Have you ever wondered what it would be like for your dog to be a top canine model? Can you imagine your pup’s image on Purina ads or featured on Chewy? Have you thought about being a stage pet mom or dad? Before you and your dog are ready to embark on a career in show business, you’ll need to learn about the basics.
Dog Acting And Modeling
Modeling and acting for dogs is like any other profession. You have to begin with the basics to get your pup’s career launched. Here’s what you need to know.
Your Modeling Package
The way to get your pup’s acting or modeling career underway is with a marketing package that includes a selection of headshots. The photos are pet portraits that are an essential component of your dog’s marketing package. Hiring a professional studio photographer can cost between $200 and $1000 per session, but you can do the photo shoot yourself if you have an area with excellent lighting. Here are some tips:
- Show your pup’s versatility with different poses and expressions
- Be spontaneous and go for unique shots
- Diversity is more likely to get agent’s attention
- Companies are always searching for dogs with different looks
- Take your photos early in the day when your pup isn’t tired
Choose a few that stand out when you have an excellent selection of photos of your pup in different poses and situations. You should have between 3 and 5 good shots of your dog in a standard 8 x 10 size. If you prefer, you can search for a photographer in your area at reasonable rates. If you find a studio that’s recently opened, they may charge less for your portfolio.
Draw Up A Resume For Your Pup
The second most significant part of your dog’s portfolio is the resume. The resume is essential because it demonstrates to companies, agents, and casting directors that your dog is an excellent choice to represent their brand. The resume must be in a specific structure and has a few essential requirements, including:
- Awards, certifications, honors
- Dog training experience
- Previous dog modeling or acting experience
- Unique characteristics and talents
- Abilities or qualities that make the dog stand out from other candidates
Some dogs have unique talents like riding a skateboard, catching frisbees, or surfing.
Many dogs feel at home around large farm animals, being farm dogs themselves, and could be perfect candidates for ads or commercials in a ranch setting.
Typical Resume Format
- Owner name
- Phone number
- Dog’s name and breed
- Commercial or print experience
- Television/Film experience
- Training and behaviors
- Special or unique skills
Resumes Without Experience
If your pup doesn’t have any experience dog modeling or acting yet, you can still create a resume to show potential clients. Dogs don’t automatically have the experience to act or model. Information to add to your do’s resume should include:
- Name and breed of your dog
- Your dog’s measurements
- Obedience and other training
- Skills and unique abilities
Your dog will have to demonstrate abilities at the audition, so don’t invent things.
You Need An Agent
When you have a selection of headshots and a resume in your dog modeling package, it’s time to search for an agent. You have a much better chance of success in finding acting or modeling jobs for your dog with a professional agent. In modeling and acting communities, agents are often referred to as gatekeepers. When you sign on with an agent connected to the top names in the business, the chances of more auditions and higher-paying jobs increase significantly.
A Word About Unscrupulous Agents
Most agents and managers in show business are honest and dedicate themselves to helping their clients succeed. However, there are scammers out there that take advantage of unsuspecting clients. Keep this in mind; no reputable agent asks for money upfront. The way the process works with reputable agents is they find dog modeling or acting jobs for your pooch. After the contract is signed and you get paid, your pup’s agent receives a commission of 10 to 20 percent. You should never pay anyone to represent you as your dog’s agent.
Finding A Reputable Agent
When searching for an agent to represent your dog, searching online ads may not be the best option. Talk to people in pet-related fields for recommendations. Your options may include:
- Successful animal actors and models
- Canine behaviorists
- Friends in the business
- Dog trainers
Another option is to join online dog forums. You may be able to get reliable advice for owners whose dogs are in acting or modeling. Reddit and subreddits like /r/DogAdvice may have some reliable tips. Animal Actors International has a lot of information about:
- Cat actors
- Dog actors
- Farm animals
The agency has more than 30 years of experience with animal actors and models from cities around the country. They provide animal coordinators and trainers to work with animals on the set. Trainers teach through hand signals for dogs. Knowing commands on sight ensures the production goes smoothly.
Find Out About Auditions
The ultimate goal is to find an agent that will secure dog modeling and acting jobs for your pup. It may take some time to find the agent that will get your pup the best auditions. Take your time and screen them carefully before you make a decision. You can start by searching for dog model jobs or dog commercial work. You could enter your dog in show dog contests . You never know where winning a contest could lead. One of the most effective ways to promote your dog is through social media. There are hundreds of dog groups and pages dedicated to celebrity dogs, including Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund. You can set up a Facebook profile for your dog and share photos and updates.
