Everything I just said above with regard to portraits of people, applies equally to creating portraits of animals.
Just as clients want their own portrait or the portraits of their human
children to really look like them, so too,
the 'parents' of pet dogs, cats, horses, will react the same way.
Sometimes it can even be more difficult to obtain a likeness for a Weimaraner for the very reason that, to the untrained eye, all Weimaraners look alike because they have similar characteristics. Being a livestock judge for 25 years, I have no problem seeing differences. But it can be a problem if all poodles look alike to the artist.
This is the best and first compliment I ever received for a pet portrait....a pen and ink of a Bishon Frisee male named "Sprockett".......
"Sandy was afraid the portrait would look like just any Bichon, but it really looks exactly like our boy because you got his personality!" ( Liz, after she won the silent auction bid at the fundraiser for Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society that I had donated). We bonded!