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People catch their dogs smiling quite often. But they're not quite sure why this is happening.

It's true, that some dogs have a "natural smile" and always seem to be snikering at something very funny.

Is it us?

They'll never tell!

But for the most part, getting your dog to smile is not hard at all and takes just a little bit of effort.

The act of smiling can be created in 3 ways.

1. The first, is to set up a state of excitement. This can be done by simply announcing that a walk is forthcoming. Sure enough, either the tail wags and/or the barking starts and the excitement rapidly sets in.

Keep this up a little longer, and the tongue starts to reveal itself stimulated by the excitement and consequent panting.

And yes, it does appear that your dog is smiling!

Is this a good time to take a picture? You can try, but there is too much restlessness to keep your dog quiet for a pose. You would need some strong lighting and shoot at a higher speed to contain any blurred movements. Not my preferred way to get a great shot.

2. The next way to get that Mona Lisa smile is through the use of treats. Not just any treat but the doggie treat that makes your pet go bonkers with excitement. As you can see, the key to creating that exhuberant dog or puppy smile is to create a situation where the dog is in an open mouth situation. That's why it is necessary to get your dog excited. But again, this is also a situation where your pet might get too excited to sit still. It may take a few rewards before you get that excited smile and those bright eyes to light up for your camera lense, but it's worth it!

3. My preferred method is great for your pet and great for you!
Simply have yourself a round of fun by a) playing vigorously with your dog or b) going for a nice long walk or a run.

These 2 methods are guaranteed to get that tongue wagging and that happy smile revealing itself. Best of all, your dog will be in a relaxed state after a joyful romp and will respond quite well when asked to sit still and pose. As a matter of fact, he'll be thrilled to just lie down and gaze happily into your camera lense while you snap away from every angle to capture that ear-to-ear grin.

For an all-out great shot, set up a neutral background that your pet can lie down in front of. A complimentary color is fine, but a pure black or white background is ideal for a dramatic head shot that is suitable for framing.

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Best Regards,
The Pet Photo Artist