Like thousands of people in TikTok…
You might also wish to see your Fido’s ‘hilarious’ reaction when you bark at them.
But before doing the challenge with your pooch at home…
Think twice and ask yourself…
“How would my dog feel about it?
And is it safe to bark at them?”
Keep reading to learn:
- 9 surprising dangers of barking at your dog.
- What goes in a dog’s mind if you bark at them.
- How canines understand or interpret different barks.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
- What happens if you bark at your dog?
- 9 dangers of barking at your dog
- #1: You’ll have a confused pooch
- #2: You’ll stress your Fido out
- #3: Your dog might lunge at you
- #4: Your dog may snap at you
- #5: Your dog might bite you…in the face
- #6: It can be traumatic for your Fido
- #7: It can be a learned behavior
- #8: You may invade your dog’s personal bubble
- #9: You might scare your pooch with eye contact
- About the silly “bark at your dog challenge” on TikTok
What happens if you bark at your dog?
If you bark at your dog, you’d only cause them confusion, fear, anxiety, and discomfort. The sudden barking and unusual behavior will surprise your Fido. Although some dogs may tolerate it, other canines can also act out due to fear. So your dog might bark, lunge, snap, or bite you when startled.
9 dangers of barking at your dog
#1: You’ll have a confused pooch
Sure. You can get the ‘comic’ reaction you want by barking at your dog out of nowhere.
Now, this might look funny on the phone screen…
But not for your Fido.
Imagine sitting casually with a friend on the sofa while watching TV.
It’s your BFF whom you have known for a long time. So you feel comfortable around them.
And all you know at that moment is you’re both chilling out.
Your friend screamed at your face for no reason.
How would you feel?
It’ll surprise you, right?
But since we understand pranks, you and your friend would only laugh it off at the end.
However, our Fidos don’t get these jokes and jump scares.
So what would happen?
Your sudden behavior will shock your dog
Your pooch will tilt their head while looking at you with wide-open eyes.
“Hooman, did you just-?!
What just happened?”
Sometimes, Fidos may ignore and continue their lives after the unexpected ‘prank.’
However, most dogs will try to escape the awkward situation. While others even bare their teeth at their humans.
Now, you may already know this.
But a dog showing their teeth with a stiff body isn’t the same as a happy person smiling.
In a surprised Fido, it means…
“I’m scared. Please get away from me, or else I’ll attack.”
So by a simple bark, you can put your pooch in a ‘defensive mode.’
And this might be dangerous for you and other people in the room with the dog.
#2: You’ll stress your Fido out
Since it’ll be a confusing time for your dog, they may also act out due to stress.
As I said earlier, some Fidos can tolerate the sudden barking after a while.
Don’t you think we are both too old for this nonsense?”
But other dogs might also get so stressed.
And when that happens…
“Why do they do that?”
Think of it similar to a kid sucking their thumb. And a person biting their fingers when nervous.
Dogs are licking nonstop to calm themselves down. And it’s a clear sign of stress in Fidos.
Other things you’ll notice on a stressed dog are:
- Stiff body.
- Pinned back ears.
- Escaping behavior.
- ‘Whale eye’ – showing the whites of their eyes.
#3: Your dog might lunge at you
Have you ever wondered what’s going on in your dog’s mind if you bark at them?
Your dog may think it’s only gibberish.
But they may also interpret what you said based on your tone and body language.
Take this one, for example.
If you bark at your pooch as they do when they want your attention, they may copy you or look confused.
Your dog didn’t understand what you said.
But since it’s not threatening enough, your pooch might only join you in the ‘barking’ frenzy.
However, if you let out a deeper woof at your Fido like what they do to scare unfamiliar dogs…
You may come off as aggressive. And that’s the risk you should be wary of.
So you might think…
“How do dogs translate other Fidos’ barks?”
According to a study, dogs indeed understand each other’s barks.
Canines don’t need to see each other to know what the other one is feeling or saying.
The message they want to convey is in the tone of their barks.
It’s like listening to a song in a different language.
You can’t understand the words per se, but you can feel the emotions the singer wants to express.
Now, to determine this, the researchers recorded 2 different sounds from a Fido:
- ‘Stranger bark’ – the dog reacted when a stranger entered their property.
- ‘Alone bark’ – the dog barked after their parents left them alone – tied to a tree.
Then they played those audios to other canines.
And the results?
When the dogs heard the ‘stranger bark,’ their heart rate increased.
And it continued as the researchers played the same audio all over again.
But when it’s time for the ‘alone bark,’ the dogs didn’t respond as strongly as they did to the other.
So the study shows that Fidos can understand each other’s barks. And they also react to them accordingly.
Going back to the TikTok challenge.
What you said may not mean anything in ‘doggy‘ language.
But your Fido might interpret your bark in the wrong way and view you as threatening. So they may lunge at you.
