Experts Warn Against 'Dangerous' TikTok Trend Of Barking At Your Dog

What do we do about TikTok? The short videos are highly watchable and often full of hilarity or useful information. On the flip side, the platform has given rise to some weird trends.

One such trend — barking at your dog — has attracted the attention of a dog advocacy group.

Have you ever barked at your dog?

Unsplash | Marliese Streefland

I think most of us have made 'animal' sounds at our pets, whether it's meowing at a cat or imitating a dog's noises. It might not seem like a big deal, and in many cases it likely isn't. But it can be a serious stressor for dogs.

TikTokers have been barking at their dogs.

Don't ask me why. It's just another social media trend that's picked up steam in recent months.

These videos go a little further than just talking to your dog. They generally involve a dog owner getting very close to their dog's face and barking loudly.

It's all for the views.

The goal of these videos is to get a funny reaction out of the dog.

If you were thinking that barking directly into a dog's face might be stressful for the dog, you're absolutely correct.

Let's study those reactions.

Unsplash | Victor Grabarczyk

What might seem like a 'funny' response from a dog can actually be a sign of trauma.

One such response, known as whale eye, involves the dog opening their eyes very wide and freezing in place. This is a sign that the dog is stressed.

Dogs don't want to be in this situation.

Other dogs might vocalize back at the owner, or lick their lips. These are both signs that the dog is trying to calm itself down in a stressful situation. Eventually, they might just try to escape the situation.

It's a trend that the American Kennel Club called "dangerous."

Unsplash | Karsten Winegeart

"The main problem with this TikTok trend is that the challenge is rooted in causing confusion, fear, or discomfort for the dog," explained Sassafras Lowrey of the American Kennel Club (AKC). "In general, this is not an activity to do with your dog."

Stay out of your dog's space.

Dogs are loving companions, but most dog owners have noticed that they don't enjoy being crowded or hugged. Recording a video where you get right in their face is an invasion of that all-important personal space.

Eye contact isn't a good thing.

Unsplash | Simon Hesthaven

A little eye contact with your dog is fine, but prolonged eye contact can come off as threatening. The dog might act defensive in response, and if it doesn't trust you, it may even lash out.

Study your dog's body language.

Dogs are pretty easy to read, so it's always a good idea to take stock of their body language. If something you're doing is making them appear to be stressed out, then stop doing it!

Got any dog advice?

Unsplash | Alvan Nee

Having a dog becomes intuitive, but is often confusing for first-time owners.

Long-time dog owners, what have you learned about doggos over the years? Be sure to let us know your tips, tricks and hacks in the comments!

h/t: AKC

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