I love taking photos of Hugo and Holly! A lot of the time they’re sleeping or just doing something funny so those photos are fairly easy but getting them to pose is a different story!
Here’s my top 3 tips for encouraging your dog to look at the camera!
If your dog is a pug then this will work every time! That’s because pugs love food! Just remember to count the treats you use as part of their daily calorie intake!
The treats don’t have to be big, a tiny shred of chicken or a slice of cheese cut in to tiny pieces. Think half the size of your little finger nail or similar.
Show your dog you have the treat then ask them to sit and stay, then hold the treat by the camera lens and their eyes should follow. Click away, but not for too long or they’ll get bored! Remember to reward them with the treat when you’re done, that way they’ll be more inclined to do as you ask next time! If they look away just move the treat and then move it back! Practise this a few times in a row, rewarding each time and they’ll get the idea!
Food is great for getting them to look directly a the camera but if you want a quirky shot try making funny noises! Try it without your camera to start with, to see what reaction you get. We made different squeaks, meows and blew raspberries and then tried a squeaker from an old toy and a kazoo. I think you can even get an app that has noises on! We got lots of twisty heads, some surprised looks, a few where Holly ran into the garden looking for a cat and a very bemused look with the kazoo! My favourites were the twisty heads!
Teach them to ‘stay’
Holly knows she’ll get a treat if she stays when I ask her to and so long as you give them the treat when they do what you ask you’re on to a winner! Hugo is better at ‘stay’ than Holly but that’s probably because we had more 1-to-1 with Hugo. If you want to get really good at this then you have to work hard. Holly will stay put within about half a metre or so and for about 10 seconds but we’re working on building up the distance and the time.
Hugo is great at this, at obedience class we worked up to sit, down and stand ‘stay’ for over 2 minutes and we even managed an out of sight stay for about 90 seconds.
Start off asking them to sit and stay then take a single backwards step away from them for just one or two seconds then go back and reward them. We always use treats when starting something new as they really understand this as a reward but use whatever works for you, it could be 5 seconds tug time with a favourite toy as a reward. Once Holly gets good at a distance and time, she gets a ‘good girlie’ as a reward and then every 3rd time she gets a treat!
Build up your distance and time at your own pace. If you up the time and distance and they don’t stay just take it back down again and work on it a bit longer!
Stay is great for taking photos but for so many other things too! We’re currently teaching Hugo and Holly to sit and stay on a mat, three commands in one! We’ll keep you updated!
Let us know how you get on asking your dog to look at the camera and don’t forget to tag us in your photos on Instagram!