Cheetahs are so shy that zoos give them their own emotional “support dogs” to help them.

They aren’t likely to be sensitive since they are some of the fastest animals on Earth and one of the most dangerous ones. But that’s how cheetahs are, as well. Because they get so stressed and anxious, they can’t even talk to each other or have children. That’s why these cats need help. And the perfect answer came from a very surprising source.

After studying their behavior, it was clear that they needed help. So now zookeepers are giving them their own dogs to help them deal with their emotions.

Jack Grisham, vice president of animal collections at the St. Louis Zoo and a cheetah species survival plan coordinator in North America, said it was a love story between two species that helped each other stay alive.

African animals are naturally shy, and you can’t breed that out of them, says Janet Rose-Hinostroza, an animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “A dominant dog is very important because the African animals are naturally shy, and you can’t breed that out of them.” As soon as you put the cub with the guide dog, the cat looks to the animal for help and learns to copy them. It’s about getting them to pick up on that calm, happy-go-lucky vibe from the dog, making them more confident and willing to have sex.

That’s right, cheetahs, learn from the dogs, and have babies!

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