Every new parent loves to share photos of their precious baby!!  Why not….nothing is cuter than YOUR baby or Grandbaby!  Right!?!   There are some photos of babies that cause me concern and even make me cringe.  These are photos where the baby is accompanied by a very uncomfortable family dog.    A recent photo of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and their dog Lupa in a window is an example of a photo opportunity where the dog is not impressed.  Prince George is excited by Lupa being there but Lupa is not sharing the enthusiasm.

What do we see in this image with Prince George and Lupa?

Hard eyes, tight mouth, ears back, tight posture leaned back straight.  There is no escape potential from the jolly happy leaning forward Prince George.  This is an uncomfortable moment captured.

Have you ever tried getting a family portrait?  What about with kids and dogs?  It is not easy and often everyone looks stressed!  Everyone is close together confined in an unnatural way that often makes kids cranky and dogs uncomfortable.

Here are some tips!

  1. Have an adult in between dog and baby.   Baby on lap and dog on floor.
  2. Take breaks!  It is hard to be posed and still for long stretches.
  3. Always be mindful of your dog’s body language.
  4. Parents will be a bit stressed trying to get all the pieces to work together…. give yourselves plenty of time!  Breathe!
  5. Give your child a prop to hold in their busy hands.
  6. Parents need to pay attention to what their dog and baby are doing especially being this close and confined.
  7. If the dog and/or baby are uncomfortable it will show.

We love to see harmony!   Seeing everyone in one image close together gives a general sense of “harmony.”  But…if you take a closer look at these photos you will often see that the adults smile as expected and dogs and babies are natural and show the true feelings in the moment.

Let’s set all up for success by allowing