Pair of Golden Retrievers Meet Baby For First Time

A pair of Golden Retrievers have been giving animal lovers on social media that warm and fuzzy feeling again.

Dog duo Winston and Doug went viral on TikTok after their owner shared a clip of the cute canine twosome meeting his newborn son, Miller, for the first time.

Posted under the handle winstonthegoodboygolden, alongside the caption reads “already the best big brothers,” and the video has been viewed over 15 million times.

There are some notable parallels between the care of dogs and young children, not least when it comes to the bond they have with their parents or owner.

A study by Lisa Horn, from the Vetmeduni’s Messerli Research Institute, Austria, highlighted the way both dogs and children experience the “secure base effect” with their carers.

The “secure base effect” refers to the concept that dictates that when infants interact with the environment around them, they use their parents or caregivers as a secure base.

Horn’s research set out to determine whether dogs do the same with their owners. To find out, she had a series of canines engage with an interactive dog toy that, if played with, rewarded them with food.

What Horn and her team discovered was that the dogs were not as eager to work for the food if their owners were not present during the task. Interestingly, as long as their owner was present, the dogs were motivated to take part, regardless of whether their caregiver spoke to them.

To further test the hypothesis, they had the dogs play with the toys in the presence of strangers. Once again, the canines were found to be more hesitant to take part, despite the food reward on offer.

Stock image of a Golden Retriever and a baby. A pair of dogs have been introduced to their owner’s newborn baby.
Koh Sze Kiat/Getty

The research highlighted the unique bond between dog and owner and may go some way to explaining the reaction of Winston and Doug in the video.

To these two dogs, their owner’s son Miller must have seemed like an extension of their human companion and someone they immediately felt comfortable around.

It helps that the two pooches are golden retrievers too. According to veterinary charity The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) Golden Retrievers “can be fantastic with children” as they are known for being “quite calm and tolerant.”

The PDSA does note, however, that “while they usually have a great temperament, it’s best to always supervise your dog with children.”

As introductions go, Winston and Doug’s first encounter with Miller couldn’t have been better planned, with their owner bringing his swaddled newborn over to the doggy pair who remained behind a baby gate in his kitchen.

Not that he had anything to worry about, of course, with Winston and Doug going out of their way to make the tot feel welcome.

In the video, the Golden Retrievers can be seen carefully climbing up on the gate to give the baby a few affectionate sniffs to the head, getting themselves accustomed to the child’s own unique smell: a crucial step in helping integrate dogs with young children.

Then comes the highlight of the footage. While Winston continues to dot over Miller, Doug disappears momentarily before climbing back up on the gate with a squeaky toy donut in his mouth for the baby.

Winston then proceeds to lick at Miller’s head, with the baby appearing serene throughout the heartwarming encounter. “We’ll have to give him a bath after this,” their owner jokes, as the clip comes to an end.

The adorable footage struck a chord with many on social media.

Suzy Roakes wrote: “They love her so much already. Dogs are so special,” while Kaia Jasmine declared: “This is the best thing I’ve ever seen!!”

WingWing 9642 described the video as “absolutely adorable” with Theresa Stevenson in agreement that the clip was “so precious.”

For most, it was Doug’s gift of the squeaky toy that proved particularly touching. Allrightythenkh confessed she “legit teared up when the toy was brought over” while bbmoods felt “It was true love when the toy was shared.”

Elsewhere, alohajt2424 felt the footage was undeniable proof that “dogs are better than most people” with Naazim Maredia writing: “We don’t deserve dogs.”

Newsweek has contacted winstonthegoodboygolden for comment.

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