How to Get Your Dog on TV

Three Parts:Evaluating Your DogPreparing Your DogFinding Work

Getting your dog in film and TV work such as commercials or kids' shows can take some time and requires a lot of patience and effort on your behalf. However, it is quite doable provided you're make prepared and willing to put in the work. Make sure your dog is right for television, spend time training your dog, and then work on seeking opportunities in the field.

Part 1
Evaluating Your Dog

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    Assess your dog's temperament. Not all dogs are suited for working on television. If you want to get your dog on TV, be honest with yourself about your dog's temperament. Does he have the right mentality to be a TV star?
    • Ideally, a dog that works in film should have a calm and agreeable demeanor. Your dog should not be easily scared or aggravated as a lot of noise and commotion occurs on set.
    • Dogs who work in television should work well with other animals. There might be more than one dog or animal on scene. You do not want a dog that gets distracted or disruptive around other pets.
    • Shelter and rescue dogs are often not suited for show business as they tend to have certain behavioral issues. However, with an experienced trainer and a lot of patience many dogs can overcome poor behaviors.[1]
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    Check for physical limitations. Physically, television work is demanding. Dogs need to be high energy and in good shape to work on TV. Get your dog evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure he's fit for a career in showbiz.
    • Make sure all your dog's vaccination records are up-to-date. If your dog is working in close proximity with other animals, producers will probably want to make sure he's vaccinated.
    • Have your vet evaluate your dog for any potential physical setbacks. Certain breeds, like Golden Retrievers, are prone to hip problems that could make longterm TV work hard.[2]
    • Certain breeds tend to be more popular in show business. Golden Retrievers and Labradors, for example, tend to be in high demand. Mixed breeds are also usually appreciated on TV due to unique looks. However, breeds do go in trends. A certain breed might be unpopular for one month and then in high demand the next.[3]
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    Be honest about your dog's obedience level. Dogs in show business need to be very intelligent but also trainable. A dog that's stubborn, even if very smart, might not be well suited for a show business career. Ask yourself whether your dog really listens to commands and is enthusiastic about pleasing people. If your dog tends to be rambunctious or rebellious, a TV career might not be right for him.
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    Decide if this career is right for you. Before trying to get your dog on TV, take some time to consider the logistics of the career. Television work is demanding. You will have to keep your dog well-groomed and disciplined. Even successful television animals often struggle to find steady work. Travel is a big factor. If you expect your dog to be a big hit, you might have to relocate to New York or LA. Take some time to weigh the pros and cons of getting your dog on TV.[4]

Part 2
Preparing Your Dog

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    Work out behavioral issues. If your dog has any behavioral issues, they should be worked out before you try to get him on television. Bad behaviors are not likely to be tolerated on set and could cost your dog a job.
    • Basic commands like sit, stay, and come are important. These sorts of commands can be used to settle your dog during tense situations. For many dogs, such commands are learned early in puppyhood. If you have an older dog who has not yet mastered these commands, take some time to work on them together.[5]
    • Issues with aggression, shyness, barking, or leash manners are also frowned upon in the television industry. Filming is a high stress situation and no one wants to deal with an unruly dog. Try to work through troublesome behaviors. If necessary, seek out the help of a professional dog trainer.[6]
    • Understand that, if you have a rescue dog, some behavioral issues will never quite be smoothed over. Even with hard work and discipline, if your dog was abused or neglected in the past he may never be well behaved enough to work in TV.[7]
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    Teach your dog some tricks. Television producers look for dogs with a diversity of skill. Go beyond basic commands like sit and stay and teach your dog some marketable tricks.
    • It may take time to teach your dog tricks. It can take a dog a few weeks or months to master a new trick. Having patience and keeping a consistent schedule can help.
    • The more that your dog can learn, the more versatile he'll be in a film work context. Start with simple tricks, then work up to more sophisticated ones. Some tricks to learn include shaking paws, high five, dancing, and barking on command.
    • Consider taking an agility course while you're training your dog. Agility classes teach dogs to run through obstacle courses. This can build your dog's strength and overall confidence. Being familiar with a variety of shapes and scenarios can help your dog be appealing to television producers.[8]
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    Consider a professional program. There are many professional programs that train dogs for television work. Completing a program of this type can help your dog learn invaluable skills and make connections for the professional world.
    • Le Paws and Hollywood Paws Animal Agency offer training programs for dogs that might be well suited for television. They usually expect your dog to have some mastery of basic commands ahead of time and be calm working with other dogs.[9]
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    Maintain good grooming. If you want your dog to work in television, grooming is important. Keep your dog's coat clean and trimmed. You will probably need to make regular appointments with a professional groomer so your dog is ready to go in the event of an audition or roll.[10]

Part 3
Finding Work

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    Find proper representation. If you want your dog to get a job in the industry, you need representation. Keep in mind your dog will never have an agent, exactly, as dogs are viewed as props. However, an agency can help represent your dog and find work.
    • The American Dog Trainer Network has a list of agencies and agents willing to book work for dogs. You can find a list by browsing their website.[11]
    • Hollywood Paws and Le Paws both offer representation in addition to training. If your dog successfully completes their training program, you might get representation there.[12]
    • You'll likely have to include photos of your dog and a list of credentials when you apply for representation. You might want to invest in professional photography so your dog looks his best for potential agents.[13]
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    Attend auditions. Just as with television work for regular actors, your dog will need to attend auditions. Your agency can help alert you to audition opportunities. They can also sign your dog up for an audition. You can increase your chances of getting a role by practicing beforehand, researching the role, and making sure your dog is well taken care of prior to the audition. A dog who is tired or hungry will not do his best.[14]
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    Be realistic. The fact is, not every dog will be successful on television. It's difficult to find regular work and popular dog breeds go in trends. Huskies may be the most often breed booked for television one year and the next year Golden Retrievers will be the rage. A lot of success is dependent on chance. Be realistic and recognize your dog has a slim chance of making it.
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    Publicize your dog. A great way to get your dog on TV is to create a public image for him. Animals that are popular online tend to get booked for more gigs.
    • Create a Facebook fan page. Facebook can be a great way to get your dog fans and followers. Explore the Facebook pages of other celebrity pets, like Grumpy Cat, and see what kind of techniques these owners use to publicize their pets.
    • Start a blog. Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund is a blog about a dachshund that has a huge fan base. Browse this and other pet blogs and see how to use the blogosphere to advertise your dog.
    • Use Twitter to update people on your dog. A cute idea for a Twitter page would be a page supposedly operated by the dog, speaking as the dog would about his accomplishments in the entertainment world.


  • Once your dog starts doing TV shows and commercials and any film extra work, list this on your dog's portfolio. The more times that you can show your dog has been used for public performance, the better.
  • Consider talent shows such as Britain's Got Talent and similar, if your dog has a talent.
  • If your dog is show quality, try entering dog shows. The winner of Crufts gets on TV in the UK every year.

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