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Often we see popping up on our social media news feeds images of young children, babies, and their dogs, in what is meant to be a ‘cute’ photo, but often the dog is exhibiting signs of stress. Sometimes these signs might be as subtle as a look-away, lip lick, or a lean away, and sometimes they can be more obvious from a stress yawn, wide eyes, dilated pupils, a shut mouth, and more.

There is nothing nicer than seeing the bond between a young child and the family dog develop – and capturing those special moments. So how can we stay safe and ensure the experience of having a photograph taken with our pet and child remains a positive and safe one? See my tips below which you can download, and watch my Coffee and Chat episode with multi-award winning photographer Ian Boichat from Origins Studios.

Top tips

Useful resources

To help hone your dog body language signs as well as help children better understand the different signs of dog stress, watch the Stop the 77 video from the Family Dog, which includes multiple ‘stock’ images highlighting various stress signals.

For further support from child-dog specific organisations, see Kids Around Dogs, and Pooch Parenting.

If you’re looking for training and behaviour support, then you can find a practitioner via the Register on the Animal Behaviour and Training Council’s website. And, if you would like to engage the services of a professional photographer, then check out The Master Photographers Association website.

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