Does your pup have ‘all the right stuff’ to be on the big screen (or even the Internet)?
Believe it or not, the answer to that question is pretty simple: If your dog is great on off-leash obedience he or she may have a future in Hollywood! Even if your pooch hails from such New England towns as Bridgeport, Fairfield, New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut there are ways to get him in the spotlight and keep him there!
Websites dedicated to making your pooch a star, such as Hollywood Paws.com <http://paws.com/>found at http://www.hollywoodpaws.com/faq.htm, say your dog is considered a prop and is rented for each outing. Obedience training is the tool that will make or break his success.
In the article “How to Get a Dog in TV Commercials” found online at The Nest athttp://pets.thenest.com/dog-tv-commercials-4899.html, there are seven key steps to Fido’s success:
Consider your dog’s personality to help you decide if he will be happy working in TV commercials. Dogs that do well in commercials typically have very outgoing personalities, adapt well to strange people and situations and are not easily stressed or distracted. If this doesn’t describe your dog, chances are he won’t do well on the set.
Train your dog well. He must respond to your commands without hesitation, no matter what is going on around him. He has to perform reliably off leash, often at some distance away from you. His attention should always be on you or the person he is working with on the set.
Teach him some tricks to give him an edge. TV jobs for animals are highly competitive, just like in the world of human acting, so the more your dog can do, the better his chances are of getting hired. Things such as crawling, rolling over, limping on command and bringing you various objects can give him a real boost in the right situation.
Photograph your dog at his cutest. This is like a human actor’s headshot, and agents will use the photo to help narrow down the field of hopefuls to those that have the right look for the part. It’s a good idea to have some video on hand as well, about three to five minutes’ worth. Capture your dog’s special look and be sure to showcase him performing tricks and stunts at his very best. Casting agents don’t usually want to see it unless they’re interested in your dog, but be prepared to submit it quickly if asked.
Create a resume for your dog, including anything he’s done that is relevant to acting. The more experience he’s had, the more secure a casting agent can feel about your dog’s abilities to work well on a busy commercial set. If he hasn’t got any experience, you can still use his resume to list his skills, especially any unique tricks or abilities that he has.
Accept any work that comes your dog’s way, even if both the part and the pay are tiny. If he’s able to function on a set, even as a doggy extra, it helps to show that he won’t freak out if he gets picked for a big TV commercial, and the experience looks good on his resume.
Distribute your dog’s photo and resume anywhere and everywhere you can. Mail the info to casting agents, animal talent agents and agencies that supply movie and TV extras. His big break could come from any of these places, so be persistent.
Dogs with behavioral issues, including potty accidents and food aggression, would not be tolerated on the set. So get your prospective canine star into a proven obedience training program as soon as possible to give him the edge he needs. After all, Fido’s or Phoebe’s good looks can only take them so far.