Dynamic Dogs head trainer and animal wrangler Jennifer Hack was hired for an animal talent tv commercial for Pro Plan dog food.
More than 7 Belgian Malinois had tried out for the spot. Jennifer’s superstar female Malinois “Gemini” was selected after pre-shoots. Gemini is a veteran of doing public demos, and working on sets. She is highly trained in obedience, tricks, and is titled in French Ring Sport. She has a wide repertoire of behaviors and is social and confident. In her shoots, she sometimes will have dog-safe makeup on her face, as she has a black face, and a lighter looking face tends to film and photograph better. The film set had about 30 people working, and a half-day dedicated to shoot various scenes with Gemini and an actress. The dogs trainer or handler (commonly called “animal wrangler”) directs the dog from behind the camera, or off to the side. So it’s important to have distance control and hand signals when needed.

Would you like your dog to work in talent or acting? Some of the skills needed for animal talent:

  • Must be stable on set– comfortable in new places and around people, lights, moving objects, cameras in their face, etc.
  • Some useful movie dog behaviors…
    • To your mark
    • Sit, down, stand
    • Hold a “stay” in different positions
    • Back up (on hand signal)
    • Retrieve
    • Head-down
    • Leave-it
    • Speak on cue
    • Step onto objects

Check out Gemini in action: