So Fido is the cutest dog in the world, and who wouldn’t love his face! In fact, he’s so cute and clever he should do movies! I think we all feel that way about our dogs… especially when they are being jovial and on their best behavior.
So, does your pup have what it takes to be a star? Here’s some basics on how to train a dog for the movies.
First thing to do…
The first and most important thing is temperament! Your dog needs to be friendly under most, if not all, reasonable circumstances. Can your dog be handed off to a complete stranger? Will he be able to tolerate strange and unexpected sounds, crowds, cameras and groups people moving around him without getting spooked?
You need to socialize your dog. Get them used to people of all ages and sizes. See how they respond to loud noises, inside, outside, in the light and in the dark. The more exposure the better.
Second thing to do…
Before you can expect to get Fido on the big screen, you need to make sure he knows all of the basics. Commands like sit, down, come, stay and place are great for starters. Your dog should be able to do all of these commands with great reliability, from a distance and with distractions. Look for a professional trainer in your area or an obedience club. Looking for a trainer that can prepare you pass the CGC is a very good place to start.
Once your dog has a great control of the basics, you might want to add some tricks to their repertoire. Behaviors like playing dead, crawl, back up, jump, speak, and hide your eyes are good places to start. Keep in mind that every production will have very specific needs and trainers will get days even weeks to prepare for their roles before a shoot.
Third thing to do…
So Fido is crawling, sitting, and coming from a distance with distractions. You may even have some doggie headshot done, but how do you get him noticed? Look into animal talent agencies. There are many of these sort of companies and all of the production companies go to them first. One such company is K9 Coach. OJ’s been a trainer in the industry for years. Known for prioritizing animal safety, health and happiness, they consistently deliver the studios with the shots they want. OJ the K9 Coach has been training dogs for film and televisions for over 10 years. Recently the company has trained dogs for movies like D’Jango Unchained and Mortdecai. TV shows like Son’s Of Anarchy, Justified and Southland feature dogs from our team as well.
Just like people hollywood, doggie hollywood is very competitive and casting agents can change their minds at anytime. With that being said, being on set and training your dog for the role can be a lot of fun. Get out there and find a good trainer or obedience club. Build a better relationship with your dog through trick and obedience training that way you’ll be stars in each other’s eyes no matter what!