What is the two most important things for a Top Dog Model to know, according to me?
- Love the camera
- Stay in position
I train both these things! And I´m going to tell you how.
One click one reward
Many dogs seems to be uncomfortable in front of a camera. They look away. They leave. How can you change that?
It’s easy. Make sessions with the camera mean FREE REWARDS for your dog! Every time you click with the camera, give your dog a treat (or a toy, depending on what your dog likes best). You don’t even have to point the camera at your dog the first times – some dogs are reactive to the shuttersound and needs to associate it with food. When your dog looks “hungry” when you click the camera, put it up to your face. This is another thing some dogs find scary, but since they already know the sound they will soon make the connection “camera = click sound = treat”. They don’t have to do anything, it’s free food! Heaven!
When your dog willingly looks at you and anticipates the sound of the shutter, you can start directing the dog. You click the camera when the dog is where you want it (obviously, to take picture), and get this – since the dog likes the sound (it means treats), it will get rewarded for doing exactly what you want it to do – pose in front of the camera!
Stay in position
I teach all my dogs to stay in position, because it´s really handy. When it comes to photographing it’s essential that the training is positive for the dog! If we correct the dog with hard words or punishment the dog will loose it’s nice attitude and look sad in the photos. You don’t want that – you want photos of a happy dog!
A wonderful trainer named Emily Larlham has made a step by step video on how to teach Stay and keep a happy dog. Watch it!
When your dog can stay in one position – teach it others as well. This will really help to get nice photos!
Did you find these tips useful? Do you want a free PDF with my “Five steps to better dog photos”?
Coming up: are you stuck in automatic mode? Let me give you a few pointers to help you take control of your camera!