Whenever someone asks if I have pet, I like to say, “No, my trio of kiddos are my puppies.” I’m sure it makes my wife roll her eyes, but it has some truth to it.
Children in their single digits are just as hyperactive, just as unrestrained, and just as undeniably cute as a clutch of young dogs. They also spike their parents’ blood pressure and make almost as many, uh, messes.
But viral video of one canine momma shows that she knows the secret to caring for her overactive brood. It seems that the secret involves a firm will and judicious use of a loud voice.
The video was originally shared by breeders Melanie and Christopher, who run Sent From Heaven kennel in Austria.
“Rosalie is an experienced dog mother,” they wrote in the YouTube video description. “This is her last litter. She wants to enter the puppy room in peace but her puppies are too excited.”
The video’s opening moments show the dilemma that Rosalie faces. Mom (who is a golden retriever) approaches the metal kiddie gate that cordons off one room of the home from the rest.
On the other side is a pack of puppies — and what a pack it is. Tumbling, yipping, straining at the gate’s bars — the puppies are obviously excited.
The reason quickly becomes evident: It’s feeding time. Now any parent knows that a hungry kid has only one thing on his mind. He wants to fill his belly as soon as possible.
The same holds true for these puppies. They piled onto their mom as she stepped into the room.
Furry little bodies bounced against her snout, got beneath her feet, and tried to nurse even as she walked. Needless to say, this didn’t please the golden much, and Rosalie made her displeasure known.
A low growl formed in her throat and quickly erupted into barks. She rounded on her pups and snapped at a particularly enthusiastic one at the front.
A few brave members made motions as if to try for some milk again, but further growls and another snap scared them off.
Almost as if by magic, a calm descended upon the puppies. They stood still or curled up on the floor, waiting for their mother’s signal.
The puppies are old enough to be weaned, and it’s clear that Rosalie is ready for them to be weaned.
For some, this behavior may seem ferocious — but mothers being firm with their young is absolutely crucial to the pups’ social development.
Only once the pups are quieted does Rosalie start nuzzling and licking them, teaching them that being calm equals attention. A lot of dog owners could benefit from this approach!
Science says that such strictness can benefit young dogs in the long run. NPR reported on a study in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” that seemed to link later benefits to stricter “parenting.”
It examined canine mothers who reclined as their puppies nursed versus those that sat up. In the latter case, “she’s further from the puppy.”
“The puppy has to work for it. Those puppies are more successful [later] as guide dogs.”
In the video, the puppies’ work involved simple waiting, no mean feat. By the end, they’re perfectly tame little pups, obeying their mother’s every beck and call.
Who knows exactly how these will dogs will turn out later in life, but they will probably make lovely companions. In the meantime, their mom is doing her best to teach them how to get a hold on themselves.
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