Whether it’s Beethoven or Cujo you’re watching, working on set with dog actors sounds like the dream job for many animal lovers – and for many professionals it undoubtedly is.
Yet such jobs are far from simple, as training a dog to follow a variety of instructions to make its actions appear natural on screen takes an in-depth understanding of canine behaviour.
Getting the Basics Right
As with many professions, although there are complicated techniques to hone, doing the basic stuff repetitively and effectively is also key.
The same rules apply here, including spending a copious amount of time with your dog actors so they form a strong bond with you. This is vital to ensuring a co-operative relationship, as is providing consistent incentives, such as attention and praise.
To help them overcome any fears they have of the new situation, trainers will often take them to busy locations, like stores and bustling streets, in order to help them grow used to being around lots of commotion. Ensuring that they’re kept regularly entertained is also a vital part of making them feel at ease.
A great trainer knows the most important aspect is to make sure your dog actors feel safe and happy. Acting can be very demanding and tiring, and your dogs’ well-being comes first!
Demanding On-Screen Scenes
Given that animal welfare and mental health are vital, trainers need to spend more time than usual preparing for fight scenes. These scenes often look vicious and realistic, but it’s important to know that they have been choreographed and rehearsed by professionals who put dog actors above everything.
Dog actors are never in any danger, and neither are their human counterparts. When dogs act on screen, even for such trying scenes, their trainer is constantly present to ensure that they don’t get uncomfortable and that their health and well-being are being respected.
Being a successful dog actor depends on you, as a trainer, ensuring they don’t get overworked or put into dangerous situations. After all, your dog actors are your friends!
If you want to learn more about the day-to-day or long-term activities that dog trainers go through, feel free to contact us to speak to our friendly team. Alternatively, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our latest news and updates.