As with many of the other works from the Dogs series, Dog Etching No .9 is a portrait of one of Hockney’s dachshunds. However, while most of the series focuses just on the dogs, here we find the composition interrupted by the inclusion of the artist’s own hand, curled up in the foreground as if reaching out from behind the sheet of paper or etching plate he is working on. With this gesture the artist places himself in the frame in a more direct way than elsewhere in the series, when his presence is felt in a more abstract way. The dog is a shadowy mass of black marks, depicted on a white rectangle that could be a cushion or in fact a sheet of paper, indicating that the dog is a work in progress rather than the animal itself. Here we see the artist using the trompe l’oeil effect of earlier series such as A Hollywood Collection to make the viewer question what they are seeing and to create a doubling effect. At first expecting a portrait of a dog in the style of the other works from this series, with this print we do a double take at the inclusion of the hand and are forced to consider the boundary between form and subject, art and reality.