Animal talent agencies turning pets into su-paw-stars

The rapid growth of the pet product and service industry over the past few years has also meant there has been more demand than ever for pet brands needing animal talent to model their goods, not to mention all of the other products and services using pets in their advertising.

You only have to turn on the TV, or whatever device you choose to watch your favourite shows and films on these days, to see there seems to be no end to the TV shows, films and commercials that are using animal talent to tug at the emotional heartstrings of customers and make them more inclined to take notice of an ad.

This means the demand for pets in TV commercials, product catalogues and other marketing activations is greater than ever as our love for, and expenditure on, our furry friends continues to grow. It isn’t just for the most stunning or talented pets either.

To help you understand what it involves, and some tips and tricks to help your dog or cat perform, you can purchase and download my E-book ‘Your Pet on Set’ for just $9.95 HERE.

Could your pet be a su-paw-star?

Having the best looking pet, or one that can amaze the crowds with their advanced skills and ability, may help you get a foot in the animal talent door, but it isn’t a pre-requisite.

While our own canine co-star of Pooches at Play Darcy has basic obedience and can nail a beg like no other dog I know, he certainly isn’t the world’s most perfectly trained pooch. And as much as I think he is the cutest dog in the world, I am well aware that upon first glance most people stifle a giggle at his skinny, long frame, pointy nose, missing teeth and wiry hair that sticks out in all directions.

However, his scruffy appearance hasn’t stopped him from quite possibly being one of Australia’s busiest TV dogs, clocking up hundreds of hours if TV hour airtime, ambassador roles and photos shoots. His adorable personality and cheeky character have endeared him to our viewers and brand partners, so he is proof that any pet could literally be the next BIG thing.

Of course, there will always be demand from brands and advertisers for pedigree pooches, or strikingly attractive feline friends, or a dog or cat that can perform some amazing tricks under high pressure.  But, there are many others that are looking for every day pets and animal talent that have basic obedience and are simply able to stay calm around strangers and/or other animals in a busy environment.

How a pet talent agency can help

Pet talent agencies represent animal actors and models in much the same way as a child or adult talent agency does, providing work opportunities in the areas of TV and film, catalogues, live events and many other jobs where a ‘client’ is wanting to feature animals in their productions, marketing or promotional activities.

When you make contact with an animal talent agency, find out what their agreement terms are, what work they have supplied animals for and what services they provide to you and your pet. You will then need to provide them with any photos, videos, behaviour and training information they ask for to help ensure they are armed with everything they might possibly need to put your pet’s best paw forward for a job.

Keep your expectations realistic

No matter how much ground work you put in though, remember, there are no guarantees that your pet will get a paid job just because you signed with an agency, and there will be disappointments. On the positive side, any training and other work you do with your pet to help prepare them for their 15 minutes of fame, can be a wonderful bonding experience.

Even if they miss out on a job…1) they’ll never know and 2) they will love you even more for spending time with them and engaging in activities that help to keep their brains and bodies active – so you will always be a rock star to them whether you get the gig or not!



About the Author: Lara Shannon is a certified dog behaviourist and trainer, pet food nutrition specialist, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com. Lara also runs her own dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area and is the Author of World of Dogs and Eat, Play, Love Your Dog

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