One of the things I'm really glad I've done as a photographer is to undertake training in Canine First Aid. Now, you might not think this is particularly high on the priority list when it comes to the professional skills needed to conduct your photo shoot successfully.
But I honestly believe that to be a truly professional dog and pet photographer, it's not just about technical photographic skills. You also need to understand dogs, advocate for their welfare and work ethically with our subjects that can not speak for themselves.
So what are the benefits of being trained in Canine First Aid?
On a purely practical level, it means that should anything happen during your photo shoot, that I'll hopefully have enough knowledge to help you and your dog, whether that's by treating minor injuries promptly or recognising that veterinary care should be sought where needed.
I carry a first aid kit to all photo shoots just in case - touch wood, I've never had to use it (and hope I never will), but it pays to be prepared!
I also believe that being aware of typical injuries a dog may suffer gives me a greater awareness of potential hazards during your photo shoot. This means we can be so much more mindful of ensuring your dog's safety and not putting them in any situations or poses that could cause any injury. After all, an ounce of prevention is most definitely worth a pound of cure!
The Canine First Aid course I did was delivered by Sam from Potter Paws Dog Training, and was designed to give pet professionals and dog owners the basic skills they need to help their four-legged friends in case of an emergency. If you're looking for a course that delivers the practical knowledge you need in an easy to learn format, I highly recommend you check it out here.