How to Get a Dog in TV Commercials

by Karen Curley
Teaching your dog a variety of tricks can help him get a role in television commercials.

Teaching your dog a variety of tricks can help him get a role in television commercials.

dog show image by agno_agnus from Fotolia.com

If you think your dog has a special quality that qualifies him for television commercials, then you will need perseverance and commitment for your dog’s success in show business. Entertainment companies rent your dog from you for each day’s production if he gets a role in a television commercial, according to Hollywood Paws. Consider your dog’s temperament, training, talents and his reaction when apart from you for extended periods before auditioning for television commercials.

Step 1

Observe your dog in stressful situations. If he becomes nervous or aggressive in crowds or around other animals, then he is probably not a candidate for television commercials. Only if your dog enjoys working, noise, cameras, people and animals, should you consider him for television ads, according to the American Dog Trainers Network.

Step 2

Find a reputable dog trainer that can help you train your dog in obedience, distance, socialization and off-leash work. Ask for references when choosing a dog trainer and choose a trainer that uses positive reinforcement. Your dog should enjoy his training to have the most success. If your dog remains positive about his training, then he will be able to adapt to the stress of filming for television.

Step 3

Teach your dog a trick that would be useful in a television commercial. Get a few dog trick books or videos for tricks that might appeal to television commercial producers. For example, if your dog was auditioning for a dog food commercial, you could teach him how to bring his dog bowl to you. Targeting is another trick that is useful for teaching your dog to close or open doors, nose touch objects and even dialing a telephone. Watch television commercials and observe the types of tricks that dogs do and choose a few to teach your dog. You can demonstrate your dog’s abilities when auditioning.

Step 4

Research agencies that represent dog owners who want their pets in show business. Find an animal agent that can set up auditions, suggest specific areas of dog training and explain how to promote your dog to production companies. When you meet the animal agent, bring a portfolio of photographs of your dog in a number of different poses that display his personality and size. Film your dog demonstrating any tricks or special talents he has that can show the agent what makes him stand out from other dogs.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog trainer
  • Trick training books
  • Trick training videos
  • Animal agent

Tips

  • You can also bring your dog to casting call auditions without an agent. Check online or in city newspapers for television productions that hold animal casting calls open to the public. When sending your information to casting calls, submit your name and address and your dog’s name and breed. Each casting call requires specific application requirements, depending upon the role the dog will play.
  • Practice off-leash training and tricks in parks and other public areas until your dog responds to your commands reliably. He should respond to you from a distance even with the distractions of other people, animals, moving vehicles and children running or playing.

Warning

  • While your dog is filming the TV commercial, you may have to spend a lot of time away from him. Keep this in mind when accepting a role for your dog in the entertainment business. If you feel you or your dog will be unhappy being away from one another, reconsider auditioning for television commercials.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Karen Curley has more than 18 years experience in health and nutrition, specializing in healthy food choices for families. She received USDA certification in food components, nutrient sources, food groups and infant/child nutrition, and holds a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts. Curley is also an avid gardener, home renovator, Collie breeder, dog groomer and dog trainer.