How to Get Your Dog an Acting Career

By Linda Cole

Where do they find all those cute dogs we see in movies, on TV shows and in commercials? A lot of dogs and cats are found in animal shelters by trainers, but not all. Sometimes a casting call goes out from a studio to find the next dog star for a movie or TV commercial. It is possible to get your dog an acting career when you know how to start. If your dog likes to show off when company is around and is well mannered, with a little luck there’s a chance they could end up in the movies or on TV with their own acting career.

A dog who is well socialized, friendly and has a good temperament is what Hollywood executives are looking for in the next dog star. Your dog will need to impress people with his charm if he wants to be considered for any role. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle around a movie set with interaction between the cast and film crew. In order to pass a casting company’s demands, the friendlier your dog is, the better his chances will be. He can’t be shy or afraid of new things, and he needs to stay focused on you or his trainer to present his best qualities to the people who are in the position to make your dog a star.

The next step in getting your dog an acting career is training. Not only does your dog need to be well trained, but any tricks he can perform could give him a paw up on the competition. The dog should be able to follow hand signals as well as silent commands. If you’re serious about trying to get your dog in the movies, search for a specialized obedience school who trains dogs for work in the movie industry.

Step three is an obvious requirement in an acting career. A well groomed dog is more likely to catch the eye of the person making casting decisions. The dog must be healthy and have all of his vaccinations up to date. You want to present your pet in the best light possible because he will be competing with other dogs who are just as cute and just as talented. If your dog has a special talent or trick that’s different from the others, he may have a chance to shine on the big screen one day.

If you’re serious about getting your dog an acting career, search out a good pet talent agency. You may be able to find a visiting talent scout in your area. You can do the leg work yourself to meet with movie personal, but a quality talent agency has contacts and a relationship with people in the movie industry. Getting your dog seen by the person that counts is more likely if you work with an agency who can help you find possible opportunities for your dog.

Your dog needs to be prepared to perform at a moment’s notice if a talent agency wants to take a look at him. These are busy people who preview lots of dogs and cats. Your dog needs to be able to perform his stuff in front of an audience, so make sure he focuses on you only and does what you ask each and every time regardless of how many people are watching or how many other distractions may be going on around him.

If you think you have a dog who would make the next Benji or Lassie, make sure you have the time to invest in your dog’s acting career. You may have to meet with someone at a moment’s notice, so be prepared for a last minute call to show off your dog. Make sure your schedule is flexible so you can attend to business if and when a call comes in. If your dog is singled out, he will need to meet many people who will decide which dog to choose, and there will be auditions to go to. Be prepared to invest time and money for travel and lodging if you don’t live close to where auditions are held.

Any healthy dog has as good a chance of ending up in a movie if he’s well trained, well socialized, friendly and can perform tricks and strut his stuff. If you have the time and patience to do what it takes to get your dog an acting career, he could be starring in his own action adventure as the next dog hero on the big screen. It is possible a walk down the red carpet could be in your dog’s future if you’re willing to do what it takes to make him a star.

Photo: Lassie filming a movie on location; State Archive of Florida

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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One thought on “How to Get Your Dog an Acting Career

  1. I loved Lassie! I think it is possible to get your dog an acting career, but most people don’t have the time or the connections that it takes.

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