Internet Defends ‘Bad Dog’ Who Brings Unwanted Surprise for Owner

Internet Defends 'Bad Dog'

Last Updated on June 13, 2024 by Fumipets

Internet Defends ‘Bad Dog’ Who Brings Unwanted Surprise for Owner


A recent TikTok video featuring a chocolate Labrador named Rusty holding a groundhog in his mouth has garnered 2.8 million views within 24 hours, sparking a wave of reactions from the online community.

Rusty’s Unexpected Gift

Rusty, a chocolate Labrador, was filmed by his owner, Beth Helms, standing patiently on the patio with a groundhog dangling from his mouth. The large rodent was alive and moving, while another Labrador, Hennessy, barked excitedly next to them. Helms posted the video on TikTok, where it quickly went viral.

TikTok Defends Rusty

The video was paired with an audio clip saying, “show me your bad dog. I don’t want to see any of these good boys and good girls sitting for a cookie.” Contrary to the audio’s implication, TikTok users flocked to defend Rusty, arguing that he was simply displaying natural behavior.

One user commented, “That is NOT a bad dog! That dog is doing what they’re bred for!” Labradors are known for their hunting skills, which is part of their genetic makeup. According to the American Kennel Club, Labradors excel in various roles such as waterfowl hunting and game hunting due to their intelligence, eagerness to please, and work ethic.

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Labradors: America’s Favorite Breed

Labradors have been ranked as America’s second favorite breed for two years in a row. Their versatility makes them suitable for many tasks, including service dog work, search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, and therapy dog roles. Rusty’s hunting instincts are a testament to these traits, even though he isn’t employed in such roles.

Rusty’s Rescue Story

Rusty’s owner, Beth Helms (@bethhelms4), shared that Rusty is a new rescue they are currently training. Rusty had a rough start in life, having been abused and left outside with 15 other dogs. He was found abandoned and had to fend for himself, which explains his strong survival instincts.

Helms uploaded another video without the sound, where she can be heard asking Rusty to “drop it.” She explained in the caption, “This dog is my brand new rescue, Rusty, who we are currently training but [it’s] difficult. He was previously abused and left outside until they found him [abandoned] with 15 other dogs. He was left to fend for himself. It is in HIS NATURE.”

Sympathy for Rusty and the Groundhog

TikTok users expressed sympathy for both Rusty and the groundhog. Many praised Rusty for his behavior, interpreting his actions as a gift for his owner. “He brought a gift for you mommy! Good boy,” wrote one user. Another added, “He is so proud.”

Some users expressed concern for the groundhog. One person commented, “Oh my gosh I would be crying trying to save the little guy.” Despite the mixed reactions, the majority agreed that Rusty’s actions were driven by his natural instincts.

Understanding Rusty’s Behavior

Rusty’s behavior can be traced back to his breed’s inherent traits. Labradors have a strong hunting instinct, which is why they are often used in hunting and retrieval tasks. This behavior is not a sign of a “bad dog” but rather a reflection of his natural abilities.

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Training Challenges and Progress

Helms acknowledged the challenges in training Rusty, especially given his past. She used a hot dog to coax him into releasing the groundhog and explained that she couldn’t let the dogs come inside immediately to avoid potential fights in a confined space. She emphasized that Rusty is a “VERY GOOD BOY” despite his quirks.

The Role of Genetics in Dog Behavior

Labradors, like Rusty, are bred for their hunting capabilities. This genetic predisposition explains why Rusty instinctively grabbed the groundhog. Understanding these traits can help owners manage and train their pets more effectively.


Rusty’s story highlights the importance of understanding a dog’s natural instincts and behavior. While his actions might seem unusual to some, they are rooted in his breed’s history and genetic makeup. TikTok users have shown overwhelming support for Rusty, recognizing that he is simply acting on his natural instincts.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Why did Rusty grab the groundhog?

Rusty’s actions are driven by his natural hunting instincts, which are common in Labradors.

2. Is it normal for Labradors to hunt small animals?

Yes, Labradors have a strong hunting instinct and are often used in hunting and retrieval tasks.

3. How can I train my dog if it has a strong hunting instinct?

Understanding your dog’s breed and natural behaviors can help in training. Positive reinforcement and consistency are key.

4. What should I do if my dog brings a wild animal home?

Stay calm and safely remove the animal. If needed, consult a veterinarian or animal control for assistance.

5. Is Rusty’s behavior a sign of being a bad dog?

No, Rusty’s behavior is a reflection of his natural instincts. He is not a bad dog; he is simply acting on his genetic traits.

References Newsweek Article: Internet Defends ‘Bad Dog’ Who Brings Unwanted Surprise for Owner





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