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How to Take Photos of Dogs Who Won’t Sit Still

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Every dog deserves a great portrait. But it can be tricky when they refuse to sit still! After all, how are you supposed to take good photos when your pup is running around like a maniac?! Here are some tips from a professional pet photographer on how to take photos of dogs who won’t sit still.

Photo Tips For Dogs Who Can’t Sit Still

  • Tire them out first. 
    • After a bit of physical activity, your dog will naturally be willing to sit still and rest. Go with the flow. Don’t try and take stationary, calm photos when your dog is bursting with energy! 
  • Don’t give your dog an easy escape.
    • Find a spot with natural boundaries, such as a fence, or on a raised surface (like a chair or a bed) so it’s not super-easy (or super-tempting) for your dog to run off and do other things.
  • Be 100% ready to take the photo! 
    • Remember, you don’t need long – your dog only needs to sit still for a second, and that’s enough time to take their photo. Be ready for when that moment comes by having your camera fired up and ready to go.
  • Teach your dog commands like “sit” and “stay”. 
    • Shoutout to the dog trainers out there – these commands come in handy for a thousand different reasons, and photography is just one of them. Getting a solid grasp on them will make taking photos (and SO many other parts of daily life) easier! 
  • Take action photos instead! 
    • If this is a season in your dog’s life when they want to run around, let them! Embrace it and take action photos. Be true to who they are – and know that “sitting still” photos will get easier to take as your dog gets older.
  • Practice! 
    • There’s simply no better way to learn. Get out there and keep trying!

Give it a go!

Getting your dog to sit still can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be frustrating. Every dog is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Learn to work with their mood, energy level and personality. And when all else fails: use treats! 

Most importantly, have fun!   

Want more tips? Download this free guide to help your dog look at the camera! And check out Take Better Photos of Your Dog on Facebook and Instagram

If you enjoyed learning how to take better photos of your dog, be sure to check out our article on how to take better photos of your dog with your cell phone!

About the Author

Allison Shamrell is a dog mom to Bailey, a 12-year-old shepherd mix who wants to go for another walk right now please. She has been a professional pet photographer since 2010, and her studio is located in San Diego, CA.