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When you think of China and animals, the first thing to spring to mind is an adorable, large-bellied panda. And then you get a giant, silly grin, because pandas are just straight-up awesome with their black and white fur and ponderous-yet-fluffy way of walking.

Unfortunately, pandas are, obviously, not something most of us get to see every day, which has led many people to color their pets’ hair to be a bit more panda-rific. So, you might be thinking that the puppies pictured above had their fur colored for maximum cuteness–but you’d be wrong! These puppies were born with their panda camouflage!

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Shaojun Shi, the puppies’ owner who lives in Yancheng, Jiangsu, explained that a total of six puppies were born last month. Out of the six, he discovered that three of them were growing up to look just like pandas!

▼That right there, folks, is the smile of a man who understands the bliss of puppies.

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▼They look a bit confused…are they having an identity crisis??

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And one glimpse of a photo or video of the adorable pups will prove him right. With black circles around their eyes, black fur around their four legs, and white bellies, the young dogs really do look like baby pandas. According to Shi, the dogs’ mother is a local breed called a Chinese Rural dog and their father is a Pekinese. When the puppies were first born, apparently their black fur was more of an ash color–which you can still kind of see in the photos–but it grew black as they got older.

▼So much adorableness in this photo, our heads might explode.

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While many Internet commenters fell in love with the dogs, leaving squeals of “CUUUUUUUTE!” everywhere, others were more skeptical. To all the people claiming that these panda puppies were actually the result of a dye job, Shi had this to say: “There are some people asking if I didn’t just dye their fur. But I think that if I’d tried to do that, it wouldn’t have turned out this good.” Not exactly the best response we’ve ever heard, as we’re sure that a talented stylist could pull it off, but we’re convinced!

▼”Am I supposed to eat the bamboo or pee on it?? I’m so confused!”

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Fortunately, local media filed a video report of the puppies in action, so you can see the adorable little critters waddling around. But be aware that there’s a cuteness overload warning! Repeated viewings might leave you in a cute-atonic state!

Well, whether you think the dogs are naturally “panda puppies” or not, we guess you’ll just have to wait and see if it’s “just a phase” that they’ll grow out of. In the meantime, we’ll be over here going “Awwwwwwwwwww!”

Images: China News
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