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So this question, Why does my dog sing along to Final Jeopardy?, was asked a few hours ago.

I think the intent of the question is good, and I think the actual question/answer is decent, but my concern is it might set a precedent of permitting "Stupid Pet Tricks" posts with people asking "Why does my dog do x" for no reason other than to post cute or silly pictures of their animals doing the acts, and not with the intent of actually getting an answer (and most will probably be unanswerable.

Am I worried about nothing? Or is this a legit concern?

  • Of note, the question that was posted did NOT contain visual or audio evidence of the pet performing the act. – JoshDM Oct 13 '13 at 17:29
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Personally, my concern is about the prospect of trying to draw some real experts to the site. How long will they stay if the site becomes littered with such posts.

I think we should try to structure an off topic line item that reflects these posts, or one of our custom off-topic close reasons. Unfortunately it is not a thin black line buy a gray area as someone's "Stupid Pet Trick" is a legit behavioral situation that requires a legit answer, and often it is more the intent of the poster and not the actual question.

  • 1
    I also think they should be off topic too. My dog sings with opera or my cat jumps while watching pokemon is all fall under "Stupid Pet Trick" and should be off topic. – Ankit Sharma Oct 11 '13 at 7:14
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I think it depends on the intent of the question. In the one you linked to, the OP seemed genuinely curious as to why their dog got into the habit.

So I'd propose judging on a case-by-case basis and closing as not a real question if the intent seems to be purely to garner attention.

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I legitimately wanted to know why the dog (now dogs) act this way when those particular sounds are activated. Something is triggering the behavior for a very specific action and I want to know what it is, or if there is a valid rationale behind it.

There was mention in post of not having video evidence, but no actual photo or audio accompanied it. In this case, the concern of the meta OP here is unfounded. Wait till you have an actual attention-seeker with their silly animal post, then set the precedent.

  • Of course, I was not picking on your question specifically, but use it as an example of what I wanted to avoid. (and I made sure I mentioned that your post seemed to have good intentions, part of my reasoning was the absence of photo/video/audio) – psubsee2003 Oct 13 '13 at 17:33
  • Well, your actions have likely seen to its current 3 close votes. – JoshDM Oct 14 '13 at 1:39
  • if it gets closed, I'll vote to reopen because I do think your interest is legit. But this question was up for at least 2 or 3 days before you got a single close vote, so there may not be a connection. – psubsee2003 Oct 14 '13 at 9:35

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