Animal Farm’s about to happen in real life and these two pooches are leading the take-over. You better warn the residents!
In a recent viral video making the rounds on social media, TikTok user @saxby2.0 was driving home from work when he spotted an adorably weird scene in the distance – two big dogs sitting side-by-side on seats in a deserted field . Saxby didn’t know whose dogs they were or where they’d come from, but he was terrified by the sight and had to circle back to record the “chairmen”.
Speaking into the camera, Saxby said he was scared out of his mind and had no idea what to make of the whole encounter.
“I’m on my way home from f***ing work and I’m looking out of my window and I’m thinking, ‘What the f*** is that?'”
Watching the world go by – and keeping an eye out for trouble
When Saxby got close enough, the video revealed a yellow Labrador and her pitbull friend, seated exactly like humans on two plastic seats, and surrounded by tall grasses in a fenced field. It’s uncertain how they got there, but some people in the comments figured they were part of the neighborhood or block watch.
Still a bit shaken up, Saxby continued: “That scared the f— out of me!” He then spoke to the pets. “What are you two doing?! I don’t know who you are or who you belong to, but why are you sitting on chairs like that?”
Saxby’s video has been liked more than 90,000 times on TikTok as people cannot get enough of the adorable pair.
Dogs are experts at imitating humans and the only really weird thing about the video was how the puppy pair sat as though they were in deep conversation. It’s not unusual to find your dog sitting on your favorite chair, trying to imitate the same position you sit in while keenly watching a soccer game or The Army Wives.
Imitating humans – involuntary behavior for dogs
Your pooches can’t actually help it. Dogs automatically imitate the movements and behaviors of their owners, even without being explicitly trained to do so. This is how dogs learn to shake people with their front paws, jump up on the toilet seat and try to pee like a human, or curl up on the sofa and wear a sulking look when they are sad.
An interesting study from 2010 by scientists at the universities of Vienna and Oxford proves that dogs are more inclined to spontaneously imitate the movements of their owners . The study observed ten adult dogs that were trained to open a sliding door with their paws. The pooches watched as their owners got down on all four to demonstrate the movements. The dogs were then divided into two groups. One group was rewarded for imitating their owners perfectly and the other group was gifted for doing the opposite.
It was an amazing result as the scientists observed that nearly all the dogs attempted to copy their owners exactly, even if it meant not getting a reward. They just couldn’t resist the urge to as their owners had done.
“This suggests that, like humans, dogs are subject to ‘automatic imitation;’ they cannot inhibit online, the tendency to imitate head use and/or paw use,” the lead author Friederike Range wrote in the paper. “For example, if people are instructed to open their mouths as soon as they see the letters ‘OM’ appear on a screen, responses are slower when the letters are accompanied by an image of an opening hand than when they are accompanied by an image of an opening mouth.”
The dogs in the video might have regularly watched their owners sitting in the same spot for long periods, perhaps watching the neighborhood as people suggested. When their owners left the seats, the pets probably couldn’t resist the urge to take over and just be the regular, conversational pooches.
- Benjamin VanHoose. Man Spots Dog Friends Sitting Side-by-Side on Chairs in a Field, Posts Odd Encounter on TikTok. People. https://people.com/pets/dogs-sitting-on-chairs-in-field-tiktok/ Retrieved 22-09-2020
- D News. Dogs Automatically Imitate People. Seeker. https://www.seeker.com/dogs-automatically-imitate-people-discovery-news-1766488046.html Retrieved 22-09-2020