Building A Brand For Your Dog
There are two approaches to building a brand for your pup. The first is what you do personally. The second is promotions by an agent. You should consider approaching how you build a brand using both methods. You and your agent can achieve your goals by seeking out auditions and applying to dog modeling agencies. Social media presence should include:
- Personal dog website
Create funny, cute, short content and feature photos and videos of your dog model. The more shares your dog gets on social media, the better your chances of landing auditions and jobs. Your agent should also share your social media pages.
Find Auditions And Repeat
When you have an agent and sign with an acting or modeling agency, the chances of your dog getting high-paying jobs will increase significantly. You have much better chances of getting bigger jobs in commercials, movies, or big-brand companies when you’re signed with an agency. It takes a lot of work and determination, but it’s worth it. It’s a good idea to screen auditions and only take your dog to auditions where you both feel comfortable. For example, an older dog might be perfect for a senior dog food commercial but not one that features strenuous outdoor activity.
Focus On Obedience Training
Dogs that master basic and advanced obedience training can benefit from working on new skills. It’s to your dog’s advantage to pursue obedience classes to refine the skills the pup already knows. The more skills your dog acquires, the more comfortable the pup will feel around strangers and different situations. You should devote at least one hour each day to working with your dog.
Good Grooming Counts
Your dog should always be well-groomed before you go to an audition. A shampoo and thorough brushing are a must before any audition. At this point, you should know the best dog shampoo and conditioner to give your dog a lustrous, shiny coat. You’ll have to show your dog’s photos at the audition, so make sure the dog’s coat is brushed and free of matting or tangles. It’s best not to try a new shampoo or conditioner before an audition to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
Find Parts To Build Your Pup’s Resume
When your dog is offered a part of a photoshoot, it’s best to take it. No part is beneath taking when you’re starting out in the business. The more parts your dog gets, the more impressive the resume will be. There’s always a lot of competition for roles. If the situation doesn’t pose a danger to your dog and you feel comfortable with the environment, auditions are the perfect way to connect with producers and casting directors.
Dog Acting And Modeling Classes
Besides obedience training, you should get your dog enrolled in pet-specific acting and modeling classes. The classes give pet parents a better understanding of the life of pet stage parents. Enrolling your dog in classes can help you work on what you and your dog must do to stand out from other candidates. When your dog learns skills specific to the industry, he’ll stand out in the crowd.
Questions Dog Parents Ask
What Can Dog Actors And Models Do?
Dog models and actors can do virtually any kind of work humans do, including:
- Action shots for magazine copy
- Be a spokes-dog
- Star at special events
- Print and video ads
- Product packaging ads
- Runway model
- Theater shows
What Breeds Are Best For Acting Or Modeling?
Regardless of age, breed, or size, any dog can be an animal actor or model. Dogs must be friendly, sociable, easy to work with, and not get rattled by a lot of activity. Dogs that feel stress or startle easily aren’t the best candidates to act or model.
What Does The Work Consist Of?
In animal modeling and acting, there isn’t a typical job. Each producer or casting director wants dogs that represent their brand to have a specific look and different skills.
What Should Be On The Dog’s Resume?
- The owner’s name, phone number, and agency
- Dog’s name and breed
- Commercials and print work
- TV and film work
- Unique skills
1. How much does a dog model make?
The amount a dog gets paid for acting or modeling depends on the job, the commitment required, and the dog’s experience. According to one source, the rate for a single shot is $150. However, a commitment of 12 months or longer results in a much larger payment.
2. How do I get my dog into modeling?
All dogs should have an agent for acting or modeling jobs. Animal acting communities and message boards online can be excellent resources. Take training classes and get your dog accustomed to being around different people and other animals.
3. Can my dog be a dog model?
Any dog can be a model. To be a success, your dog has to have more than a cute face. Your pup should be trained and understand basic commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it.
4. How can I get my dog in commercials?
The process for getting your dog into commercials is like any other job search. You should make sure your dog has basic training during playtime, work on teaching your dog new tricks. Make the necessary connections and apply for jobs.