Most dog owners know a thing or two about the trigger words that send our puppies into whirlwinds of excitement. For some it might be “park”, “walk”, “car” or something with equally exciting connotations. But for Mav, a 3-year-old golden retriever, one word stands above all others: murder.
Yes, this sweet and goofy golden man’s favorite word is murder, and it’s his obsession with the word that made him a TikTok star. In Mav’s “murder videos”, you can see the pup straighten up completely when he hears the word “murder”, eagerly jumping up and running in circles. In her most popular video, her owner echoes a popular trend: “It’s a 10, but her favorite word is…murder.
“…Why do we like this?” she exclaims as Mav sits up and rushes excitedly for the door.
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“It’s the weirdest thing in the world,” Mel Williams, Mav’s owner, told Daily Paws. “It’s very weird. He’s a golden retriever with a carefree personality, but you say that word and he goes nuts.”
Although Mav also responds enthusiastically to more common words like “walk” or “park”, Williams says the level of excitement he shows for the word “murder” is unparalleled. While some people might think such a disturbing favorite word means Mav is out for blood, Williams has a different theory as to why her goofy pup sits up so much. (And it’s not that he’s a reincarnated serial killer.)
Like similar races, water is one of Mav’s favorite things in the world. He loves strutting around in a sprinkler or swimming more than anything. Williams quickly determined that she didn’t want Mav freaking out every time he heard such a common word, so she avoided “water” as much as possible to reduce the association.
Months later, while Mel was discussing one of her favorite detective podcasts with her niece, Mav started going crazy, and it only took a quick “elimination process” to figure out the word that sent him into a frenzy: not “podcast,” not “mystery,” but “murder.”
Williams speculates that part of Mav remembers what “water” meant, and it’s the -ER sound that sends her into a frenzy. Fittingly, Mav also loves the word “killer,” which is both ~scary~ and ends in the same -ER sound as water and murder.
And although some people speculate that it’s all about tone – we’d be lying if we said we didn’t try to get our dog somewhere with high-pitched voices and promises of treats and playtime – Mel insists on the fact that it’s all about the word with Mav.
“No matter what tone of voice I use, I can say it as quietly as possible and he’ll still be excited and sprinting,” she says.
One thing’s for sure: Even if Mav has a murder on her mind, we’re still going to be watching her TikToks for our fix of the cutest baby murderer around. (Just maybe keep him away from the Arconia.)