How to Get a Dog in TV Commercials

Making your dog a star takes a lot of work.

Making your dog a star takes a lot of work.

If your fuzzy pal is cuter than the dogs you see on TV, maybe he should be there instead of them. It takes more than just a cute face, but it’s just possible that your little guy could be the next TV commercial king.

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.

Items you will need

  • Photos of your dog

Warning

  • Don’t expect to be raking in the big bucks when you take Fido to the set. The television and movie industries treat dogs as objects, like props for the set, and rent them rather than hire them.
 

Photo Credits

  • Vintage movie camera image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com