Here are some things to keep in mind when taking pet portraits:
1) Get eye to eye with them. It helps the pet become the focus of the picture.
2) Use natural light. Everything looks better with natural light...even dogs! It's best to shoot in the mornings or late afternoons when the sun is coming in at an angle. For the picture of Hoth with the black backdrop, I brought the black backdrop outside to get the best light.
3) Use a word the dog knows (walk, food, cat...) to get a cute expression. Since Hoth is only a few weeks old and doesn't know many words this didn't work for him. I will try it when he is a big older.
Here are some websites with pet portrait tips I found on Pinterest: