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Why “walking the dog” is one of my favorite shots

    I stood on the top of a mountain with my dog next to me. 

    I felt powerful. 

    Fearless. 

    Free. 

    And connected. To my dog. 

    Shep and I fell in love with each other on the trails of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and the Foothills. 

    Bella and I deepen our bond with every step we take together hiking in Spokane and North Idaho. 

    So in my mind, walking the dog is not a chore. 

    It’s a gift. 

    audrina and lily

    The benefits of walking the dog 

    Some of the benefits we get from walking the dog are based in physical health and wellness: 

    • Lower body mass index 
    • Fewer doctor visits 
    • More frequent exercise 

    Yup, having a dog gets us out of the house and moving but can it do more for your mental and emotional health? 

    You’re damn diggity it can. 

    suzie and charlie

    Research has shown walking the dog can reduce depression and anxiety.  

    And in one of the few studies to focus entirely on the human-dog relationship while walking, Thomas Fletcher and Louise Platt surmised that the activity of walking the dog is an expression of the human-animal bond and a key activity through which the bond is strengthened or potentially weakened. 

    Through interviews with United Kingdom dog owners, they found people referring to their dogs’ characteristics, listening to what they thought were their dog’s unique preferences and expressing a commitment to make space for their dogs’ agency. 

    The walk, therefore, is way to a let dog be a dog and to enjoy those moments. 

    Where I come in 

    Sometimes during a dog photography session, I’ll coach my clients to walk the dog.  

    Just grab the leash, hit the path and walk.  

    I’ll be ahead a few feet and training my lens on the two of you. 

    Walking. 

    Just walking. 

    Enjoying this special moment of letting your dog be a dog. 

    It’s extra special when I see the dog looking up at her human(s). I imagine that she’s checking in on her family. 

    couple walking the dog at mirabeau park

    “You OK, Mama?” 

    It reminds me that we share a mutual relationship of protection. The teeniest of Yorkies is going to get territorial for his human when he feels a threat near – even as he’s being scooped off at the ground and reassured that everything is OK. 

    All around the circle 

    It’s Thursday night and I’m writing to deadline!

    I just got home from a session where my client said, “Hey, can we get a shot of us walking together?”

    You’re damn diggity you can.

    It was in my plan anyway but I just love that he asked for it.

    “Walking the dog” was our theme for this week in the pet photographers blog circle. You can now dive into different perspectives on what it means to walk the dog.

    Start with my amazing friend Pet Photographer and Dog Trainer Darlene Woodward of Pant the Town Photography, who has tips on training your dog while out on walks and keeping things enjoyable.

    When you get to the bottom of Darlene’s post, click the next link in the circle and then keep going until you find yourself back here to me creating memories out of a simple activity like walking the dog.

    That’s when you know you’re home.

    Right where you belong.

    nv-author-image

    Dogs. Adventure. Outdoors. These words set Angela's heart afire. Angela Schneider, an award-winning writer and dog photographer, documents the story of you and your dog and the adventures you take together. Your portraits will be a statement piece in your home, art that will make your friends and family beg to hear its story.

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