More than 11,000 dogs and their owners have uploaded images of their snoot challenge attempts to Instagram, using the hashtag #snootchallenge. And now it’s got the ‘okay’ from canine experts.
“The snoot challenge can be a great training exercise for you and your dog,” Ali Taylor, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s head of canine behaviour, told Country Living. But not all dogs will enjoy the challenge, so owners should proceed with caution.
The snoot challenge: this year’s dog Instagram craze
The snoot challenge is very straightforward, and many dog-owners have been doing it for years – without the game having a name. The challenge is to form your fingers into a shape and tempt your dog to poke his nose through, creating a cute frame for an Instagrammable picture. The real champs are forming their fingers into different shapes, such as hearts, to showboat and express their love for their pet.
“Touch-based training is easy to teach and is an excellent way to bond with your dog, providing it is done correctly,” continues Ali Taylor. The teaching element arises because most dogs won’t naturally put their snout between your fingers. That takes coaxing and treats.
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But while the internet laughs it up at the artful successes and ridiculous failures, Taylor warns that it’s important to put your dog’s happiness ahead of your desire for social media fame.
“As the snoot challenge involves your dog putting their nose into a small space, some dogs may feel uncomfortable,” Taylor says. “Always make sure that the space for your dog’s nose isn’t restricting their sight or breathing in any way, and never make your dog uncomfortable for the sake of social media likes.”
Snoot challengers may limber up and carry on, safe in the knowledge that their sport is as safe as it is adorable.