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Tip of the Month

10/25/2010 How to Successfully Photograph Your Pets

As many dog owners will agree, dressing up your pooch on Halloween is one of the best parts of the spooky holiday. Whether it’s a pug in a taco costume, or a lab in a witch hat, a costume has the miraculous ability to make your pal at least ten times cuter than normal. So cute in fact that you would love nothing more than to snap a photo of him all dressed up; but as soon as you get the camera out, your hound heads for the hills!

When you put a foreign object between you and your dog, it is confusing and alien to him, and the natural reaction is to become wary of whatever it is. Of course, you do not want your camera to be your dog’s best friend either; or that expensive rubber lens could become his new chew toy. The goal is to come to a happy medium, where is not afraid, or overly affectionate to the camera.

Naturally, having your dog react with fear every time you want to take a picture can be extremely frustrating. The most important thing is to stay calm; getting angry with your pooch will not improve the situation. Camera shyness is extremely common in canines, but with some simple dog training techniques, you will be able to snap photos of your pet easily.

Building a bond of trust with your pooch is the first step towards making picture-taking easy. Make sure that he knows you are his best friend, and as a loving pet owner, that you have no intention of harming him will be greatly beneficial when it comes to taking photos. Even if you have not been to dog training school, this step has probably already been taken care of.

Dog trainers often agree that a basic foundation in dog obedience is a necessity, no matter what you plan to achieve with your dog. So, a standard sit-stay command is extremely helpful when it comes to photographing him. If he stays still during the picture, make sure to reward him with a lot of treats and attention afterwards, so that he acknowledges that staying still for the picture is a good thing.

If you happen to have your pal in a costume, and find him uncooperative in front of the camera, it may be the costume itself that is causing the problem. Start out by photographing him bare, and then move on to taking pictures of him with different pieces of the costume on. Some dogs just don’t like to be dressed up, but most of them get used to it after a while, and won’t mind having pictures taken of them, even if it is a little embarrassing!

Most importantly, be patient. With practice, patience, and plenty of love, your dog will soon come to understand and even enjoy a photo shoot every now and then.

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