A dog’s reaction to a new puppy being in his usual sleeping spot has left viewers heartbroken.
In a viral TikTok video with 1.9 million views, user @life.of.megs shared how her family’s golden retriever usually sleeps on her bed when she goes back to her parents’ house for Christmas.
But this year, she brought her new puppy with her and he quickly slipped into the golden’s usual spot.
“My parents’ dog usually sleeps with me when I come home for Christmas, except this time I brought my new puppy with me who has taken his spot,” said the text overlay on the video that was posted on January 4.
In the video, the golden retriever appears to be looking through the door, almost jealous that his space on the bed has been taken. Meanwhile, the new puppy sleeps soundly on the bed.
The video received thousands of comments from TikTok users who demanded the dog be reinstated to his “rightful place.”
“I’m on the phone with the police right now,” said one comment, while another viewer wrote: “We need video evidence that this poor soul made it to their rightful place on the bed.”
Niki French, dog trainer at Pup Talk and author of STOP Walking Your Dog, told Newsweek: “Jealousy is a human emotion and not one that I believe dogs’ experience. The dog in the TikTok looks uncertain, perhaps a little worried. Things to notice—the stillness of the dog, the head is slightly lowered and the brow looks a little furrowed.
“In such a short clip, it’s hard to get a full picture of what is going on for the older dog. The dog could be feeling unsure of this strange dog, especially if it’s in a spot that they are used to having for themselves. It’s possible the dog has been asked to stay outside; they could be waiting for permission to come in. In a snapshot, we don’t know what sort of interactions have happened previously between the two dogs.”
Despite it being unlikely that the dog is really feeling upset, viewers were sure that the dog was hurt by being displaced.
“That’s not a look of betrayal, that’s heartbreak,” said one reply. Another commenter wrote: “I just don’t understand why you did him dirty like that?”
Introducing a new pet to the household can take some time, but French had some suggestions.
“Introducing a new dog to an existing dog (or even a visiting dog) should always be done with care. It is our responsibility to keep both dogs safe and happy. It is not one dog’s responsibility to teach another dog ‘manners’ or what’s appropriate and what isn’t,” she explained. “Puppies can be bouncy, excitable, and a bit annoying to an older dog (especially if they are perhaps stiff or arthritic). Equally, puppies can be overwhelmed and nervous when arriving at a new home—they need time to settle into their new surroundings.”
When dogs first meet, their interactions should be calmly managed by humans to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
“Baby gates and crates are very useful. They can be introduced on the opposite side of a physical barrier giving both dogs the opportunity to approach and freely move away,” said French. “Removing high-value toys and treats when new dogs are meeting can help avoid any conflict over these ‘resources.’ Access to favorite sleeping spots—like sofas, beds etc. should also be managed carefully. Some dogs will be relaxed about a new dog sharing a space. Others may not.”
Newsweek has reached out to @life.of.megs for comment.
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