Like humans, many animals have an ability to recognize their offspring. We say that only humans have highly developed reasoning powers and hence can think and act accordingly. But it is not absolutely true as some animals have some superior senses which excel a human being.
A dog has an excellent power of smell with which it helps man in many of his day-to-day life. This is the reason why we use Sniffer Dogs in investigation of crimes. There are many animals who take reasonable care of their offspring just as humans do. Animals where parental care is prevalent, it is important for the mother and her young ones to keep close contact so that they do not lose contact. They do this using the four basic senses Touch, Sight, Smell or Sound.
How do they recognize?
Mammals mainly recognize their young ones by smell, which is a common practice among Dogs, Sheep, Deer, Horse and Seal. Sheep mothers can recognize their offspring by Smell and ignore others. Some animals (mother) sniff their young ones as soon as they are born and the smell remains in her memory. She then easily locates her baby by sniffing all the young ones around until she finds her own.
Birds recognize their offspring by Sound. Each parent bird produces a special sound called as “Mother Call” which the baby recognizes immediately after hatching. Some other animals recognition is by touch where size and shape also matters in recognizing the offspring. Chickens recognize each other by sight. They don’t have the ability to recognize by smell.