When I photograph a family group portrait and the dogs are the family members i always work to show the group together in a pleasing composition. Of course, I want the humans to be relaxed and smiling and also in control of their dog(s) but not in a manner that shows resistance, restraint or a sense of great effort.
In addition, I want the dogs to be attentive, looking at the camera and smiling if at all possible. In a portrait like this one, their is a lot of coaching involving the way the couple is controlling their dogs, how they should be sitting and their posture, if they need to move their dogs closer or farther apart and so on.
These type of portrait sessions are exciting, challenging and really rewarding especially when the during the portrait session all images come together just right and the winning poses are captured.