Deaf dogs can be a challenge to take pictures of sometimes, because you can’t make noises to get them to look at the camera. But after taking a few dozen pictures of Lucky while waving at him to get his attention, I finally realized he was only looking intently at the ground whenever I held up the camera and waved.
|"I'll just pretend to be sniffing this blade of grass."|
|"Here she comes with that camera again. Time for more sniffing."|
I decided perhaps an action shot would be a better choice. But somehow he managed to run around the yard, playing with Sophie the St. Bernard, without ever once showing his face to the camera.
|"Let's run THIS direction!"|
In fact, he’d turn practically in mid-air, just to run the opposite direction when he saw me with the camera.
|"Here she comes! Reverse! Reverse!"|
I generally don't have this problem with deaf dogs, because I teach them to look at me often - basically to "check in" with me so we don't have this problem. Usually a dog that is acting this way is one who has been made to do things he didn't want too often, and didn't get enough rewards for doing good things. So I teach them by giving them big rewards when they do look at me. Treats, attention, petting, whatever they enjoy, and then I send them right back to what they were enjoying doing in the first place. This way they learn to look for me on a regular basis when playing with another dog, or before digging in the garden, or whatever else they might be doing. And mostly they get rewarded and get sent back to continue, but those times when play time is over, or the digging is starting, it's easy to get their attention and redirect them to something else. Lucky probably didn't know this in his first home, and it may have contributed to why his original owner gave him up - because they got tired of constantly trying to get Lucky's attention and make him do things. So I'm going to be teaching Lucky that being obedient and "checking in" pays off, but in the meantime, he may not want to look at me when he's doing something fun and fears he'll be forced to stop.
WARNING: The following photos may be offensive to some. View at your own risk.
So at this point I just waited for him to get tired. When he was standing in the middle of the yard, alone, with nowhere to hide, I tried again to take his picture. As I waited for the camera to auto-focus, then snapped the picture, this is what I ended up with:
|"Excuse me, a little privacy here please?"|
|"That's right, this is MY ball!"|
I may never get a good picture of Lucky, but I will keep trying!