Several experts warned of a new challenge that in recent months is gaining ground on TikTok. It consists of barking in the ear of a dog to provoke a supposedly funny reaction, which in truth can be harmful and even dangerous for pets, pick up Newsweek.
Although reactions vary, most of the dogs that the owners ‘play the joke’, called “Bark at your dog”, are stunned and immobilized, eyes wide, or bark in response.
Despite the controversial nature of the challenge, the ‘responses’ of the pets have already gone viral on the social network. One of the videos, published in November by the user @adrianchateau, accumulated more than 36 million views and 520,000 comments.
For their part, experts assure that this reaction of pets only seems funny, when in reality it can cause serious trauma to animals.
“The main factor that I see in each one [de los videos] is that the dog is surprised and he does not know what to do in response, “said Joe Nutkins, English dog trainer and behaviorist.” When a dog barks deep and loud, [el ladrido] can easily be regarded by another dog as a manifestation of authority or even submission to another animal that is nervous. A barking that occurs suddenly and so close to a dog would certainly be a surprise, “he explained.
According to Nutkins, the reactions that dogs show in the videos – such as widening their eyes, lowering their ears, showing their teeth, assuming a tense and static position – often mistaken for displays of affection, are actually signs of stress.
Rob Bays, a canine behaviorist, says that simple eye contact, often seen in challenge footage, can also pose a threat to these pets. “One of the things that is quite difficult for dogs, from a body language perspective, is the direct eye contact, or potentially come face to face with humans. Simply because it can be quite intimidating, “Bays said.
Meanwhile, Kamal Fernández, a specialist in sports and canine behavior, warns that the owners will not find out about the problem until it is too late. “Some of the dogs are very good at hiding their restlessness. You will witness the damage caused only when the effects manifest themselves after an incident that has nothing to do with it. [con el reto]”, He said.