TikTok Trend Has Dog Parents Running in Opposite Directions to See Who Their Dog Picks
It makes for silly and entertaining videos, but it's probably not a good way to find out your dog's favorite parent.
There are two types of dog owners in this world. The first are people who admit they care who their dog's favorite parent is and actively try to be the chosen one. The second are liars.
No matter which one you are, there's now a way to figure out who your dog prefers via a new TikTok trend. Here's how to do it: Stand next to your partner and get your dog(s) to sit between you both. Then at the same time, you and your partner run off in separate directions and see who your dog follows. That's who's the favorite.
Is it scientific? No. Does it really prove anything? No. But it looks fun.
Unfortunately, your dog almost surely isn't making a split-second decision on who they prefer. So here are a few things that might really be happening, according to Haylee Bergeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, RBT, and Daily Paws' health and behavior editor.
First, and most simply, the dog might have only seen one of the parents sprint away and chose to follow them without even knowing the other human was doing the same. Another reason might be that your dog associates one parent more with outside, running-around playtime, so she chooses to follow the parent she most associates with that kind of activity.
"Context is the crucial part here, and so is just the general relationship dynamic in the family," Bergeland says. "Who plays with the dog the most, who reinforces the dog the most, who does the dog generally pay the most attention to in any given context … "
So if you're usually not one to run away from your dog during playtime, she might not chase after you because she's going to be confused and wondering what the heck you're doing. In fact, Bergeland says dogs might chase after the person who they associate with negativity or fear, trying to chase them away. (But for all intents and purposes, we're going to assume these TikTokers all have good relationships with their dogs.)
So yes, perhaps we've burst the bubble on a fun TikTok trend. Sorry! But we've also given ammunition to the pet parents who lost this challenge because you didn't really lose! And to the winners: Even if the challenge is bogus, you're still the favorite!
See? Everybody wins.