You may have noticed that your dog keeps his eyes on you while he is defecating. It is not because he is embarrassed. He is not wishing you would look away or give them some privacy while he “does his business.” It goes much deeper than that.
Dogs are animals and they are very tuned into their environment and their own place in it. For survival, they must be aware of risk.
Defecation is one of the times in an animal’s life when he is at his most vulnerable. He must posture to perform the task and because of this, he is not in a position to readily fight or flee. In fact, it would be rather difficult for him to defend himself or to escape danger while he is eliminating. Your dog is instinctively aware of his defenselessness.
But your dog also knows that he is a part of your “pack.” You’re a member of the family group. If your dog watches you during this time, it is because he is depending on you to give him a body language signal or “heads up” if he should be afraid. He may also be looking to you to possibly defend him should the need arise. If you suddenly leap away, you can bet your dog will respond also.
Likewise, some dogs will not defecate with anyone watching, or on a leash. Perhaps he feels safer if he is away from your home turf where he will not draw attention. Instincts dictate your dog’s reaction to his own helplessness during this awkward time.
Whether your dog looks to you or slips away for “poop time,” it helps to know that he is just doing what comes naturally to him. You should honor his wishes as long as it is safe to do so. Try not to do anything that will startle him if he is looking at you while he defecates. Respect his natural inclination to be away and modify your environment to accommodate his as much as possible.