Most dogs (with the exception of the larger breeds) are small creatures living in a world that’s so much larger than they are. Unless they’re encouraged to make eye contact, they may never know that your eyes and face are five or six feet up in the air. To prove my point, try this: Lie flat on the floor and have someone stand over you. Strange feeling, isn’t it? This gives you an idea of what your pet sees from his perspective. People who are upset, possibly scolding him, look like tall, overwhelming ogres, scaring him like nothing he’s ever seen before. Even people who are friendly look something like the Jolly Green Giant. No wonder your dog, especially if he’s a smaller breed, is constantly jumping up on you and visitors to your home…He’s trying to make contact with a world that towers over him.
I don’t think our pet dogs feel as threatened by direct eye contact as they feel uncomfortable. Most of their world revolves around things close to the ground—things that don’t include human faces…..unless you make your face more accessible to your pet.