Social media is full of adorable dog videos, many of which were trending on TikTok. Noodle the horoscope-providing Pug and Morty the wobbly rescue dog are just two famous TikTok dogs. Yet, a recent video trend involving dogs isn’t quite as cute. It might seem silly and innocent at first, but professionals warn dog parents about how dangerous it can be.
In these videos, people get in their dogs’ faces while lip-syncing to a silly audio clip. It seems harmless enough, but it could freak out any dog. No matter how well you know the dog, it could put someone at risk of getting bit.
“Talking Smack” to Dogs
The TikTok trend is often posted with the hashtag “#TalkingSmack.” These videos show a person getting in someone else’s face while mouthing the words to a silly audio clip. The audio is about someone saying they took tae kwon do lessons in the back of a Walmart. While it might be humorous with two humans, most people are pretending to yell at their dogs instead.
Some dogs barely react, but most seem uncomfortable. Many dogs show signs of stress, including avoiding eye contact or snarling. Their humans seem to think it’s funny, but professionals have other opinions.
Not All Trends Are Funny
Social media user Cat the Vet created a TikTok video explaining why these types of trends are harmful. She explains that if the human keeps doing it, the dog will lash out and bite someone. Even if you trust your dog, kids might see the video and try it on their dogs. Overall, it’s a disaster waiting to happen, and sadly, the dogs will likely be blamed for the humans’ cruel behaviors.
“We can often tell if a dog really isn’t comfortable about something just because they just don’t ‘look comfortable’ generally speaking but they can also give quite clear warning signs too. To watch some of the videos was actually quite disturbing really,” said Joe Nutkins, a dog trainer and behaviorist. “The majority, if not all, of the videos that I have seen show dogs turning their head a little bit to one side. It might literally just be turning a couple of centimeters slightly to one side away from the owner. Then they actually do what’s called ‘whale eye’ which is where the dog turns their head a little bit and then they actually turn their eyes the other way as far as they can. The idea is they show the whites of their eyes as much as possible, trying to indicate that they are not liking the situation.”
So, as cute as dog videos are, we need to think about our dogs’ feelings and behaviors before posting something online. Even if your pup is tolerant of it, it could give other dog parents bad ideas. All dogs, even the best-behaved ones, can get annoyed and scared, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Published at Mon, 01 Nov 2021 19:24:57 -0400