Acting Training for Dogs

Talent is wrapped in all different shapes and sizes–including furry ones. However, career K9 actors do not just appear overnight, and just like their human counterparts, pups must have the looks, natural talent, and lots of training to be successful. Read below to learn more about how to train your pup for their next big role.

Getting your dog ready for the spotlight requires dedication and hard work from both canines and their owners. But, even though the competition is stiff, making it to the big time could provide your dog with a lucrative acting career and loyal fan base...


What Casting Directors Look For

Fun, playful, energetic, even-tempered, and the ability to take direction are pooch personality traits that trump looks and cuteness overall. No matter what breed of dog you have, if they have a serious chill-factor, love people, and aren’t thrown off by being in new environments, they may be the perfect fit for the acting world. Acting roles often vary and require different breeds and types, so a more toned-down family dog could end up booking more than a dressed-up pooch in some cases. One of the lesser-known performance qualities in dogs is their desire to be their best for treats. If your dog doesn’t express a liking for treats and won’t do what’s asked in the presence of them, then that could be an obstacle in getting them to obey commands on set.


Developing a Training Regiment

Dogs become actors through training, and two paths can be taken once you start working with your pooch. You can tackle training yourself, or hire a trainer or school. Either way, working on non-verbal commands will set your fur-baby apart from the rest. Yelling commands is rarely conducive to filming, and training your pup to listen to you despite multiple distractions is a trait that casting teams will take extensive interest in. After your K9 has mastered basic obedience training and can respond to non-verbal cues, on-camera techniques can then be taught. These fun classes will teach your furry friend how to wave a paw, find their mark, cock their head, and so much more.


This is How You Can Get Your Dog Into Acting

After your dog is fully trained, you’ll be able to take them on casting calls. There are many free resources online, but it can be time-consuming to locate castings that are right for your pooch. If you run out of luck with online listings, then setting up a social media account for your pup will help you build your dog’s brand, and submitting headshots to an agent can get them representation. Agents typically only get paid if your dog books work, but they are also inundated with submissions. If you do land an interview, make sure that your pup looks and feels their absolute best by making sure they are freshly groomed and monitoring their diet.

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Abigail Baker is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with dog wheelchair manufacturer, Walkin’ Pets.

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