Take a Pass On This Harmful TikTok Challenge-Please Don’t Bark at Your Dog!

tiktok bark at your dog challenge-Image created using Dall-e

Who doesn’t love watching cute dog videos on social media? They can be very entertaining. But the quest for viral fame can sometimes lead to harmful trends, like the TikTok “Bark at Your Dog” challenge.

This is where you’re supposed to get very close to your dog’s face and bark loudly to capture a dramatic reaction on video. While this might seem funny, it can actually be very stressful and upsetting for your dog.

The Risks of the “Bark at Your Dog” Trend

This TikTok challenge has gained millions of views, prompting more people to try it with their own pets. Unfortunately, the filmed reactions often show dogs displaying signs of fear or stress, which are not only not amusing at all, but I would venture to say are borderline cruel.

Stressful Reactions

Many videos feature dogs showing clear signs of distress, such as wide eyes, stiff body posture, pinned-back ears, and vocalizations. Dogs might bark back, lick their lips as a calming signal, show their teeth, or try to escape the situation.

Understanding the Impact

The problem with this trend is that it deliberately confuses and scares dogs. Each dog’s reaction varies based on their temperament, but overall, this is not a healthy activity. If you feel compelled to get on the bandwagon seeking your fame at the expense of your dog’s mental health and trust (can you tell that I really, really have no patience for this idiocy…), there are much safer and more enjoyable trends to engage in with your dog that don’t involve causing them fear or discomfort.

Personal Space Invasion

Because this challenge involves getting very close to your dog’s face, you wind up invading their personal space. Many dogs will find this stressful. It’s important to let your dog set the boundaries for physical closeness.

Eye Contact

Maintaining direct eye contact with your dog as part of this challenge can be seen as a threat. Dogs may react defensively to prolonged staring, even from their owners, making them feel uncomfortable and anxious.

Barking in Their Face

Barking directly in your dog’s face can be confusing and frightening. This can lead to extreme reactions, such as baring teeth or attempting to flee, as seen in many of these viral videos.

Ensuring Safety and Trust

The “bark at your dog” challenge isn’t the only trend that involves upsetting dogs for views. Other trends, like pretending to be surprised and screaming, also risk causing fear and can potentially lead to bites. Even normally gentle dogs can react aggressively when startled or scared or when they feel the need to protect their person.

Before participating in any social media challenge with your dog, consider their body language and whether the activity is safe, humane, and fair. Choose more dog-friendly trends that don’t involve causing stress or discomfort.

Engaging in activities that intentionally bother or startle your dog might make for a viral video, but it can erode your dog’s trust in you over time. It could also increase the risk of bites or cause your dog to feel they need to protect themselves from you—the person they should feel safest with.

There aren’t enough words for me to convey what a bad idea this trend is. Except to say, Don’t do it! Your dog deserves better.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top