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Ashley Shell, a parent to a toddler named River, shared the heartwarming story of their Estrela mountain dog, Roman, who takes his role as a protective guardian to a new level.

In a video posted on TikTok (@von.jakoba), Roman is seen carefully watching over little River as she explores near their home. The large dog instinctively positions himself between River and any potential danger, gently guiding her back toward the safety of their house. The video quickly went viral, amassing over 2 million views and capturing the hearts of viewers worldwide.

Ashley Shell expressed her joy at Roman’s watchful nature, explaining how he naturally assumes the responsibility of ensuring River’s safety. “It makes me happy that he’s keeping a close eye on her and knows she isn’t supposed to get far away,” she shared with Newsweek.


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♬ Winnie the Pooh – Relaxing Piano Crew

The protective instincts displayed by Roman have resonated with social media users, who praise the dog’s gentle herding and guardianship. Many comments highlight the natural connection between Roman and River, with some users noting that Roman seems to be “always watching out” for his little sister.

Shell emphasized that Roman’s actions are not a trained trick but a demonstration of his innate instincts. As River embarks on her explorations, Roman subtly takes the lead, gently guiding her back whenever needed. This instinctive behavior has left many in awe of the strong bond between the toddler and her four-legged protector.

Beyond their protective roles, the dogs in the family, including five German shepherds, share a deep affection for River. The toddler, in turn, has learned to reciprocate this love by caring for her canine companions through activities like brushing, feeding, and giving treats.

We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shop. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!

Tiny Rescue Animal Collection
Tiny Rescue Animal Collection

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