What are the best dog tricks for photos

By Kelly Loeffler | April 11, 2023 | Dog friendly, Minnesota, Pet Photography, Pet Photography Tips


Have you ever wondered what the best dog tricks for photos would be.

Heres a comprehensive list from a pet photographer whose been doing this for awhile!

please know your dog doesn’t need to have any tricks learned to still have a successful photo session, The more they know the smoother it can be and the more unique the poses we can obtain!

The 3 basics

If you were only able to teach your dog to things (or brush up on) two things before your session I always recommend SIT and STAY

next up I would recommend LAY DOWN. it just adds another layer of posing to your session

If you dog has those 3 things down now is the time to teach other fun tricks that can be nice to have in your back pocket for photos.

Just for fun dog tricks for photos

Has your dog mastered the above 3 tricks and you want them to learn something fun for photos? here are a few tricks that I always enjoy seeing at sessions. I recommend learning one and at a time and really getting it down before trying to teach another. Also at any given session we might only utilize 2-3 different tricks so no need to try and teach everyone.

Shake or Paw is always a favorite for pictures of one dog with one dog parent, its great way to show connection

Sit Pretty who doesnt love when a dog sits up on this hind legs for a photo

UP getting them comfortable jumping up onto things like benches, logs, rocks etc is always more ideal then picking them up onto objects

High Five whether thats one paw to two on hind legs, sitting or standing. Its always a cute action shot

Paws up is great for posing with just the front paws on a rock or propped up on a tree branch. You can even teach them paws up on your shoulders, You can be standing or sitting depending on your dogs height

OVER can be fun for getting a dog to jump over an object when out and about. Gotta love action shots!

CATCH capture action shots of dogs catching items or food is always a treat (pun intended)

WATCH ME Its so cute to get a picture of pups looking up at their parents. so teaching some type of watch me command is a helpful tool for that

Its not so much a trick but getting dogs used to being held or stand/sitting while you hold their paws is another great added pose to have at any session. For example at sunflower fields the flowers are very high and often times its easier to bring the dogs to the flowers than the flowers to the dogs.

Getting them comfortable with their paws being touched or having their paw on your hand can make for ease in getting those photos of close ups of your hands with their paws.

A little extra dog tricks for photos

Were all a little extra when it comes to our dogs aren’t we? So why not be a little extra then it comes to teaching a cute trick. These are for the tricksters and dog models out there!

Leaving an object on their paw or nose. This can be fun to showcase an engagement ring, or a small sentimental object

Noise boop Getting your dog to sit nose to nose with you is an adorable and intimate moment

Middle Getting your dog comforable standing between your legs can be a good trick for safety out and about but also is an fun trick for photos.

Chin – get your dog to not only lay down but to also lay their chin onto the ground or their paws

Paws crosses– having them laying down with one paw over the other is next level dapper in my opinion

Hug – getting your dog to hug you or another dog is adorable and unique.

Give a kiss – teaching your dog to kiss on demand is a fun interacting between human and fur baby 

HOLD IT – giving your dog something to hold in their mouth can make for an adorable photo. A rose, a toy whatever safe item you can think of.

Selfie I just saw this one recently. Teach your dog to come behind you and put their face near yours as if you were taking a selfie with them! Totally a new favorite of mine to capture!

Remember 90% of the time the photos we get are of your dog being a dog, showing their personality and enjoying life. But having some basic tricks in your back pocket can be great. And having a few extra tricks up your sleeve can add a uniqueness to your session. Also remember just because your dog knows a trick doesn’t mean they’ll perform under pressure, so keeping expectations low is always my advice so you don’t stress which can often stress out your pup who just wants to please you.

Just have fun with it! Have a trick that I didnt list above. Tag me in a picture on instagram! I’d love to see it. below are some of the