If your dog loves to show off and you think they are the greatest creature to ever exist, they might have what it takes to work in commercials. To be successful, your canine companion needs to have a great temperament, be steady and focused no matter what's going on around them, and have plenty of training. If your companion has got all that plus you to help them step on the set, they just might make it in the highly competitive world of commercials.
Consider your dog’s temperament
No matter how cute or smart your canine companion is, if they don't have the temperament to work on a set, they will never do well in commercials. Above all, your dog should be friendly and accepting of strangers. In many cases, you won't be allowed on the set while your pet is working, so if they are upset when you aren't around, they won't do well in commercials. A dog who is friendly, outgoing, and loves to be around lots of people and action may have what it takes to work in commercials.
In addition to a good temperament, dogs must be in good health. They often need a current record of vaccinations and shots.
Quiet on the set
While people may be quiet on the set during the actual shooting, in between takes there can be a lot of noise and confusion. People, props, and cameras may be moved around and your dog may have to adjust his position as well. A shoot may go on for many hours and involve lots of retakes. Sometimes multiple dogs will be trained for the same parts and in some cases, it may take weeks of preparation before filming a scene. Your dog may have to work with unfamiliar special equipment.
Your dog has to do well every single time. If your beloved canine companion gets bored, upset, aggressive, loses interest, or refuses to continue, they will likely lose the job. Talent and natural charisma isn't enough; your dog has to be able to work hard and maintain their cool.
It’s all about training
Your dog will need to be well-trained if you want him to work in commercials. Your four-legged friend will need to understand basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, down, and come. It's essential that your dog is able to work reliably off-leash and to follow all commands the first time they are given.
Dogs working on commercials must know how to find their mark and stay on it. A good repertoire of other tricks and behaviors such as being able to crawl, limp, put their head down, go with an actor when directed, and speak, are all useful for them to know. Since your dog may work with other dogs, they also need to be capable of interacting nicely with other canines.
You can do some basic training at home, but you can also consult a professional for obedience training.
Find an animal talent agent
Look for an animal talent agency in your area that is willing to take on your pet and send them your dog's information along with a photo. Talent agencies don't charge you a fee to list your animal with them. Some such agencies also run training classes for prospects; enrolling your dog in these classes can be a good way to get them noticed. A talent contest is another way to help your pet get discovered.
Casting calls happen all the time all over the nation. Watch the paper for notices of upcoming work in your area and see if you can get your dog into the background as an extra. Agencies are more likely to be interested in working with your dog if they know they can handle the stress of working on a set.