Puppies are just about the cutest things to ever exist. The 9-week-old pug in the video below is no exception. In it, the adorable puppy comes face-to-face with her own image, for the very first time in her life.
Initially skeptical, she barks as she curiously taps the reflection with her paw. Her family watches in amusement as the pup tries to understand what she’s dealing with:
The energized puppy is unsurprisingly confused, though delighted that the reflection follows her wherever she goes. The cutest part is when the pug tries to outrun her reflection, clearly not understanding that she’s seeing is herself.
Which begs the question — do dogs actually comprehend the reflection they see in the mirror? Scientists who study animal cognition created a test in the 1970s to figure out whether dogs and animals such as elephants and chimpanzees possess self-awareness. It’s called the mirror self-recognition text. According to this test, dogs don’t really care about or comprehend the reflection they see in the mirror. Though they may appear to try to fight the reflection of the dog or play with it (as seen in the video), they don’t actually demonstrate that they understand that the two-dimensional animal they’re looking at is themselves. Animals that do, however, pass the test include dolphins, chimps and humpback whales.
Another extremely cute category of being? Babies! Have you ever watched the delight of a human baby as she or he smiles and laughs at her or his own reflection? They seem to get an absolute kick out of it! That said, according to research, babies don’t fully comprehend what they see when they look in the mirror until around 20-24 months.