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First Lady Michelle Obama reacts as Ashtyn Gardner, 2, loses her balance when she was greeting Sunny, one of the presidential dogs, as children of military families participate in a holiday arts and crafts event in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington. Picture: AP

US President Barack Obama's dog has melted hearts after a minor run-in with a toddler during a Christmas celebration at the White House.

The Obama family's Portuguese water dog, named Sunny, is seen excitedly nudging two-year-old Ashtyn Gardner while being led around the White House on a leash by First Lady Michelle Obama.

In a video posted online by The Huffington Post, the little girl is seen losing her balance before being helped to her feet by the First Lady.

Sunny nudges and licks Ashtyn's face to a chorus of sighs from onlookers.

The Huffington Post reports the First Lady was unveiling the White House's Christmas trimmings with the families of military service members.