My daughter Madina and my Malinois Jager became best of friends during the last year or so. When she was smaller, she would often feel jealous because I spent quite a lot of time with the dog, too. Besides, she could not really do much with him - he was too strong for her to play with. Of course Jager was always extra careful with her, because we explained to him in a very persuasive way that he should not hurt the human child, but that meant they would not play - he would prefer to keep away. Now they weight about the same - Jager being much stronger of course, but still, it is easier now for them to interact. They play games - for instance, Madina hides toys for him to seek. She is also now very skilful in petting him - she used to be somewhat clumsy before.
All in all, I am very happy about how they go together - my 8 years' old daughter and my 4 years' old Malinois from a working kennel in the Netherlands, a very serious dog who can be quite dangerous and make great harm to a person (which is basically what he is bred for - protection work). We did our best to ensure they both understand how to treat each other and have a clear hierarchy - the human child is more important and is never to be harmed. So, now they are a great team, but I always keep an eye on them to ensure safety. I do not leave them alone if I leave home and put the dog into the crate, just in case; this is not even so much because I do not trust the dog, but who knows what the child might invent while I am not looking?
These are just some thoughts which came to my mind while I was looking for an appropriate photo for the New Year Wishes. So, now come the wishes!
Happy New Year to everyone! Wishing you peace, love, great health, prosperity, cool adventures and lots of fun! Take a good care of yourself, your family and pets, and enjoy life!