How The Dogist's Instagram dog photos became so popular (VIDEO).

How “The Dogist” Got 1.8 Million Instagram Followers by Chasing Around Cute Dogs (Video)

How “The Dogist” Got 1.8 Million Instagram Followers by Chasing Around Cute Dogs (Video)

Slate in motion.
Feb. 24 2016 8:59 AM

Meet “The Dogist”

How a canine photostream became Instagram's essential chronicle of cuteness.

Work It, Fido
The Dogist hold a pooch in his thrall.

E.J. McLeavey-Fisher

In the video above, we meet Elias Weiss Friedman, also known as “the Dogist.” His story, captured by filmmaker E.J. McLeavey-Fisher, is sweet whether you’re an Instagram admirer or just a lover of dogs.

Simply put, the guy is amazing at getting dogs to pose for his camera. He has an arsenal of doggie-toy distractions, and a series of go-to instructions to bark at his models. Soon, the canines are so clearly intrigued—or maybe just nonplussed—by the man with the toys and treats that they stand and stare at him. Click. Another great portrait.

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The Dogist has been posting his portraits on Instagram for a couple of years now. At first, he was just wandering around taking pictures: “It made me feel good about being sort of unemployed," he says in the video. "Just, you know, ‘Screw people. I just wanna hang out with dogs.’ ”

Now, Friedman has 1.8 million followers, with 500 likes a minute. And, naturally, he got a book deal.

“Even though I don’t have my own dog, dogs have opened up a whole world for me that’s less lonely,” Friedman says of wandering New York City’s neighborhoods, each with its own “canine personality” for him. He says he can’t imagine being the Dogist anywhere else.

Robby Berman is a writer currently living in the upper Midwest.