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Viral video: Is this ‘howling’ puppy super cute or a nightmare in training?

A howling dog can be a major headache, but a howling puppy? Adorable.

One dog dad shared a super cute video of his three-week-old puppy trying (and sort of succeeding) at howling. (Note: Puppies shouldn’t be separated from their mothers before eight weeks if at all possible. While mama isn’t present in this video, we’re hoping she’s just off camera, taking a well-deserved nap.)

Look at this duo, comfortably lazing on the couch. Dad does his best imitation of a dog howl — which is really quite good — and his pup follows suit. It’s not exactly a howl, but it is adorable — and the internet agreed.

Of course, many were quick to point out that this might not be the behavior you want to teach a puppy. Redditor Eitmamots noted, “Spend the first three weeks teaching them to talk, and then [the] next 12, hopefully, 15 or 18 wonderful years trying to get them to shut up.”

Redditor Issatoyoda81 added, “Cute as can be at that age, but keep it up and you’ll be spending 20 times the effort to untrain as a grown puppy.”

Others disagreed, noting that for some pet parents, their dogs’ howls are all part of the fun. “I love ‘arguing’ with my dog,” said Redditor SadMaryJane.

Judgmental_Leviathan agreed. “Me too!! My dog is a sweetheart, but she loves to argue just as much as I do lol. I always look forward to our daily arguing matches,” they reported.

kamelizann confessed that watching their malamute and German shepherd mix learn to howl has been a highlight of pet parenting. “She has an older brother that’s a purebred GSD and howling always came naturally to him… and he always howls at sirens,” they explained. “Being part malamute, I expected her to be a natural howler but she’s just not. She quickly joins in when the older one starts howling but I don’t think she understands why. Her howls started out as something between an extremely loud high-pitched bark and a whine… the most god-awful off-pitch sound I’d ever heard if it wasn’t so cute. Now at a year old, she actually has a somewhat coherent howl. Still not perfect like the older ones, but she’s making progress. It was so fun to see how excited she got over it.”

Others weren’t as convinced, pointing out the potential dangers of teaching dogs bad habits. Redditor tpacoa said, “A lot of people give up their puppies when they realize that it’s no longer cute and it’s a lot of work and responsibilities.”

They also pointed out that “no apartment will allow renters to stay long if the pups howl in the middle of the night or early morning.”

Of course, it’s all about understanding your situation. If you’re someone who loves “arguing” with your dog and you live in a big house with a big yard, you’re in a much different situation than someone sharing walls with other apartment dwellers.

And, as FrioPivo noted, sometimes, you have to learn bad habits to avoid bad habits. “For responsible dog owners, teaching commands for bad behavior is a tool for teaching commands to stop that behavior,” they said. “Hopefully, that’s the situation here.”

Plus… that “howl” is super cute.

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