A dog displaying some unusual behavior in South Australia has gone viral on TikTok with over 2.7 million views.
In the video, posted to the page @harrietandwilson, Harriet the Scottish deerhound can be seen sitting on her owner’s lap on the bed with her back turned. As her owner moves their laptop out of the way, Harriet falls backwards in what looks like a “trust fall.”
The voiceover revealed: “When my giant dog sits like this, it’s because she wants a cuddle and I have to drop everything to catch her.” In other videos on the TikTok page, Harriet can be seen playing with her brother Wilson, an Irish wolfhound.
Usually reserved for corporate training days, no one is completely sure why dogs trust-fall, but it’s fairly obvious that it means a dog is relaxed around its owner. Scottish deerhounds are an ancient breed of dog that were brought up to hunt and kill red deer. In certain areas of medieval Europe, namely Britain, only the nobility was allowed to own what was considered an incredibly valuable dog due to its ability to hunt.
According to the website Deerhound.org, the large dogs were a favorite of General George Custer, cavalry commander in the American Civil War and infamous for his military decisions that led to his death during the Indian Wars in 1876 in the Battle of Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. One of his dogs, Tuck was killed at Little Bighorn alongside him. He had written of her: “‘Tuck’ regularly comes when I am writing, and lays her head on the desk, rooting up my hand with her long nose until I consent to stop and notice her.”
Henry Landseer, 19th-century British artist, also made the breed famous through his numerous paintings of the dogs, some of which are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
User Gaily said: “What a demonstration of love and trust. It fills my heart to bursting.”
User jodskis1975 commented: “My giant dog does this too. we call it trust falls.”
User Chrissy Flanagan wrote: “You’ve made her feel so safe and loved.”
Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.
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