addition to staring at a wall, you may often find your dog staring at you, into space, or some object sitting nearby. A senior dog may also exhibit several other behavioral changes like aimless wandering, changed personality, not recognizing familiar people, and sleeping more in the day while being active at night.

Nonetheless, a dog exhibiting all these symptoms does not need to have CDS for sure. Only a vet can tell better.

Did You Know?

About 28% of the dogs between age 11 and 12 suffer from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS).

2. Your Dog Has Seizures

One of the reasons for dogs staring at walls is partial seizures (also called focal seizures). Such seizures can occur for several reasons, such as cancer and epilepsy. One way to figure out if your dog is having a partial seizure is to try your best to distract him. If he does not notice you, know that he is probably suffering from a partial seizure. Nevertheless, if you often find your dog staring into space or at a wall, you should take him to a vet for an expert opinion. The vet would also make sure if there is any serious underlying ailment like cancer or poison.

3. Your Dog Has Medical Conditions

Dog staring at wall

Medically, your dog might have some more reasons for staring at the door. These mostly include depression, prosencephalon disease, and balance problems. Though each of these problems has symptoms of its own, staring at the door may be the common one among them. However, as in the case of CDS, only a vet can tell if your dog has any of these medical conditions.

4. Your Dog Is Looking at the Insects on the Wall

Your dog might be just looking at the insects moving on the wall. Like us, dogs also get bored when they do not get enough stimulation, either mental or physical. Resultantly, they try to engage themselves in whatever thing or deed they find fascinating, be it staring at a person or small creatures like ants, rodents, or termites.

However, if this is the reason why your dog keeps staring at the wall, you should consider getting rid of those insects. Owing to the curious nature of dogs, they might often end up eating bugs if they are exposed to them long enough. Even though it is usually safe for them to eat bugs, some bugs such as fleas can be toxic, which may lead to severe health problems.

5. Your Dog Is Pressing His Head Against the Wall

It is common for dogs to stand close to a door or a wall to press their heads against it. They get close to the wall, stare at it, and slowly move their heads forward and press it against the wall.

Dogs can exhibit such behavior for several reasons; however, it might be a sign of nerve damage or an injury in the forebrain. Other than that, it can also be an indication that your dog is having liver problems. When this vital organ does not function properly, it can cause an excess of ammonia in the blood, which can lead to the intoxication of the brain.

Like in other cases, if you notice head-pressing behavior in your dog, it is better to contact a vet as early as possible.

6. Your Dog Is Smelling Something

Dogs have a great sense of smell, especially the long nose dogs. Furthermore, there are certain smells only dogs can feel. So your dog might be smelling something from the other side of the wall. And trying to make sense of the smell, he might end up focusing/staring at the wall.  

Did You Know?

Dogs have about 10,000 to 100,000 times better sense of smell than human beings.

Your Dog Hears What You Cannot

Dog staring at wall

As in the case of smell, dogs also hear far better than we do because they can hear high-frequency sounds and even those that are far away. Hence, it is not uncommon for a dog to hear noises from the road or the neighborhood. Your dog might find those noises amusing and want to know where they are coming from. So he might sit next to the wall and stare at it if the voice is coming from that direction.

Nonetheless, if you observe that this behavior persists, contact your vet because this might be due to any hearing problem.

Did You Know?

Dogs hear better than we do because of their ear design. They cup in and move sound just as we put a hand on our ears to hear better.

7. Your Dog Wants Attention

When dogs get bored or feel overstimulated, they might jostle to get attention. In this quest, they behave as they have some sort of compulsive disorder. Among these, one of the acts is staring at a wall or anything near them, which can be a door or even nothing. Other symptoms include chasing lights, shadows, or even their tails. Once they get attention, their staring behavior should go away instantly. If it does not, you must contact a vet.

8. Your Dog Wants to Go Out

Dog staring at wall

If your dog is staring at the door, it is quite possible that he simply wants to go out. He might be waiting for their owners to take them out on a walk and get some fresh air. Or, your dog might want to go potty and wants that door opened!

9. Your Dog Is Longing for Someone

Dog staring at wall
Photo by Oliver Li from Pexels

Your dog might be waiting for someone from your family he loves the most to walk in. When dogs long for something, they might sit by the door and stare at it or the wall, waiting for their loved one to come home. Or, if they miss that person, they might do the same even when they are home but out of their sight, say, sleeping. If your dog loves you, it is no wonder that he stares at the door in your absence!

10. Is It… Is It a Ghost?

Dog staring at wall

Finally, though there is no scientific proof to substantiate that dogs can see ghosts, or there are ghosts in the first place. However, it is widely speculated that dogs can see supernatural beings. In addition to this, dogs also have the sixth sense – they get the gut feeling when something is not right. It is also said that animals have a special spiritual connection and understand the hidden secrets of this and the parallel universe. Hence, staring at any particular object or barking at nothing are usually thought to be the signs of dogs seeing any nonhuman energy.

However, since there is no backing from science, it is better to contact a vet instead of a ghostbuster if you observe your dog staring at walls.

What to Do If My Dog Keeps Staring at the Wall?

If you notice your dog staring at the wall, first of all, do not panic. Although a possibility of serious medical issues exists, it is equally possible that there is nothing serious. Nevertheless, if the situation persists and your dog does not get distracted no matter how hard you try, it is better to contact a vet urgently. Plus, to make it easy for a vet to understand the underlying causes, consider videotaping each episode of your dog staring at the door.

Remember, most of the cases discussed above are treatable. All that matters is providing your dog with the immediate and best care possible.


If your dog keeps staring at the wall, there might be some medical reasons such as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) or seizures behind it. However, only a vet can confirm what is making your dog stare at the wall. Other than that, your dog might be seeing, smelling, or hearing something, which you cannot. Whatever the reason may be, it is better to take professional help if you often find your dog staring on the wall, into space, or at the door.

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