My Dog Won’t Sit Still

One of the most frequent comments I get from people regarding my animal photography is “my dog won’t sit still. I could never have a photo session with him.”

I promise you that I have worked with all different types of dogs. I have worked with shelter dogs for a more than 6 years and have encountered dogs that are rambunctious, hyper and untrained dogs all the time. In addition, I have worked with dogs that are fearful of the camera and had successful images with all.

Leashes to the Rescue

Would you be surprised if I told you that most of the dogs you see on my website were wearing leashes during our session? That’s right. My little secret with untrained dogs is to keep them on leash. After all safety is my number one concern. This is one place where my training in the post production of images comes in handy. With a little delicate work in photoshop, that leash you were holding disappears from sight and no one would never know you were there holding the leash. You were hoping for actions shots? No problem, We can use a longer lead for those.

While photoshop is very useful, it does have it’s limitations. Harnesses can hide so much of the dog’s chest that it’s very challenging to accurately rebuild that area in post-production. Gentle leaders can pull the the dog’s skin or leave shadows which can also be a challenge to remove. If your dog needs these, let me know so that we can discuss secure locations.

Noises to the Rescue

“While keeping the dog on leash can help with keeping my dog in one place, he is still squirmy and won’t look where I want him too!”

That’s where my noise makers come in handy. Your goal in this session is to be relaxed and enjoy your time with your dog. I have number of unique sound I can use to get your dog’s attention even for a split second.

Toys and treats to the Rescue

Does your dog have a favorite toy? Holding the toy or throwing a ball may help relax your dog and get some of the most natural and familiar poses your dog will strike.

Treats can be used to get your dogs attention. Once the treats come out, your dog may become totally fixated on the food. So these are used as the last resort, and at the end of the session. Of course he will get a lot of treats and loving once the session is done.

It’s an International circle!

Join the fun! This group of International Professional Pet Photographers bring you information on our weekly topics. While we focus on one broad subject, we may each have a different spin on it or provide you with additional information from our world of pet photography. Follow the next link to view how the next amazing photographer tackles this weeks challenge.  Follow each link at the end of each blog until you return to me. Then you have successfully completed our blog circle. Enjoy!

+++++ NOW head over to:

Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography in Dallas – Fort Worth, TX, photographs more than just dogs and talks about why you shouldn’t wait to schedule a pet portrait session.




Come and find your Best Friend!

Second Chance has a unique program near Syracuse N.Y. where inmates train the rescued dogs. This program gives both the dogs and the inmates a second chance in life.  Appointments currently required related to Covid-19 protocols.

Meet Tessa!

Despite this girls bigger than life personality, this affectionate and curious girl is a pint sized cutie. She is friendly smart and playful. She would like a home free of cats.

Please contact Friends of Second Chance.

Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078
315-435-5584

Jamesville Second Chance


Capture your journey with your pet. Nancy Kieffer is a Certified Professional Pet, Equine and Nature Photographer Through Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Nancy serves Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond.  Capture how you share your life with your pet! It may be a vacation adventure or curled up on the couch with you. Travel assignments welcomed.

2 Comments

  1. Cahlean on May 16, 2022 at 8:22 am

    A great explanation on how you are able to get dogs to sit still – leashes & noisemakers for the superstar “off leash” & sitting still dog!



  2. Carol Mudra on May 16, 2022 at 4:59 am

    Tessa is the cutest! And I have to admit, using sound effects is my favorite…especially if it brings out a good head-tilt!