Your dog is sitting there, posing in the most adorable way. You get your camera or phone out to capture the moment, and then your dog moves as soon as you take the picture. Sometimes it seems like your dog knows his picture is being taken. So how can you get the perfect picture of your dog?
Dogs turn away from the camera
Have you ever noticed how dogs become uncomfortable when they’re hugged? Some try to wriggle free, some turn away, and others just put up with it. Dogs don’t usually like to be hugged because it’s seen by them as a way of asserting dominance. This can be intimidating to dogs. So what does this have to do with cameras? Cameras can come across as a bit intimidating to dogs. Humans are more accustomed to seeing cameras than are dogs, so cameras can appear as foreign objects and can make your dog suspicious or uncomfortable. Have you ever stared at your dog and they turned away, or maybe they started to pant, yawn, or just act uncomfortable? A camera comes across to them in the same way. The difference between your staring and the camera "staring" is that a camera is a foreign object to your dog. Not only do is this big thing staring at them, but it's also making unfamiliar noises. Zooming, shutter sounds, even powering on a camera all make noise. Cameras also make noises that may be too high for humans to hear, but a dog's hearing is more acute. Then there’s the flash on the camera. A blinding light that shines right in your dog’s face? Scary, right? So, what do you do if you want to get a few snaps of your dog?
How to get the perfect picture
Your dog picture is probably the cutest dog in the world, right? You want to capture those moments. So, how do you get the best picture without making him feel uncomfortable? Introducing a camera at a young age is an easy way of acclimating your dog to having his picture taken. Treats go a long way when taking pictures, too. Just like using treats to teach a dog to sit, treats are used as a job well done when introducing a camera and when taking pictures. Your dog will begin to associate your camera with treats. Pick up the camera, toss a treat, put down the camera. Repeat this a few times to build that association. You can slowly start introducing raising the camera once your dog becomes familiar with the camera. Watch your dog’s expressions and body language when you start raising the camera. Don’t force your dog to move too fast when building their trust. Your body language and voice will help also. Dogs are incredibly perceptive. If you’re uncomfortable, then they’ll be uncomfortable, too. Your dog looks to you for reassurance. If you’re calm and happy and you let them know this is a fun situation, then they’ll feel that, too.
Not every dog enjoys having her picture taken. It’s important to work with your dog and reassure her that all is going to be okay. Dogs notice a change in body language, voice, and overall mood. Remember to stay positive throughout the experience to ease your dog. Everyone loves cute pictures of their dogs. Never force your dog to take pictures but instead help her and encourage her. Now go take that priceless selfie with your dog!