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Teach your dog to come back when you call


Most dogs love running around off the lead, but before you give your dog their ‘freedom’ it’s vital for their safety that you know they will come back when called, regardless of where they are and what’s going on around. To teach good recall your dog needs to learn that coming back to you is a good thing, something that will bring them plenty of praise and rewards.


First, ensure that your dog knows their name. This lets them know that you want their attention. To teach this have your dog very close to you, say their name and reward.

Choose a special word or sound as your recall cue that you use ONLY when you want your dog to return. It should be short and sharp, for example a verbal cue like ‘come’, or a whistle.

Start in an enclosed space with some tasty treats in a pouch. Get your dog’s attention with their name, then use your recall cue and take a step away from them. As they return reward with praise and a tasty treat.

Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog and the level of distractions you call them away from.

Once your dog is regularly returning to you inside it’s time to move it outside. It is recommended that you use a long line during this next phase of training.

Once your dog has moved away from use your recall cue, if they ignore you very gently guide them back to you with the long line and reward them once they return. You want your dog to learn that coming back to you straight away is much more rewarding than ignoring you and continuing their fun.

Key points

  1. Use a happy, excited voice and welcoming body language (crouched down, arms open) to train recall. Moving back from your dog as you call can encourage them even more.
  2. Always praise your dog for returning no matter how long it takes. Reward them more if they come back quickly. As your dog improves you won’t need to give them a treat every time they come back. Reward them every so often to keep them motivated.
  3. Use high value rewards for recall, especially if they have come away from something especially interesting (e.g. another dog). Try making your recall exciting by throwing their treats, or using play or chase games to get their reward.
  4. Set your dog up for success by initially training in a quiet place when your dog is already looking over at you, and gradually increase the level of distraction as they improve.
  5. Make recall a fun part of the walk, not just something you do when its home time! Do this by calling your dog back then allowing them to go and play again several times during a walk, but not to the point where they get bored.
  6. Gently hold your dog’s collar as you reward them so this contact is not only associated with being clipped back onto their lead.
  7. Use your recall cue sparingly, give your dog at least five seconds to respond to your first recall. Don’t call again if you think they’re unlikely to return, as this can have the opposite effect by confirming it’s alright to not come back.
  8. If your dog ignores you stay calm. Getting angry will only discourage your dog from returning. Instead, gently guide them with the long line, or go and collect them. Alternatively, run in the other direction or hide (if safe to do so) to encourage them to come looking for you.
  9. If they run off ahead of you try changing direction or hiding behind a tree and waiting for them to find you.

Make sure to get my best side!

It is quite often the case that photo shoots will be done in conjunction with filming. The main cast is taken to one side after filming for interviews and photos. Depending on the dogs role in the production, they may also be required to be photographed. Dogs and their handlers are increasingly being interviewed these days as it is popular to run a feature on the making of the commercial on You Tube, thereby maximising the reach of a particular campaign.

House of Fraser

House of Fraser photoshoot featuring Great Dane, Missy Bulldog and Edward Pembroke Corgi.

Some assignments do not involve any film work and are just photo shoots. This is more often the case for print e.g. books and magazines.


Aquascutum Photoshoot with Pierce Brosnan

Shoots can be in a studio or on location and may require static poses or action shots. Just because it’s photography doesn’t mean that your dog won’t be required to perform tricks. They may want your dog in a particular pose and to hold that for a duration whilst the photographs are taken. They may be required to jump, bark or roll over.


French cosmopolitan fashion shoot with Crena Watson

This type of work can be the most difficult for a dog to perform as they may need to hold a Stayposition for a long time, perhaps as long as 10 to 15 minutes. They may also need to follow commands during the Staysuch as looking up and down, flicking their ears and so on, all without getting up. This would need to be performed off-lead and with endless distractions such as make-up artists doing touch-ups, perfecting the models, set designers adjusting the stage, lighting changes, cameras not working, you get the idea.

Announcing Superstars

Make Your Dog A Superstar

I’m delighted to announce the launch of my brand new online club Dogs On Camera Superstars.

Superstars in unlike any other online club as it allows you to design your dog’s profile and showcase them on the Dogs On Camera website.

Most of the enquiries we receive from production companies come from our website. They are always on the look out for the perfect dog for their next shoot. You have no doubt seen many of our Superstar dogs on TV without even knowing it!

Mr Scraps

Mr Scraps the Lurcher stars in BBC Christmas production “The Miniaturist”

Superstars allows you to upload your own photos to show off your dog’s amazing personality. You can even include a video of them playing and doing tricks. You can record all the details that are needed for a working dog.


Ernie Pug stars in a TV commercial for Kurio Watch

Not only that but you can create separate profiles for all your dogs, not just one!

