The holidays are nearly upon us, and that means it's time for one of our favorite traditions of the year -- we're talking, of course, about the famed holiday photo! With everyone snuggled up in their holiday finest, it's time for the family to pose for that end-of-year-picture -- four-legged family members included.
But we all know how hard it is to get a frantic dog to pose for a picture. How do we get a good pic of our pups without the dreaded torpedo blur ruining our festive theme?
Luckily, the Frenchie team has a surefire method for keeping our furry friends in line -- it's how we get such great photos of our top models like Leo himself!
Here's our method for posing pups for the best photos ever:
1. Start with the sit.
Posed dog photos are built on a very simple foundation: Sit. "Sit" is one of the first commands most puppies know, and one of the easiest to teach because it's a movement our dogs do naturally. When training dogs to pose for pictures, relying on this foundation is the best way to get started. Practice "Sit" until your pup knows how to do it at a moment's notice -- and is willing to sit still long enough to get rewarded.
2. Practice "Look at me!"
The next phase of the process involves keeping your dog's attention where you want it at all times. This is usually a skill our dogs pick up in puppy obedience classes, but it can be tough to perfect because dogs don't like to be stared at. Have you ever noticed that if you try to meet your dog's eye, she glances away? That's because large "eyes" are a natural stressor for dogs -- which can be unfortunate when you want them to look in a camera lens. Two good methods to keep your pup from being "camera shy" are to get them used to the camera itself (super simple if you usually snap pics on your phone) and practicing holding your dog's attention with a command. This could be something like "Look at me!" and pointing to your face, to get your pup to focus on you. Practice this skill so you can give the command from behind the lens!
3. Stay calm.
We all know dogs are ready to party at any time. That means they feed into our excitement -- and our frustration. Staying calm, and treating the photo interaction like any other "trick," is the best way to get your pup to stay still for the photographer. If you get frustrated, take a break! Give your dog the belly rubs she deserves after a long modeling session.
4. Practice makes perfect.
Building out a puppy's photo skills involves a lot of moving parts (including that wagging tail). Once your dog has the basics, practice, practice, and practice some more. We all need NO excuses to take tons of pictures of our dogs, but the best way to get better photos is to practice the modeling "trick" as often as possible.
5. Bust out the treats -- in moderation.
Sometimes, it's just time to bust out the peanut butter. If your dog is food or toy-motivated, a good way to get your dog to stay still for photos is to offer some kind of incentive while they stay still. An easy way to keep your pup's attention on your phone is to attach a treat to it -- use a hair tie or a piece of tape to secure your pup's favorite treat to your phone case, and you can bet she'll stare at that camera with laser focus until the world ends.
6. Know when to take a break.
Dogs may be model citizens, but they're not the most experienced of models. Just like all other forms of training, it's important to stay patient and know that dogs may need more breaks than we do. They're not going to "get it" right away, and the worst thing we can do is make them more frustrated. That turns "picture time" into an unpleasant experience -- one that they'll remember for all the wrong reasons.
The best part of taking dog pictures (and trust us, we've taken a LOT) is that often, the photos you weren't planning on are the ones that turn out the best. This holiday season, go with the flow, and enjoy the photos of your furry best friend (and his super-stylish hoodie) for years to come!
And as always, share your photos with us on Instagram! You can find us @frenchie_bulldog.