Everyone's heard of parents signing up their cute kids up to pursue acting or modeling opportunities, but what about the family dog? With a little inspiration and a good bit of training, pets can find their way to stardom as well. Imagine seeing your furry pal on a dog treat package, TV Commercial, or even as an extra in a major motion picture.
Pets continue to be a beloved part of the family in many households and will continue to star alongside human actors and models in many capacities. But how do you get your favorite pooch his or her big break?
Preparing Your Pet Dog for Acting or Modeling
First things first, you've got to make sure your dog has the right temperament for the job. Commercial shoots, movie sets, and even still photography all make various demands on your pet. Your dog will need to be willing to work with complete strangers--including men and women of all ages, even children. At times, loud noises may startle your dog and unpredictable situations may pose other difficulties. One of the best things you can do if you want your dog to get into acting or modeling is to expose your pet to a lot of different situations and many people along the way.
Dog Actor Training and Tricks
Many times, studios and agencies are seeking pets of a certain size, coloring, or breed. Beyond that, they may wish for the dog to be able to do certain tricks--walking to a place and sitting down, speaking on command, scratching at a door, or shaking a toy, to name a few. Teach your dog as many tricks and commands as possible to broaden his or her repertoire. Teach a new trick each day if you can make the time for it. Additionally, work on teaching tricks with hand signals instead of or in addition to spoken commands. This can be very handy when the crew is recording audio as well as video on set.
Finding a Reputable Talent Agency and Dog Acting Gigs
Once you've brushed up on your dog's tricks and warmed your pup up to plenty of strangers, it's time to make some connections. Jump on google and search for "Pet modeling and acting agencies" in your immediate area and take note of any that represent animal actors. Determine which are exclusive and which allow you to partner up with other agencies.
Contact the agencies you liked best for more information and to schedule an appearance where they can meet your dog at their studio or office location. You can also represent your pet without tying into an agency, but remember that the contract negotiations and other aspects of the job will fall on you. Either way, consider putting together a modeling and acting resume for your pet to help secure gigs as they become available. You should also put together a trick reel on YouTube featuring your dog's top tricks.
Find out the Agency's Track Record of Success in landing jobs for other Pets
The agency should have a public portfolio on their website showing what paid projects they secured for other pets. Then there should be public reviews from Pet Owners of those pets, vouching for the Agency that they secured them paid work and when it happened.
Some Agencies mostly make money from Pet Photography Packages
The Agency may say in order for them to work with you, you must have a Professional Portfolio, so that they can pitch your pet to movie and tv commercial directors. This is fair enough, however, if you already have a high grade portfolio they should be happy to pitch that. If you do decide to have them take photos of your pup, you should find out whether this expediture will then guarantee your pup a certain number of jobs in order to recoup your funds spent on the photo portfolio. Any additional terms you ask that they agree to, you should always ask them to write it as an additional clause in a signed contract.
Communication about upcoming Opportunities.
The talent agency should keep you in the loop of any opportunities that might be a fit for your pup. You may receive an email digest of modeling and acting gigs or the agency's talent directors may contact you directly. If you are going it alone, you can reach out to commercial studios and other businesses in the field that may have the need for pet actors for their projects. Introduce yourself and your pet and ask directly if they might ever have a need for a dog actor or model. Network as much as possible in the field and stay focused on your goal. You never know when you might make the connection that lands your dog on the front of a Milk-Bone box.
Increase your Pet's chance of getting skouted on Instagram
There are public relations agencies who have their eye out for new and diffent opportunities for their business clients to sell their products. So much like the Insta-Famous Pets of Australia, try out creating an Instagram profile for your pet and take high quality DSLR photos of them.
Does your Pet already have an Instagram account?
Pop their handle in the comments below!