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How To Make Your Pup Smile For The Camera

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I take A TON of photos of my client’s dogs and of course our own dogs. And almost all of them will turn their head, lick their lips, yawn, clearly indicating they are not comfortable with the photo session.

The last thing I want to do is for any dog to become nervous whenever I whip out the camera or phone to take their photo.

After a lot of research, below are several suggestions I have tried and have worked well for me when taking photos.

  • Let your pup check out the camera or phone when not in use. As they come close, reward them with a tasty treat. Use a happy voice as they check it out. Let them sniff the camera on their terms and reward them each time they get close.
  • Make sure to turn off any sounds your camera makes and the flash!
  • The lens of a camera kinda looks like an eye and dogs really do not like to be starred at and could be a reason they turn their head.
  • TREATS! Always have treats handy in case this helps your pup to look at you as you snap a quick photo.
  • Get down to their level to make them feel more comfortable when taking photos.
  • Have your pup’s favorite squeaky toy to get their attention.
  • When using a treat, use it in a way that is rewarding. For example if your camera makes a clicking sound, reward immedialtey with a treat and do this several times so they associate the clicking with getting a treat.
  • Have them sit or do a trick for a treat before taking a photo.
  • Take the treat and raise it up and down to get their attention and reward them as you will most often take photos standing.
  • Always pay attention to their body language and be mindful of how they feel before taking pictures. If your dog turns their head, lick their lips, yawn, these are signs your pup is uncomfortable.


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