Tip of the Day – Directing the gaze
Whenever I’m using treats, I’m not just holding them there for the dog to look at. I am using them to direct their gaze, then I am rewarding them for looking at the treat (and my camera lens), by giving them the treat.
Many dogs, when fed treats, will often look at the person’s eyes rather than the treat. Rewarding them for looking at the treat instead, re-shapes this behaviour so that you will still be able to direct their gaze where you want it, even if your face is behind the camera.
In Baxter’s case, he tended to make eye contact with his mum Nicole rather than looking at the treat. Holding the treat near the camera conditioned him to look there instead, as he didn’t actually receive the treat until he looked at it.
Then it was up to us to reward him quickly and frequently to keep him interested and motivated.
Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, Canon EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L II @ 45mm, ISO 640, 1/800 sec, ƒ2.8
This daily tip is brought to you by Episode 9 of RealShoots – Baxter’s Split Session and is tip 2 from a 10 part series. To receive a new tip each day from this series direct to your email inbox, sign up below.
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