Working dogs are not as often seen in the limelight as their house-pet siblings. Andrew Fladeboe is trying to rectify this injustice by giving these dogs the respect and artistry they deserve.
Although his photo series is called “The Shepherd’s Realm,” the dogs aren’t just for shepherds. In this collection, search and rescue dogs, mobility dogs, guide dogs, and companionship dogs get recognition. Although their fur might be dirty or wet, their intelligence and calm nature make them indispensable companions and workers. His work has taken him to New Zealand, Scotland, and Norway.
Fladeboe spoke with National Geographic and explained how dogs love work. “Yes, sometimes they live hard, but for border collie dogs like mine, they are happier when they have something to do. A border collie who lives in a large city is more miserable than one who works hard on a farm.
Continue reading to find Fladeboe’s responses to our questions about his work. Peter Hay Halpert Fine Arts will host a solo show of his photos in NYC this October. Make sure you stop by! This gallery also offers prints.
Andrew Fladeboe said that getting a dog pose for you was always fun. “It’s not something the dog does naturally, and it is not something the owners teach their dogs to do.”
“Luckily, I have been photographing working dogs recently, so they are well trained and know how to follow my direction.”
It’s about patience, adjusting the shoot quickly, and getting the dog to follow your commands. They see it as challenging for their dog’s ability and willingness to obey orders.
Fladeboe stated that he was amazed by how much they love work and the story that has been 30,000 years in making. They’ve evolved with us to fulfill a variety of jobs that we have asked them to.
“We are so connected with dogs. Not just for the jobs we do but also because of our relationship with them as pets. In almost all cultures, dogs are part of the folklore and myths. They are part of our collective unconscious. “The working dog is our ideal archetype for sagacious friends.”
“These owners are loving and determined. It takes many years to train a dog to be a good worker. For most people, it is the most important thing they do in their lives. They are my role models. “I want to train and raise a dog, but I travel too often to own a dog.”
Epilepsy Assistance Dog
“I try to adopt a posthumanist view of the dogs I photograph. I try to portray them as individuals in the best way to do justice to their existence. It’s art for the animals’ sake.”