There's something heart-melting about a huge dog snuggling and romping with a tiny child. The special bond between mega-sized dogs and their pint-sized companions is a relationship of interesting proportions.
Russian photographer Andy Seliverstoff is known for capturing towering Great Danes, Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands as they play with their more diminutive human best friends. His photos were such a hit on Instagram and Facebook that he published them in a book. "Little Kids and Their Big Dogs" (Revodana Publishing, 2017) is a collection of dozens of images of massive, beautiful show dogs and the small children who obviously adore them.
Seliverstoff first captured one of these uncanny kiddie-canine relationships when his friends asked him to photograph their 2-year-old daughter and brought their Great Dane along with them.
"I was blown away by the relationship between little Alice and gigantic Sean, so I decided to incorporate him into the shoot," Seliverstoff says. (That's Alice and Sean in the photo above.)
"Next came a photo shoot with a little boy named Theodore and Ringo the Newfoundland," Seliverstoff says. "As with Alice and Sean, those photos touched me deeply. When I posted them on Facebook, I discovered that lots of other people felt that way, too."
There was obviously something very appealing about the images. In just one day, Seliverstoff logged a half-million visits to his site and his Instagram surged to more than 40,000 followers. People couldn't get enough of the tots and their frolicking four-legged BFFs.
Seliverstoff says he was pleased — but not that shocked that people enjoyed the images.
"I knew how they impacted me, so I wasn't too surprised to find they also resonated with others."
There's more to the appeal than beautiful dogs, cute children and gorgeous photography.
Seliverstoff thinks the attraction may be much deeper.
"These images of kids and dogs are idyllic and transport us from our daily reality, which is often inundated with conflict and uncertainty," he says. "The connection we have with children and dogs reconnects us with everything we're craving these days, in particular innocence."
Because Seliverstoff works as a professional dog photographer, all the dogs featured in the book are show dogs. He has worked at some of the largest and most prestigious canine events in Russia and across Europe. But in photographing the dogs and their children in more casual environments, he made the same observation while watching them interact.
"I couldn't help but notice the state of endless joy and mutual confidence," he says.
Seliverstoff photographed some interesting and rare dogs, but admits he has a favorite.
"They were all a joy. There are photographs of little-known breeds such as the Komondor, the Bracco Italiano (above) and the Moscow watchdog, which are rare but gorgeous," he says. "My favorite, though, would have to be Great Danes. They just touch me, and I can't get enough of photographing them!"