A video showing a dog’s hilariously confused reaction to having his collar removed has got people talking about the inner workings of a canine’s mind.
Reuben the Lagotto Romagnolo dog’s expression in the clip has been a source of much debate, with some saying the pet pooch appeared sad at being let off the leash while others saw it as a moment of realization for the hound at the freedom now within his grasp.
Whatever your interpretation of the footage, one thing everyone appeared to agree on was that Reuben is one very cute dog. So cute, in fact, that the collarless footage has already accumulated 2.2 million views since being posted six days ago to TikTok by his owner, writing under the handle veryawkwarddog.
Watch it here.
“Help I took his collar off to make him more comfy but instead I think it triggered an identity crisis,” his owner wrote alongside the clip.
While Reuben may have experienced mixed emotions, it can be beneficial to allow your dog some time at home without their collar on, especially as some experts have expressed concern over the risks attached to collar use on a canine.
A study conducted by researchers from Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences in the U.K. in 2020 found that all types of dog collar have the potential to do harm due to the related pressure placed on the canine’s neck.
Reacting to the study, Rachel Casey, director for canine behavior and research at Dogs Trust, suggested a lead attached to a “well fitted harness” is a safer approach but also placed an emphasis on training your canine to walk “calmly” alongside you.
“Walks are also made more pleasurable for pet and owner if dogs are taught to walk calmly on a loose lead,” she said. “Taking a bit of time to teach your dog that he or she can get to the park without pulling, will save a lifetime of pulled arms as well as avoiding possible injury.”
Not that Reuben’s owner needs to necessarily worry about that. Even after having his collar removed, the adorable canine sits motionless, ignoring the opportunity to dash around and celebrate his newfound freedom.
Instead, he appears kind of confused by it all—much to the amusement of those watching along on social media. Commenting on the video, one TikTok user, writing as lindsaylohanbiggestfan, said: “[H]e just realized he has free will.” Another, posting under the handle civioao, wrote: “[B]ro thinks he got disowned.”
“He looks quite concerned,” one_Zomb said with allymxx3 adding: “he feels exposed.” Arianopoen imagined Reuben was probably thinking “Maybe I AM human after all” after having his collar removed. Elsewhere, aki thought Reuben was having a “midlife crisis” with microjade222 adding: “i showed this to my mom and she said: how i feel without makeup in public.”
Thankfully, Reuben’s owner has confirmed they have successfully put his collar back on since this video was filmed.
Newsweek has contacted veryawkwarddog for comment.
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