Dog experts warn against ‘disruptive’ TikTok trend: ‘Stop it’

A popular video trend in the social media app TikTok has led to warnings from veterinarians and dog experts about concerns that it could result in face-biting injuries.

The trend is that pet owners are using a popular sound in the app that documents a comic voice that confronts someone over “talking slaps” about them. TikTok users often use the sound animated in a person’s face, but some have chosen to use their dogs as the role.

However, according to experts from both dog behavior and veterinarians, the trend can be incredibly stressful for dogs and dangerously lead to the dog biting the owner’s face, they warned Newsweek.

Veterinarian and TikToker “Cat the Vet” shared his reaction to one of the videos that went viral three days ago, warning that: “It’s not big, it’s not smart, it’s not funny. dog is incredibly unhappy, it’s going to bite you if you continue like this and i do not care if it’s your dog and you trust it and think it does not want there are children on this app that will copy you and get bitten in the face because they thought it was cool because you did. Please stop. “

In the original video, Cat responded to, a woman could see the mouth sounds in the face of her dog along with head jerks and arm movements. It can be seen in full here.

The family caught in the original video, which has over 2 million views, told Newsweek that they are not responsible for any copy-cat-style videos, saying: “We posted a satire video on a satire platform where the authorized users are 14 and Parents are responsible for their children’s use of electronics and what they see.

“Asking the question ‘What if children repeat what you do’ is like saying. My child stole a bank because he saw a movie about bank robbery. Too many people believe everything they see on the internet and think, That every dog ​​responds to every situation in the same way. This is 100% not the case. “

Dog bites one arm
Stock image of a dog biting in the hand.
Getty Images

Newsweek spoke with Kennel Club Accredited dog trainer and behavioralist Joe Nutkins, who analyzed dog reaction in these videos and noted the various signs of distress. “We can often tell if a dog is really not familiar with something just because they generally do not ‘look comfortable’, but they can also give quite clear warning signs,” she said. “Watching some of the videos was actually quite disturbing.

“The majority, if not all, of the videos I’ve seen show dogs turning their heads slightly to one side. It can literally just turn a few inches slightly to one side away from the owner. Then they actually do what is called ‘whale eye’ where the dog turns its head a bit and then they actually turn their eyes the other way as far as they can.The idea is that they show the white in their eyes as much as possible and try to indicate that they do not like the situation , ‘She added.

Another indicator of Nutkins is the ears, which dogs often use as a form of expression: “You can see many of these dogs having this new trend that shows so much with their ears! I have not seen a single dog whose ear position or movement is in a nice natural position; they are all moved in a position that shows ‘I’m stressed’ or gives reassuring signals to ask ‘do not do what you do.’

For Nutkins, the ultimate danger of this trend is that the dog may turn around and bite the individual’s face after feeling threatened and distressed, or could potentially bite at an unsuspecting later time when reminded of the situation: “One of the biggest risks are that you will force your dog to feel so threatened and so worried that they feel they have already given many signals and warnings to say ‘please do not do this’ but they are left with one last resort. The last resort is to turn around and bite. “

Even in cases where no harm occurs, Nutkins said the action could risk destroying any attachment or trust your dog may have had with you.

Cut on the girl's face
Stock image of a cut on a young girl’s face.
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Ryan Neile, head of behavioral services at British animal organization Blue Cross, expressed the same concern as Newsweek in a statement saying: “This is a frightening trend where you can see the animals visibly frightened and confused by human behavior.

“You should never shout at a pet (even if you pretend to) as this only causes distress and fear, while being so close to their face can easily cause the animal to react and cause serious injury.

The Blue Cross is concerned about the increase in people using their pets as props to increase their social media presence, and we have been made aware of many other worrying examples.

“Pets are not toys to be exploited, humiliated or objectified for our own entertainment, these videos cause distress and confusion in our pets and can lead to illness, serious behavioral problems and serious injuries.”

It told the RSPCA Newsweek that while it understands the appeal of showing dogs in TikTok videos, it should only be done in a way that is safe for everyone involved, as opposed to this trend: “We understand why owners want to show their pets in social media posts and videos online, but it’s really important that these videos are filmed in a responsible way that does not cause stress to the animals.

“Many of these videos show dogs showing clear signals that they are anxious and unpleasant about their owner’s behavior. As these videos go viral and spark trends that are copied by hundreds of thousands of people around the world – including children – this can lead to many incidents where dogs could bite through their fears.

“It’s important to know the signs our pets are giving us that they feel uncomfortable to keep them happy and us safe.”

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