Why do dogs lunge at someone or other canines?
There are 3 reasons:
- The dog wants to play.
- Fido got stressed.
- The dog’s scared and sees a human or animal as a threat.
The 3rd one is why your dog may lunge at you after barking at them. And based on VCA, it’s a form of aggression.
Aside from lunging, you’ll also notice the raised hair on the back of your dog’s neck. And your Fido can also snarl and growl.
#4: Your dog may snap at you
Most Tiktok users use the audio with a pre-recorded bark in it.
And upon hearing it, you’ll see that dogs usually back away, growl, or bark at their humans.
So chances are, the recorded bark has an aggressive tone that triggers dogs.
That’s why your Fido may also snap at you if you do the challenge with them.
It’s due to a type of aggression related to fear.
According to vets, dogs act out when they feel cornered or trapped.
Now you might not be aware of it…
But by doing the TikTok challenge with your Fido, you may put them in this frustrating situation.
And that’s why they become aggressive and snap at anyone – even their parents.
Trivia: Did you know that you can tell a dog’s gender, age, and situation by hearing their barks? In a study, the researchers guessed the dog’s gender with 85.13% accuracy.
While they were 80.25% accurate about the dogs’ ages. And people knew the situation of the dogs 55.50% of the time.
#5: Your dog might bite you…in the face
Remember, even the sweetest Fido can attack when greatly provoked.
But of course, this is a rare incident. Especially if your pooch is well-trained and has a calm temperament.
However, you still can’t cross out this danger.
“Why do dogs bite a familiar person?”
First, the Fido might already be displaying signs of stress and fear. And yet they’re all ignored.
So what will they do to protect themselves when provoked further?
They’ll snap and bite anyone near them.
Or the dog was so startled. And it automatically turned on Fido’s ‘defense mode.’
But experts say that canines may also bite more due to:
But it’s a whole new case if the dog was shocked
Due to this trend, you might startle your Fido because of the sudden barking.
Then it can cause them to be on defense.
And if you’re close to your pooch, they may snap and harm you unintentionally.
You might also want to check out: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pet Dogs While They’re Asleep
#6: It can be traumatic for your Fido
I’m sure your pooch doesn’t want to hurt you.
But because you put your dog in a situation, they don’t understand…
They acted on their instincts and attacked.
So if ever there’s a bite incident, you’re not the only one who can get hurt in the end.
Your Fido, who became aggressive due to fear, may also lose their beloved human, home, and…even their life.
#7: It can be a learned behavior
Did you do this TikTok challenge with your dog many times?
If so, what were their usual reactions?
If your Fido always lunges or snaps at you…
That reaction can also become a learned behavior over time.
“How is that dangerous?”
Due to repetition, your pooch may react the same way in other similar situations. Like when someone also barks at them.
Your Fido thinks it’s the same challenge all over again. And they may lunge, snap, or bite as well.
You see, dogs learn by hearing and seeing things on repeat.
That’s why we train them for at least 15 minutes a day to remember a specific command.
So it’s also likely that your Fido will learn this behavior. And it can pose a risk to you and other people your dog will meet.
#8: You may invade your dog’s personal bubble
To get the reaction of their Fido and capture it on camera…
People come too close to their pooch.
And most dogs dislike it when someone gets in their faces. So your Fido may also hate you for it.
Put yourself in your dog’s shoes.
Would you like it if someone suddenly shoves their face in you?
And apart from that, they also bark or scream out of the blue?
Well, if it’s annoying for you, it can also be the case for your Fido, even if you’re the one who’s doing it.
Last but not least…
#9: You might scare your pooch with eye contact
Besides getting close physically…
This TikTok trend can also make parents stare at their dogs while waiting for their reaction.
And it’s known that Fidos are uncomfy with staring contests.
Let’s say that someone’s looking at you directly in the eye.
Would it be intimidating?
Unless it’s a sweet gaze, even eye contact with someone you know can be a bit scary.
So dogs can also be on defense while doing the challenge.
Further reading: 11 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks When You Stare At It + 3 Tips
About the silly “bark at your dog challenge” on TikTok
The silly “bark at your dog challenge” on TikTok went viral in 2021. To capture Fido’s reaction, the parents come very close to their dog’s face. Then they let out a loud bark or play recorded audio of it. And see how their Fidos react.
So the more dramatic or ‘funnier’ the reaction is, the more likely it’ll garner views.
But although this trend entertains many people…
The dogs aren’t happy about it.
Canines won’t understand this kind of prank. So it’ll cause them confusion and fear.
And if the latter continues, dogs can become violent to defend themselves.
Then it may also break Fido’s trust with their parents.
So to avoid this, try other dog-friendly TikTok trends with your pooch.
- Playing hide and seek.
- Calling your dog’s name.
- Reacting to things (e.g., food, toys).