Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday showed his softer side, kissing and cuddling a new furry friend named Verny.

The Russian leader and famous dog lover was given a top breed puppy by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov as a belated birthday present during talks in Sochi. Putin turns 65 on October 7.

“We have a mutual friend. This is a unique alabai dog breed in the world. And today I brought this little alabai,” Berdymukhamedov said, according to Reuters.

Verny, a Turkmen shepherd dog, means “faithful” in Russian.

Taking pictures with a cute puppy is nothing new for Putin, who frequently appears in staged pictures feeding a baby deer, frolicking in the snow with beautiful Bulgarian sheepdogs. hugs fluffy kittens while comforting disaster victims.

He also polishes his masculinity by publishing pictures and videos of himself assisting with polar bear research, hunting Siberian tigers, or riding — sometimes topless — across the tundra. far away from Russia.

This is the third time Putin has been given a dog. Previously, he received a shepherd dog named Buffy from the prime minister of Bulgaria and an Akita dog named Yume from a Japanese official, according to the Associated Press. Putin was also given horses and tigers.