How to Train Your Dog to Look at the Camera

As a dog owner with over 25 years of experience, I can attest that having a dog is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. The companionship and joy they bring is incomparable.

How to Train Your Dog to Look at the Camera

Pet owners often ask pet photographers how they get a dog to focus on the camera with amazing eye contact. This is because, this eye contact is something that makes the photo so lively and adorable. The emotion that such a photo would convey is truly incredible, which is precisely what many pet owners crave for.

So without further ado, let’s get you some tips that are apparently used by professional pet photographers to produce photos of dogs that leave viewer amazed.


Making different types of noises is almost an assured way of getting a response from your dog. However, you will have to try out quite a few different noises in order to figure out which one works the best with your dog. These noises would include a squawking noise made by children to a barking noise dogs tend to make.

It can obviously make you feel a little silly if there are many people around you where you’re practicing this, but once you find out what noise or noises help you get the right response from your dog, you will certainly find it to be totally worth it. In fact, the right kind of noise can even make your dog sport its typical curious look that you probably dream of capturing.

Besides the “noises” that we talked about, you can also consider words that your dog tends to associate with something positive. This, too, is obviously sure to get your dog interested as well as to get a response easily, while you’re ready with a camera to take the perfect shot.

You wouldn’t want to forget giving your dog what you promised by saying those words, though, as if you do, it may make him ignore those words the next time you say them to him.

Dog Toys

Not many dogs will be able to resist looking at their favorite toy with a curious or playful look on their face. And if that’s what you’re after, you can simply hold your dog’s favorite toy along with the camera while taking the photo.

Something worth noting here is that toys that are both visually attractive as well as can produce a curious sound are going to be your best bet. If you’re passionate about taking photos of your dog, and going to do it very often, you may as well want to consider getting a bunch of these toys.

A good alternative, though, can be something like the Isqueak app . It’s going to come in especially handy for those that tend to travel frequently with their dogs, as it would obviously be quite a hassle to carry a bunch of toys along while traveling.

Food Treats

Few dogs would be able to turn down an offer for a treat. And this is what makes treats a great tool to help you take that perfect shot.

There’s probably more than one way of using food treats here, and one of the more effective ones is using them to make your dog sit long enough to take a good picture. If you have tried taking photos of your dog in the past, you probably know that one of the most challenging things you come across in the process is making the dog be in the position you want him to long enough for you to be able to capture it properly with your camera.

However, using treats to make your dog sit in your desired position is going to take some practice. You simply need to get the dog’s attention by showing him the treat, and then asking him to sit if he wants to have it. But you wouldn’t want to give it to him immediately after he sits, as that won’t allow you to take a picture.

Instead, you would want him to sit and wait just a few seconds. Of course, it’s going to require quite a bit of patience, especially if you have a very active dog, as all he is going to do initially is jump around to get the treat.

Another simple trick to get and keep your pet’s attention is to simply let him sniff a treat and then hold it right beside the camera. If the treat is tempting enough for him, he will keep staring at it, easily allowing you to take the perfect shot you’re looking for.


Well, if you’re at a place like the park, there are going to be plenty of distractions to make things difficult for you and prevent you from taking a good photo. After all, dogs tend to be very curious, especially if there’s a lot of stuff happening around them.

However, there’s a little pet photography secret that you may not be aware of, but is actually the perfect solution in such a situation. Instead of trying to make your dog ignore the distractions, you should simply use them to your advantage.

What you can do is, simply get between the dog and the distraction that has caught his attention, while also having your camera with you, and you would immediately have an amazing shot waiting to be captured. This is because at that point, the dog will actually be looking right through you, and it probably can’t get any better for you if you want to take a great shot even in an environment full of distractions.

Photography Skills

Some dogs seem to hate things you hold in front of your eyes just as much as they hate fleas or worms. This is simply because they don’t feel comfortable when they are not able to see right into your eyes.

This is precisely when your photography skills can come in and get the job done for you. Basically, what you will need to do is pre-focus the camera on your dog and take it slightly off to one side, leaving your eyes clearly visible to your dog. This will help keep the dog engaged while you capture their look.

Of course, this is something that’s going to need some serious practice, and the chances of occasionally getting a photo with the focus being completely off cannot be ruled out as well, at least not until you get really good at it.

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