Is your dog under 6 months old? Then you can join our Puppy Pre-school membership level absolutely FREE!

There are no upfront costs with Dogs On Camera Superstars, unlike some other agencies. To find out more pop along to Dogs On Camera website.

Leaving your dog home alone

How To Successfully Combat Canine Separation Anxiety

Leaving your dog home alone

When you get a dog, the last thing you want them to suffer with is separation anxiety when you leave.  It’s perfectly normal for dogs to have anxiety when their humans are gone. After all, they’re social animals. 

But, although it’s normal, it’s not something you want them to feel needlessly. You know you have every intention of returning, but your canine friend doesn’t. How can you teach your dog that it’s okay for you to leave and that you’ll be back?

While the process should begin when they’re a puppy, you may not have had that luxury (if you got an adult dog).  If you notice your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, talk to the vet to ensure your dog is in good health. If everything checks out, find a highly-knowledgeable and experienced behaviorist to help you get control over your dog’s emotions.

How To Reduce Your Dog’s Anxiety

If you want them to feel relaxed while you’re gone, you should build up their confidence in the home first. Believe it or not, you don’t always have to give your dog your undivided attention. If you’re too busy, consider the following tips to help you “train” your dog for the times you may actually be gone.

  • Set up a bed that’s comfortable for them to be in. Make sure it’s in a quiet area of the home. When they’re in it, don’t disturb them.
  • Use a chew toy to encourage them to stay in their bed while you do something else. Your dog will associate the bed with the good times, and be willing to go there on their own.
  • Your dog is a friend, and they want to be around you whenever possible. However, it’s a good idea that your dog be taught not to follow you everywhere you go in the home. You don’t want them to think you’ll always be there. If they’re following you, act as if you don’t see them. Don’t touch them or make eye contact. Most importantly, don’t talk to them. It sounds mean, but you’re doing yourself and them a big favor.

Special Note: Never tell them to “go away” if they’re following you. This only creates confusion and makes them find ways to get your attention. The best thing you can do is reward just the good behavior and ignore the undesirable one.

German Shepherd PairGerman Shepherd pairs wanted!

Do you own two german shepherds? Are you wanting to get your dog onto the TV or into Film? Can they bark on command?

If so, we’d love to have them on our books! We often receive requests for pairs of dogs to feature in TV and Film productions. German Shepherds are often used as guard dogs, so being able to bark on command is a real bonus.

Get in touch with us today to find out more, or simply join Dogs On Camera Superstars! Join our Superstar Duo plan today and get £1 off your month membership with discount code PAIROFDOGS.


Spend More Time Away From Your Dog

Your dog needs to understand that you won’t always be there, but the separation from you needs to be done gradually to get him/her acclimated to it. The best time to practice minute times away is when both of you are calm.

  • Use a baby-gate on doors. This teaches your canine friend that he/she can be away from you without worrying. They can still see and hear you, but they just can’t physically be in the same room as you. When you go into the same room as them, give them a treat such as a chew toy. You want them to associate this time alone with something fun.   
  • Stay out of sight for a few minutes at a time, then increase it to something longer. Continue increasing the time away, unless you see them getting anxious.

The idea is to get them acclimated to the idea that you’ll be gone for long periods of time but will return. It’s okay to reduce the time away again if you notice your dog isn’t comfortable with you being gone for extended periods. Remember though, your goal is to get them comfortable with the notion.

How To Prepare Your Dog For Your “Extended” Absence

  • Take your dog out to use the restroom and get some exercise before you leave.
  • Fill their bowl with water before you leave.
  • Don’t rush around trying to get things done. Rushing can cause your dog’s anxiety to rise because he/she doesn’t know what’s happening.
  • Create a routine for when you leave. Have a special word or phrase to use when leaving. Your dog understands routines, and hearing this special word or phrase helps them to understand what’s about to happen. Dogs love consistency and routines.
  • Give your dog their food-releasing toy, which should last 10 to 15 minutes after you’re gone.
  • Place an old piece of clothing on their bed
  • Leave the radio or TV on to reduce the outside noises.
  • Don’t stay gone too long, as your dog will need to use the bathroom at some point.
George Cavalier makes film debut

George Cavalier makes Film Debut

George Cavalier makes film debut

George, the King Charles Cavalier, makes his film debut as co-star the short film ‘A Night in the Life’.

The film was produced by buddy film producer, Penny Smith, who is currently studying at The London Art School.

It’s about a pill-popping insomniac, who takes a strange journey through the night accompanied by her pet dog (George) and a mysterious neighbour.

George relaxing on set

George relaxing on set

Here’s a few clips of George doing his thing. Enjoy! Please leave your film review comments for George!

George has already starred in several TV commercials and has recently been involved in a prom production for a new children’s television series.