Try a trigger word such as, “walk”, “drive” or a word they know that will peak their interest to get a lively look from them. Some dogs are too excitable for this though and you may have to leave a long lead on them and work with them a bit. The key to dogs learning is repetition so it may take a few times before you get them to stay just where you want them to. As for backgrounds it would be best to pick a background that suits the look of your pet. Puppies look best from a very low angle, up close, in long grass. Dropping to a lower angle can also make your older dog look a little more puppy like, especially when you get in close. The colour of your dog or cat, is important when it comes to the background, and the whole essence of a good photograph. A lightly coloured or even white coloured coat can often wash out against a white wall, so be mindful of the “blending issue”, where you pet can disappear into the background.
Soon you will discover that photographing pets – or dogs in particular – is not harder than photographing children or shooting family portraits. This is an ever-going field of photography that attracts many new and seasoned photographers alike.