Children and dogs, it's a touchy subject. One that most all in the dog world feel very conflicted about. I remember as a child my animals, dogs included, were by far my best friends. I had several breeds that were "known" to potentially be bad matches with children. Some might say I got lucky or that I just had really good dogs, and perhaps that was it but what I also had was good parenting. A mother and father that could read their animals well and teach their child how to be appropriate.
Now, we see tons of pictures these days of dogs clearly expressing stress or discomfort when a child is riding them or being inappropriate in some way. In the picture below, that I received from a client, you see an adolescent Mastiff with a toddler curled up taking their nap together. I'm sure some would say it may be inappropriate. It struck me that so often all I see now are the bad pictures and that perhaps, people are hesitant to post pictures with their children and their dogs these days.
It also was a reminder that there is ALWAYS gray area. There are those animals out there that seem to have that something special with a kid. This is one of those pictures. I've seen them together and that little girl is "his person". As someone who has cringed at as many youtube videos and meme's as I'm sure everyone else has, along with fellow trainers who are constantly gritting their teeth when watching clients dogs and children interact... the other side of the hill still exists. Know your dog.
Good parents still exist, children loving dogs are still around, and everything should be interpreted on a case by case basis. A picture or a video clip doesn't tell the whole story. This story with this picture is of a little girl and her dog that is every bit the dog he appears to be in the picture