Your nervous or reactive dog can ABSOLUTELY still have beautiful portraits whilst having a fun experience.
(All dogs pictured suffered with moderate-severe anxiety or reactivity at the time of their session)
Our discovery call ensures that we discuss all details of your dogs personality and we choose time and location wisely to ensure that their triggers will be kept to a minimum. This may mean heading out very early, to a remote location or waiting for a more appropriate season.
We spend time adjusting to the surroundings and our presence in the most appropriate way for their needs. This may include gradually introducing myself as a non threat via pre-arranged distant meets or completely ignoring your pooch and walking ahead of you and avoiding eye contact whilst they enjoy their sniffs.
You will need to bring someone familiar with you so that they can relay instructions between us or we can even use phones to explain instructions from a distance.
For dog-reactive pooches my assistant is always on the lookout on oncoming dogs and we pause the session to distract or remove ourselves from the area whilst they pass - locations will always include a space to decompress.
Should any of their body language suggest that they are getting distressed, we immediately take time to play games, scatter feed, and do things that will help them to relax again.
And if at any point it's too much, we end the session and try again another day - we never rush or pressure.
I provide a strong, long line so that we can still achieve action shots and allow them to enjoy freedom on their adventure whilst still being safe and having control at all times.
I use a long lens so that I can keep a distance from your pooch if needed and still achieve beautiful dreamy portraits without being in their triggering distance.
I work closely with dog trainers and behaviourists to keep up my knowledge of your dogs body language and actions. This ensures that I can help PREVENT situations from arising in the first place, and not just stop when they happen. This gives us lots more freedom to shoot and will always achieve the best and most varied results.
NOTE: Biker Girl Dog Trainer & Hound Solo dog behaviourist have been incredible mentors in my journey of understanding dog behaviour and I have them both to thank for success of my reactive dog sessions - I highly recommend both of these amazing women and their services if you are struggling with reactivity training.