A video of a golden retriever has melted hearts online after meeting his human “little brother” for the first time.
Dogs are often called man’s best friend – and after seeing Riley the dog’s reaction to meeting a new family member, it’s hard to disagree with that statement.
It’s no surprise that dogs are well regarded, as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) found that more than 48.2 million households in the United States had at least one dog between 2017 and 2018.
The AVMA added that 76.8 million dogs were kept as pets in the United States during those years, making them more popular than cats.
In a viral TikTok video, which can be seen here, user hdbrosriley shared the moment Riley the golden retriever first met the newborn.
At the start of the clip, 8-year-old Riley could be seen wanting to get close to the newest member of the family as her owner kneels down to present the baby to her.
Within seconds, Riley begins licking the baby, obviously happy to meet his new human sibling for the first time.
During the video, the person recording Riley tells Riley to “be gentle”, a request he immediately follows.
Since being shared earlier over the weekend, the clip has garnered over 1.1 million views and generated around 73,000 likes.
The overwhelming majority of those who commented on the video praised Riley and were impressed with her sweetness.
One TikTok user said, “The way he listened when you said ‘be gentle’.”
Another added: “He’s trying too hard to be sweet but he’s so excited at the same time.”
A third posted as if he had a glimpse of Riley’s thoughts: “Not a puppy, but we’ll protect our little brother at all costs.”
Meanwhile, a fourth user commented, “What a big brother to look after you.”
In a statement sent to NewsweekJohn Smith, dog expert and founder of pet brand Yappy.com, said there are a number of things people can do to prepare their dogs for a new addition to the family.
He said: “Introducing a dog to a baby for the first time can be an overwhelming experience for you and your dog – your whole life changes, and with it your pet’s routine.
“Dogs tend to like a routine because it helps them feel secure, so the best way to keep them from feeling unsettled is to prepare them well in advance. Your goal should be that when the baby arrives, they barely notice any difference.”
He recommended introducing your dog to new smells and objects; slowly increase the volume of sounds; get used to forbidden areas; encourage calm behavior; and crate train your dog by installing baby gates before arrival so they get used to it.
Smith then offered the following tips that people can use during the meeting itself:
- If you are the mother, walk in and greet your dog alone while your partner waits outside with the baby. If you’ve been away from the hospital for a few days, they’ll be happy to see you.
- In a room where your dog is non-territorial (e.g. where he eats or sleeps), and once your dog is calm, your partner should bring the baby. Be gentle and show your dog his new sibling, let him sniff but don’t get too close to the baby.
- Stay together in the room for a little while and continue to encourage calm behavior. If your dog starts acting up, take your baby to another room while he calms down.
- Pay close attention to your dog’s body language to make sure he’s not feeling stressed. Warning signs to look out for include them slowly licking their mouth and nose, yawning and, of course, growling. If you notice any of these things, just stay calm and take the baby to another room to give everyone some space to calm down.
- Remember to always monitor. At no time should your dog and baby be left alone, even for a second, even if you know your dog better than anyone. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to your baby’s health and safety.
He added: “When it comes to your dog and baby for the first time, calm is key.
“Introduce changes gradually. That way there won’t be any big surprises for your pup. And pay close attention to your dog and any stress signals he’s displaying so that any early warning signs can be dealt with as soon as possible.”
Newsweek contacted the owner of the TikTok account for comment.
Content involving dogs often receives millions of views on TikTok and other social media platforms with many viewers gushing over it.
Another video showing a dog meeting his “little brother” has thrilled TikTok users who have viewed the footage more than 370,000 times.
In the clip shared by Ellie Treece, Reyna the Vizsla could be seen walking up to a newborn baby and bringing her face close to it before sniffing it.