Skip to main content

Puppy sees their own reflection and it’s the cutest thing we’ve seen all week

There’s a lot you can say about dogs — they’re affectionate, loyal, protective, and sometimes, they do the most amusing things. Have you ever seen a puppy catch a glimpse of themselves in a mirror? It’s hilarious.

Reddit user mujohnt posted this adorable video of a puppy’s reaction to their own reflection and we can’t stop watching. (Or smiling — it’s super cute.)

I saw myself in the mirror ?? from petslover1

This poor little pup is just wandering along, sniffing the wood floor (as you do), when all of a sudden, our four-legged friend is greeted by a stranger in the house (and this invader just so happens to look exactly the same). First, there’s shock, then perhaps a bit of fear as the confused puppy backs away from the intruder, then some playfulness, some jumping, and just a bit of growling. And when the puppy finally gets close enough to sniff the newcomer (or, uh, the glass in front of their face), the little adventurer doesn’t seem to understand what’s going on.

We get it, buddy. It’s confusing.

Can dogs see their own reflections?

When humans get startled by our reflections in a mirror we didn’t realize was there, we catch on pretty quick. But do dogs ever figure out they’re looking at their own image (and there’s not, in fact, a stranger in the home who just might try to steal all the treats and toys)?

To answer this question, Gordon Gallup Jr. developed the mirror test in 1970. Essentially, it tests the self-awareness of all animals. First, the animal is marked with an odorless dye, and then the animal is observed to see how they react. If the animal realizes the dye is on their own body, they might turn, adjust themselves to get a better view, or poke or prod the mark on their own body while watching what’s happening in the mirror. Chimpanzees, dolphins, elephants, and humans (over the age of two), for example, have passed the test. Dogs have not.

Instead, much like one-year-old children, dogs react with fear, curiosity, or apathy.

Dogs do have some self-awareness though

This doesn’t mean dogs are completely unaware of themselves. Another study found that they can both recognize their own personal odor (which makes sense — dogs rely on their sense of smell a lot more than people do) and recall personal memories. But since a mirror is a completely visual experience, dogs don’t have the capacity to recognize themselves in that instance.

So does this mean all pups are doomed to be startled every time they see their own reflection? No. You’ve probably seen it with your own dog — eventually, the novelty of the mirror wears off and they go about their business (someone has to sniff those floors after all). This is called habituation, and all animals do it: it’s when they stop responding to a previously arousing stimulus. While dogs still don’t recognize themselves, they recognize that the experience is nothing new and is actually perfectly normal.

But until that happens? Feel free to enjoy adorable videos of puppies catching sight of their own reflection.

Editors' Recommendations

Can dogs eat cashews? Only if you follow these rules
Cashews aren't toxic to dogs, but you may want to think twice before making them a regular treat
A woman treating a small puppy outside

You may crave cashews on the regular. A mild and buttery nut from the tropical evergreen Anacardium occidentale, a tree native to South America, cashews are a great addition to trail mixes, oatmeals, and yogurts, but they also shine as a solo snack. 

You may be tempted to give your dog cashews. Those big, brown eyes and adorably curious personalities are hard to resist. Yet, you know what they say about curiosity and cats. Does it apply to dogs and cashews? Can dogs eat cashews? Are they safe? These are good questions to ask. Some foods, like chocolate, are toxic for dogs. Where do cashews stand? Let's dig in.
Can dogs eat cashews?

Read more
These are the longest-living dog breeds
These pups stick around longer than any others
Purebred Chihuahua puppy and a Great Dane sniffing each other

Everything would be better if dogs lived longer. We want our pets to stay with us forever, but sadly, these guys only stick around for a decade or two, at the most. Still, longevity in all pets depends heavily on a few factors, including breed, size, genetics, and, of course, how well you take care of her.

Knowing in advance which pups live the longest can help you choose the right one for your family and manage your specific animal's health conditions. We'll cover the longest-living dog breeds and how to best keep your dog happy and healthy for as long as possible.
How long do dogs live?

Read more
6 easy DIY dog treats anyone could make
Making treats at home can help keep your pup healthy
A Poodle mix dog licks their lips and looks up

When it comes to your fur baby, only the best passes the test. You want to make sure you’re feeding your pet the safest, most trustworthy ingredients, and is there anyone you trust more than yourself?
If you’ve ever wondered how to make dog treats, a simple recipe is a great place to start. These DIY dog treats are made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, so all you’ll need is some dedicated time. Don’t forget to call your four-legged sous-chef for taste testing! She'll be happy to oblige, we're sure. Here are six easy DIY dog treats anyone can make.

What are the most high-value treats for dogs?

Read more