It's that time of year again when family and friends get together to send out photo holiday cards. But what's a card without a picture of your furry family member?
If you're struggling to get your dog to sit and smile for the camera, don't worry - we've got you covered! In this blog post, we will list the steps on how to get your dog to pose perfectly for those holiday photos before you call on a professional photographer.
Let's get started!
What is the best way on how to get your dog to pose?
In short, the best way to get your dog to pose is by using treats but what we're going to do is teach your dog the basic commands; It's boot camp for your pup. Dogs are highly food motivated, so using treats as a form of positive reinforcement is a great way to train them to do anything - including posing for photos!
The best shot of most dogs come from creating a fun atmosphere, having their favorite toy around, and making it feel like play time; ultimately making the dog comfortable to capture the adorable photos. Any person can do this so get the treat jar out, and turn up the atmosphere to fun as we're about to get your pet to sit.
Step 1 - Training & getting your dog's attention
The first step is to train your dog to sit and wait on command. This is a basic obedience command that will be essential to reach the goal of the perfect photos.How To
Start by getting your dog's attention by holding treats under the dog's nose. Then reward your dog with treats every time they sit on command, this will also help you get the dog's attention. You know what your dog loves so lean into that!
You can also practice this while the dog is on a leash during their walks; though make sure you reward your pooch each time with a treat. You should also stand when giving a command so the dog know who is in control.
A-Pro tip when you teach your dog to sit, make eye contact to stop your pet from getting distracted! Distraction is the element that is going to be the challenge here but with a treat or two, we can solve this quickly.
It sounds easy but "sit and wait" is the hardest thing to master for humans but it is the key to posing and getting that adorable short.
You should also think about using a 'word' to help in the training too so when the dogs hear it they know what to expect. Once the dog have mastered this, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2 - Adjusting To The Camera & Your Dog's Personality
The second step is to get your pet used to being in front of the camera and the action of taking photos. This is important because you don't want your dog to be scared or nervous when it's time to take the photo, again make this fun for your pup.
Start by taking photos of your dog while they are relaxing or playing. In the beginning, it doesn't matter what shots you get or if they don't look at the camera. You can use this time to help you understand your dog and its reaction.
Continue using your training commands, rewards, and a toy, in making sure you've mastered the reliable stay.Once the dog is comfortable with the camera, you can move on to the next step.
Keep the positive reinforcement here with a treat to stop the distraction. While there aren't any wrong things you can do, never trick your pet or not give them a treat for being well behaved. This will lose trust with your pup.
Step 3 - Repetition, Positions, and Taking Photos
The third step is to practice taking the best shots of your dog in different positions so you have different photos to choose from at the end. This will help you get to capture the perfect shot of your dog when it's time to take the actual photo.
At this point, you shouldn't need the leash as your pets sitting game should be strong! The dog knows they get a reward of a treat which will make sitting and posing a bit easier. Also, use this time to work out the camera settings for the best photo.
Start by taking some pictures of your dog sitting down, standing up, and lying down. Remember you're not trying to capture the perfect shot, it's still about close form contact with the camera, the lens, and even the flash at this point.
Some of the best photos are when you have your pet's attention, and the dog's eyes are looking at the camera lens. Once you have a few good shots you'll know your training is paying off - you're almost master of the dogs at this point. Once you feel comfortable, you can move on to the next step.
Step 4 - Show Time
The fourth and final step is to take the picture!
Make sure to keep giving a treat on good behavior so keep them on hand. This will help keep your dogs attention focused on the camera. Once you have the perfect shot, all that's left to do is send out those holiday cards!
This is the most important step because you want your family and friends to see how cute your dog is! Make sure to include a personal message with the photo so they know how much you love them.
Step 6 - BONUS - Responsible Dog Owner
Not only do you have the perfect shot, but you're a responsible owner by having just taught your dog the basic commands - well done.
It won't matter if your dog is with your friend or another person, they'll remember what's needed from them, even when they're on the leash during walks.
While the training is officially over, don't forget to still use a treat or two when your pup is showing off their skills to continue to teach your dog that what they're doing is a good thing!
In summary, the best way to teach your dog is to use treats as a form of positive reinforcement and keeping it fun. Start by training your dog to sit on command and get them comfortable with the camera. Make sure you use eye contact with your dog, practice practice practice for both you and your dog to get those perfect photos. Both of you will be a pro in no time at all :)
Also while we do talk a lot about dogs, the same method applies to a cat or any other pet. The trick is overcoming the fact that the dog will get easily distracted although that said, a cat tends to be more responsive... once you get over their attitude ;)
Do you have any tips on how to get your dog to pose for photos? what are your favorite treats to use? Have you trained another pet and got the perfect photos? Let us know in the comments below!
We hope these steps help you get the perfect photo of your furry friend! Happy holidays!