By: Emily Socola

What is Dog Shaming?

All over the internet, people are recreating this idea of “dog shaming” with their own dogs.  What they do is take a picture or a video of their dog in front of a handwritten sign and written on the sign, is the shameless act that the dog is guilty of.  In video recreations, owners are lucky enough to catch them redhanded and the video versions are often the most humorous.  This meme originated with dogs, and in my opinion works best with dogs, but can really be recreated with other domestic animals.  Why I chose to analyze this meme was solely influenced by the popularity of cat videos all over the internet.  My questions was, “Why couldn’t a dog video be just as popular”?  But with a little more digging and a fortunate discovery on Pinterest, I found that dog videos and pictures are going viral, particularly following this original idea of dog shaming.

Why is Dog Shaming Becoming So Popular?

Certainly humanity has always had a love for things that are “cute”, whether it be puppies, kittens, babies, or anything fuzzy.  We also have this idea that OUR pet, is the cutest, the weirdest, and the funniest compared to all others.  Dog shaming gives us the platform to prove that what we believe is in fact true, although yes everyone is subject to their own opinions and biases.  It is also extremely easy to recreate, as humans are generally a lazy species. All it requires is a camera, a piece of paper, and a marker.  With dog shaming, you can show off to the world your beloved dog and the crazy things it does.  I think the argument of being a creator, someone who creates their own media and content and posts to the internet, and being a curator, someone who finds content that is not their own and posts to social networking sites, comes into play.  Dog shaming is a rather easy way to take place in the participatory culture online and create your own original content rather than just reposting another person’s work.

The Semiotics

The way that dog shaming is set up and the reason I think it works so well, is that it catches dogs in their essence, the same as cat videos do for cats.  A cat can often be filmed doing something odd for no reason, but it doesn’t want the attention of a human, nor does it care that the human is there.  For dogs, it is entirely the opposite.  Dogs do these things demanding attention from their owner and often times they get in trouble for committing these shameless acts.  Once they get the attention, the dogs will soon realize what they did is frowned upon, and dog shaming captures the extreme guilt the dogs feel afterwards (or at least it looks as if they are overwhelmed with guilt).

I think that this is something that all dog owners can relate to; you love your dog anyway, even though it is only an animal, most dogs are considered a part of the family.  Dog shaming provides a unique and humorous way for humans to portray their dog’s personality.

dog shaming


5 thoughts on “Dog Shaming: Why Cats Are Not The Only Animal Going Viral

  1. I loved the video and I think that dog shaming will become much more popular as time goes on. I agree that dog shaming can be a way to show off your dog and your own work rather than reposting someone elses. I think this is a great example of a meme that is up and coming. Great job!

  2. I think these dog shaming memes are really funny. I especially like the last one (I licked the Turkey) because its just really silly. I think that it is such a sensation because dogs know why they have done something wrong to have made their owners mad. They get down on themselves much like humans do. I also think its trending now because dogs don’t know what their owners are doing when they write on a piece of paper and put it by them. Its just entertainment for the owner and others. Good job!

  3. I couldn’t agree more. Dogs have such a more defined and animated personality all on thier own. They always know when they’re being bad, but seem to do those things anyways. It’s definitely entertaining to see all the things that our pups can get into. And it also helps keep from getting too upset about our own pets when we see how widespread the habits of the naughty pooch really are.

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