The mother of a golden retriever puppy instantly leapt into a swimming pool to save her distressed pup, which appeared to have been thrown into a backyard swimming pool.

Mum swam to the rescue, supporting her pup above the water with her snout.

At the edge of the water but unable to reach its little paws out, the pup’s mother climbed out and grabbed it by its scruff.

However, the lifeguard dog saw the opportunity to teach the little ‘un a lesson, pulling the puppy around for nearly 10 seconds before coming to a stop and letting go.

The whole episode was captured on video, and since being posted to YouTube, has had 120,000 hits.

Some viewers cooed, others condemned the cameraman for doing nothing to help.

YouTube user PrincessLorie wrote: “Disgusting owner trying to get their 15 min. of fame by endangering poor, helpless animals.”

Others defended their actions, and offered some reasoning.

“This is how we trained our K-9 German Shepherds to swim and rescue,” Inventour1 wrote.

“We would toss them into the pool or ocean and let them figure it out. Dogs are tough and they can handle a little water now and then.”