Dogs have been championed as man’s best friend since they were first domesticated; bringing an unprecedented amount of dog hair, cuteness, and die-hard loyalty into the lives of many. There are often times when it’s easy to feel as though humans simply do not deserve the care and comfort that these canines provide, and this roundup of adorable videos of dog dads interacting with their puppies only enforce those feelings. However, there is one thing that dogs aren’t great at, and it's actually pretty substantial. Although they make the cutest puppy parents, it turns out that most dogs are kind of awful at being fathers.
While this does put a damper on every dog lover's 101 Dalmatians fantasy, it’s not really their fault. Modern day dogs are just used to having humans do their work for them. Protecting the family, providing food for the litter, and being emotionally available for the newborns — domestication has pretty much eradicated all the dog dad’s old responsibilities, as Gino Pugnetti wrote in Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs. This means when the pups do arrive, their dads are definitely curious about them, but also a little confused as to what their job is in this new scenario.
Despite the initial struggle, however, there are some furry fathers who rise to the occasion. For the dads who don’t decide to leave it all on mom, they may begin to exhibit some signs of care for the puppies, especially if they’re a part of the same household. These kinds of dog dads have been known to be playful with their babies, to protect them from harm, and to model behavior for the little ones to follow, as Carlo Siracusa, director of the animal behavior service at the University of Pennsylvania’s Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, told Fatherly. They may not be perfect parents, but hey, they’re trying their best and looking adorable doing it. Not convinced? Check out these videos to see the most precious dog dads actually getting the hang of this whole parenting thing.
1. Puppy Swimming Lessons
Not only is this Labrador dad taking the time to play with his pups in this Rumble Viral video, but he’s actually teaching them a valuable life skill as well. Score! Seeing him guide each puppy to safety is heartwarming, but the pure excitement on the pups' faces is somehow even cuter.
2. Dad's First Time Home
This dad’s first glimpse at his new family is adorably authentic. Although he seems a little overwhelmed by the fact that all the little babies belong to him, his excitement to see the mom and their kiddos in My Mountain Husky's video is contagious.
3. Play Time All The Time
Some dads are put off when they meet their little ones, but this dad in Laurence Torr's video just seems grateful for the company. It’s impossible to blame him for his enthusiasm though — being covered in a bunch of boxer puppies is every dog lover’s dream.
4. Mind Your Manners
While this dad seems equal parts confused and scared of his kids’ energy at first, it’s obvious he’s going to be a very responsible parent. If Kim Star's video is any indication, these pups are going to grow up to have the best manners ever.
5. Foster Doggy Dad
Although these babies don’t exactly belong to this dog dad, he really steps up to the plate in this video from The Orphan Pet by acting as a foster father to some abandoned kittens. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
6. Excited Pit Bull Parent
Even if this dog doesn’t know he’s a dad yet, his interest in all the little pups is enough to win us all over. Plus, all the tail wagging in Dont Bully My Breed's video makes me think he’ll make for a very playful parent.
7. Stealing All The Fun
This Dalmatian dad leaping over the puppy pen in Rumble Viral's video is touching, but stealing a toy for mom to play with is what will really make you melt. After all, every good partner knows that mom needs some TLC too.
8. Protective Parenting
This dog is so happy to be a dad, he doesn’t want to share his pup with anyone. Even though he refuses to listen to his owner, the way he wraps his paws around his kid in The Dodo's video is just so pure.
9. Partner In Crime
We don’t get to see this father interact too much with his children in this video from The Dodo, but we do get to watch him comforting the mother after she’s given birth, which is just as precious. This dad definitely knows that parenting is a team effort, and I’m living for it.
10. Mighty Mastiff
Although this dad seems unamused at first, it’s clear from Giovanni Mastiffs' video that his polite behavior is setting an excellent example for his rambunctious new pups. If you’re searching for a pet parent who actually has it together, this is the dog to look to.
11. Part Of The Pack
The thing about wolves is that they’re much more involved parents than their dog relatives, according to Siracusa. That much is evident in the way this wolf hybrid father interacts with his kids in SireCustoms' video, and I can’t get enough of it.
Maybe dog dads don't have the most stellar reputation when it comes to animal parents. Even so, it’s adorable to watch them make mistakes, figure out their new role in the family, and even show affection from time to time. To all the great dog dads out there, keep doing what you’re doing because it’s absolutely precious to watch. And for the dads who are still figuring it out, that’s what parenting is all about.