Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cute, corny or creepy?

Watch the video first, then let’s discuss what category this falls into.

My first reaction was “cute.” Reading the comments left under the video on its original web page informed me that not everyone sees it that way.
The person posting the video wrote, “I wonder if the dog actually enjoys dancing in that frilly skirt.” Commenter Smoobly replied to say that of course the dog did, “The dog enjoys having a job to do .... That the job entails dancing around in a frilly skirt is purely incidental.”
Then, libraryboi added the comment, “There are more serious concerns than the costume. Dogs aren’t supposed to stand on their hind legs. It’s not difficult to imagine the damage that is inflicted on their joints and subsequent pain from doing this repeatedly over years. Simply because we can train dogs to do this doesn’t mean we should for mere human amusement.”
First off, it looks like this is a dog dance routine — a type of activity that has become increasingly popular to the point that there are now official competitions and judges for such routines.
Secondly, libraryboi may have a point. All that time spent on the hind legs could cause some joint damage, especially in a breed that’s prone to have hip dysplasia. But I think his last comment — that simply because we can train dogs to do this doesn’t mean we should for mere human amusement — misses the mark.
This dog might be entertaining humans and we might find this routine entertaining. But there is a huge benefit to the dog of doing such a dance.
The training for something like that is complicated and time consuming. The man dancing around with her has probably spent years training this dog day in and day out. How many dogs get that much attention?
Training something like this almost has to be done through positive reinforcement, which is a huge mental drain for dogs and hugely rewarding — literally, think: lots of treats during practice — for the dog. It helps to keep your dog mentally healthy. And look at the expression on that dog’s face — she is loving it!
I support these dog dance routines and anything that provides such a positive outlet for dogs. I’ve seen lots of dog dance routines and most of them do not have so much emphasis on the dog being on its hinds legs, if any at all.
The last commenter, Cheesebubble, added: “This lasted too long and was way more creepy than cute. I only feel sorry for the dog. Not amusing.”
I disagree. There are many shelter dogs that would give the world for an opportunity to live with someone who has so much time to invest in their dog’s mental health.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with you, Karen. As you said, the look on the dog's face says it all — just look at that smile! While I do find the frilly skirt to be a little ridiculous, the dog doesn't seem to mind, so who cares? She is one lucky dog to have an owner who showers her with so much attention, time and dedication.