Photo feature: Little children and their big dogs

Reader's Digest Editors

Matthew talks to his big friend Misha, a Saint Bernard

In his work photographing dog shows in Russia and across Europe, Andy Seliverstoff has access to many gorgeous dogs, including rare breeds. He says he’s learned that these dogs “aren’t just beautiful on the outside; they have amazing temperaments, and in particular the large and giant breeds have an innate gentleness that truly belies their stature.”

Alice with Sean, her Great Dane

His interest was sparked when friends asked him to photograph their two-year-old daughter. “They showed up at the park with their Great Dane in tow,” he says.

Arthur and his friend Zeus, a Komondor

The St. Petersburg-based photographer was “blown away by the relationship between tiny Alice and gigantic Sean,” he says. He decided to incorporate the dog into the shoot.

Alexandra finds a willing model in her Great Dane, Zarmina

Next came a photo session with a little boy named Theodore and Ringo the Newfoundland. “As with Alice and Sean, these photos touched me deeply,” he says. The images captured the special bond between children and dogs. “It’s a connection that doesn’t need words. Love, compassion, joy, trust, honesty and acceptance, to name a few, infuse the relationship. You can see it in their gestures, in their faces.” Posting the photos on Facebook, he found many agreed.

Theodore with Ringo, a Newfoundland

In his 2017 book, Little Kids and Their Big Dogs, from which the photos shown here are taken, Seliverstoff aimed to capture and transmit the state of endless joy and mutual confidence between the children and the animals. The one big message, he says, is this: “Love for dogs and children makes people kinder.”

Jay the Ridgeback dances at Dasha’s command

Little Kids and Their Big Dogs is available from amazon.co.uk