Posing Dogs


Kavi Posing on Snow Bank

Getting good photos of children, dogs and other animals is part luck, part being ready and part taking lots of photos to choose the best from. There is one other trick: cheat and train them. I use all methods available.

For the photo above of Kavi I simply told him “Up” on the snow bank by the kitchen window, “Sit” and “Pose”. “Pose” is one of the words I teach for just this situation. It has no actual working function unlike “Pig Out”, “Load the Pigs”, “Hold” or such. I’ve been doing that command since Coy, our original livestock guardian and herding dog. He quickly figured it out, smart boy that he was.

The dogs know it has something to do with that little box I hold in my hands. Ever since I’ve had a digital camera I’ve shown them the resulting photos on the camera display but I have my doubts as to whether they can see the images clearly or not. What matters is they know that “Pose” means to present their best side, look alert, ears up and hold still. Training them a little saves film, er, I mean electrons.

Outdoors: 30°F/25°F Mix of sun & clouds, 10″ Snow
Farm House: 54°F/45°F
Tiny Cottage: 56°F/47°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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3 Responses to Posing Dogs

  1. farmwife says:

    Walter, what breed(s) make up your dogs?

    We raised Anatolians for years, but as every one knows — they tend to roam if not fenced. In 15 years, I’ve only had one that would stay home loose, and she is now 14 herself and deaf :( We lost our old border collie 2 days ago, and he was the only one we had that still guarded!

    Sooo….we are in a pickle. With the wolves literally at our door, we need a dog. I don’t want to have to pen the dog with the goats and worry about them escaping….though we own 500 acres and the dogs could roam thousands with no problem, the highway is just a few miles off.

    I have been toying with the idea of just finding a likely looking mutt — matter of fact, I found an ad in the paper for Border/German Shepherd pups, but I worry they may have too much prey drive…

  2. Farmwife, our pack is a mix of a pinch of German Shepherd, a pinch of Black Lab and a lot of other. They do roam, it is an age related thing starting about Kavi’s age and ending a few years later unless I train against it, which I do. They must be free and outdoors to do their jobs. I find that certain combinations of the dogs roam more than others so I rotate who’s doing what work to help prevent it.

    They do both livestock guardian work independently of us as well as herding both with us and by themselves. See these posts.

    They do have a high predator drive, prey drive as you call it. This gives them most excellent herding ability once it is sublimated and it gives them the territorial drives to kill off other predators who would threaten their livestock. Raising them around the livestock from birth is important. Training is important. Having other dogs to model the behaviors helps the young pups a lot. W

  3. LJB says:

    Speaking of dogs (dear canines, please forgive me), I picked up some of your Sugar Mountain hot dogs in Bradford. Thanks for the heads up and I’ll give my review after I’ve eaten some! *g*

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