If you are a doggie parent of a spirited, charismatic pooch, and you often think how wonderful it would be to share him with others, he just might be a celebrity in the making. Many pets have become overnight success stories on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Other adorable pups have made productive modeling careers for themselves. For some of the clever pups and their proud parents, a supportive role on TV or in the movies turned them into big sensations. You know your Doggie is naturally magnetic so people cannot resist him, and as long as he is well behaved and can pose for the camera, there are many opportunities. It’s just a question of getting Doggie seen by the right people and talent companies.
You already know Doggie is a charmer. Understandably, you think he’s the best looking, smartest and most amazing dog, and he probably is. After all, every dog is unique with special qualities. You have to turn yourself into his cheerleader, a sort-of stage mom to promote and stand by Doggie. At the start of his career and your job as a promoter, tell yourself you and Doggie are going to have fun. He may never become another Benji or Lassie, but if you both have fun, enjoy a sense of adventure, and get real enjoyment, you have already accomplished an important step with Doggie.
Here are some ideas to promote Doggie into a super model:
Pictures – Perhaps the most important step to promote Doggie is to build a portfolio of images. You don’t necessarily need to spend big dollars with a photographer to capture Doggie’s true beauty and personality but, remember, a picture is “worth a thousand words.” You know him better than anyone so snap, snap and snap some more. Really spend time and effort in capturing stunning images of Doggie. Make certain the pictures are crisp and well posed. Take close ups and stills and action shots. Then have them printed in a large 10×8 portfolio format. If you want a few special poses and don’t mind spending the money, enlist the help of a photographer who will work with you to get a few special poses with lighting effects. Most desired are head shots of the dog in various expressions, straight front, profile and unique angle. Get clear pictures in creative poses of Doggie for the most desirable images. Put together Doggie’s own display portfolio, keeping copies of some or all of the pictures out for yourself for additional promotions. Remember if you will be sending a portfolio or montage to pet agents, then make up promo packages, too. You may have to spend money for the best promotion materials.
Resume – Compose a top-notch resume for Doggie and include a montage of his top three or four or more pictures. Be clever in your selections. Include head shot of Doggie.
Seek out an agency – First a word to the wise – as in many things these days, beware of scams! Having said that, an agency will become invaluable to Doggie’s future and his possible rise to celebrity. The American Dog Trainer Network keeps an agency list and also books work for dogs. The list is on their website. Hollywood Paws and Le Paws train and represent dogs. So you could also check them out. A few agencies for pets:
http://www.topdogtalentagency.com/ Top Dog Talent Agency
http://www.lepawsagency.com/ Le Paws Agency
http://www.dawnanimalagency.com/ Dawn Animal Agency
http://www.americastopdogmodel.com/about-us.htm America’s Top Dog Model
http://www.animal-actors.com/pressrelease.htm Animal Actors International
Head shots are most wanted by pet agents since these are submitted to clients looking for dog models. Getting into a head shot book is not an easy task so it’s up to you to get the most effective pictures. Shop around on photographer sites, Pinterest and images on the Internet to see poses you like and those that work best for Doggie. So armed with Doggie’s portfolio and effective head shots, you are ready to contact pet modeling agencies and agents directly. Start by calling your state’s film board and ask for a list of animal acting agencies. You can also phone advertising agencies for pet products. Having an agent/agency increases Doggie’s chances at stardom. Remember that landing a gig requires an obedient dog, one that will sit, jump and roll over on command. Doggie will need to stay still and tolerate bright lights on casting calls.
Keep in mind your dog will not have an agent, exactly, since dogs are viewed as props. However, an agency can help represent your dog and find work.
You have found your contacts and addresses, your photos, resume and portfolio are jazzed up and you are ready to mail. You want to follow up with a phone call after at least one week – call to confirm they have received Doggie’s package.
Give Doggie a voice – Get Doggie his own Facebook and Instagram pages, get him on Pinterest and Tumblr. Let Doggie really stand out in the crowd by giving him a backstory. If the pooch has a unique look or can do trick like Jiff or he came from a shelter and is now on the verge of stardom, you have a backstory that will work with the dog’s personal brand. For Doggie, create a short story. Boo, the famous little Pomeranian, simply says “My name is Boo. I am a dog. Life is good.” Of course, you can expand but put it into Doggie’s voice, simple and direct. Find his niche. You need a good story followed up with a savvy plan.
Branding opportunities – If you want Doggie featured in magazine spreads or ads, then think marketing and highlight Doggie’s image with the product, making both look superb. You can even market a brand or product by capturing Doggie’s image in a creative way with the brand or product.
Get on TV – It will take some time for Doggie to break into TV work and you will be working hard on his behalf and will need patience. For Doggie to work well on TV, he will need to be calm and friendly. He will be exposed to lots of noise and commotion and should not be easily scared. He should also be tolerant of other animals and not get easily distracted. It’s a good idea to have Doggie vetted to be sure he is suitable for the hubbub on camera. His vaccinations should be up to date.
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.
Teach Doggie a few tricks – TV producers wants dogs with a range of skill levels. Besides, the more Doggie learns, the more he will be in demand. He can master tricks like shaking paws, dancing, high fiving, begging and barking on command.
Attend auditions – Doggie will have to audition just like human actors and dancers. A pet agency would obviously be able to alert you to various auditions and locations. Practice with Doggie beforehand, research the role and keep Doggie happy. The competition is steep and getting a role is a feat.
Create Doggie’s public image – This is similar to “Give your dog a voice” above. Work on his public image on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media where his accomplishments and picture can get daily updates. You can use Twitter for updates about Doggie. Publicize! Keep Doggie the primary focus on his page. Be generous with pictures and news. Be creative!
The following is a list of famous animals and their Internet sites.
- Maru https://www.youtube.com/user/mugumogu
- Jiff http://www.jiffdog.com/ https://instagram.com/jiffpom/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/jiffpom/
- Boo https://www.facebook.com/Boo
- Cooper Gardner https://www.facebook.com/cooper.gardner.1?fref=ts
- Lil Bub http://lilbub.com/
- Trotter https://instagram.com/trotterpup/
- Grumpy Cat http://www.grumpycats.com/
- Menswear Dog http://mensweardog.tumblr.com/
- Batdog http://textfromdog.tumblr.com/
- Ragdoll Gracie https://www.facebook.com/RagdollGracie
- Tuna https://instagram.com/tunameltsmyheart/
- Toast https://instagram.com/toastmeetsworld/
- Manny https://www.facebook.com/mannythefrenchie and https://instagram.com/manny_the_frenchie/
When all the hard work is said and done, keep your sense of humor and fun with Doggie. It is not easy to break into show business, but Doggie’s day will come. The brightness of the spotlight is an enviable spot for Doggie and it’s all worth it when he becomes the star!
And, finally, a most popular trick for dogs is to perfect the head tilt – it gets ’em every time!