1) Never use a print out. They just will not work. It doesn't matter how good the original picture was, by the very nature of a digital image, on print outs the photograph will have lost much of the detail and colour accuracy.
2) Try to take the picture outdoors, with good light and preferably no flash.
You tend to find, especially with black, short haired animals like Labradors, that the flash causes a stark shine and shading that deadens the colour and makes the overall picture very unnatural looking.
3)Use somebody else to get the animals attention. A 3/4 view or profile is often more interesting and flattering than a straight on view.
However this is a matter of your personal taste.