Dog Owners Claim Their Pet Bit Them Over TikTok Trend

A viral TikTok trend encouraging users to pretend their dog bit them, in order to get an entertaining reaction, isn’t as fun as it sounds.

The TikTok-based trend sees dog owners placing their hand in their pet’s mouth, before removing it and pretending to be in pain. Often the dog will respond with a “sorry look” on its face, racking up views.

Newsweek spoke to a dog behavior expert, however, who called the trend “weird” and explained that it might not be as simple as it looks. The trend might not produce the bite-induced reactions you think they are, and it could have lasting effects on landlord relationships.

Despite the trend existing on the app since last year, videos keep coming out of the app and new videos are gaining millions of views in the last month.

For Joe Nutkins, a UK Kennel Club accredited dog trainer, the real concern is not just the reactions of the dogs, but the actions of the owners to begin with. In the videos, owners have to inorganically open the dog’s mouth, using “friendly” play to open them wide. It may not be so friendly.

“Looking at these videos, so many dog ​​owners aren’t very good at interacting with their dogs,” she said. Newsweek. “They poke their dog’s face with their hands, some lightly slap their dog’s face, all to try and get their dog’s mouth to open.

“Many dogs will find this way of interacting uncomfortable and it can cause them to become shy or stop playing with their owner. Being shy makes examining our dogs much more difficult and stressful for dogs.”

For the most part on TikTok, the ability to create viral videos comes from dog reaction – some seem unfazed while others seem guilt-ridden. Both equally hilarious, but one has far worse consequences.

Nutkins explained that most reactions involve “calming cues,” including licking a hand or face, which dogs use to naturally calm themselves when worried, upset, or hurt.

“We take soothing cues from dogs as excuses, and in a way that can sometimes be a correct interpretation,” she said. According to Nutkins, in most cases dogs are unable to connect the dots and don’t even realize they are being accused of biting, but simply see a suddenly upset owner.

“In many videos, the dogs have no idea their owner is accusing them of biting, but they see their owner make a shocked sound, then the interaction stops and they hold their aching hand for the dogs to return to. calm down their owner,” she said.

But just because they don’t actually feel the guilt they seem to, doesn’t make them completely harmless. Stressing dogs unnecessarily is exactly that – unnecessary.

“There is still so much concern shown by dogs for their owners that they believe their owner is suddenly in pain,” Nutkins added.

“For a dog that already has anxious or nervous characteristics, the addition of this by its owner could well cause a dog to shut down and lose interest in many things, become more stressed and show physical symptoms. such as pacing, excessive paw licking or pulling, getting out of fur or showing signs of obsessive behaviors.”

For the dogs who become internet stars in these clips, ignorance truly is bliss, with Nutkins rating them as not understanding at all as the best possible outcome.

“It’s a shame that there’s so much potential for dogs that share a close bond with their owners to be negatively affected by something just for social media, especially when there are so many positive trends too,” she said.

TikTok trends in which a dog’s reaction takes center stage are unfortunately growing more and more on the app.

Over the past few months, Newsweek consulted experts on videos showing owners barking in their dog’s face and talking animatedly in their dog’s face, all of which had the same conclusion: don’t do it.