Category Archives: acting careers for dogs

Animal Trainers Know the Value of Shelter Pets; Do You?

By Linda Cole

When it comes to finding animal stars among the masses, Hollywood producers and animal trainers know talent when they see it. They understand the value of a good pet, and search the shelters to find the next pet star waiting to be discovered. Broadway producers also scour animal shelters when searching for the perfect pet to cast in a Broadway show. Just what kind of pets can you find in shelters? Some of the most talented, well behaved and smartest pets around.

I previously wrote an article on famous TV and movie pets adopted from shelters and trained for their specific roles. Many of the most recognized and loved pets on TV or in the movies did time in a shelter. Some of these famous pets were just hours away from being put down when they were discovered. I think it’s safe to say that the performance a Black Mouth Cur named Spike gave us in “Old Yeller” made us all a little teary eyed. Spike was found in a California animal shelter. Morris the orange Tabby was found in a shelter in the nick of time, and became famous as the finicky feline in TV commercials. Higgins, the lovable and talented mutt that starred on “Petticoat Junction” and known as “Dog” from 1963-1970, went on to delight children in one of his other famous roles as Benji. He was found at a shelter in Burbank, California.

A two year old Terrier mix named Sunny is one of Broadway’s newest stars. She will be playing the role of Sandy in a remake of the musical “Annie,” due to open later this fall. Sunny was rescued from a Houston, Texas kill shelter and was on their list to be put down when her picture was spotted online by animal trainer William Berloni. He prefers searching for animal talent in shelters because, “The most talented animals are right there under your nose. The message is: Animals in shelters are not damaged, just unfortunate,” Berloni said to the Associated Press in a July 2012 interview. He continued “I always say anybody could have gone into a shelter and adopted any one of the animals that I’ve turned into Broadway stars the day before I did. And they would have been great dogs in someone’s home.”

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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.

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