MAKE MONEY #1: Do You Have a Model Dog?

Good for: DOG LOVERS, Parents, Students, Photographers, ALL

dog modeling agencies

Your Very Own Model Dog–Bark Out Proud!

Difficulty: 5 (MEDIUM)

Initial Investment: 2 to 5 (LOW TO MEDIUM)

Location: LOCAL, REMOTE, ONLINE, FREELANCE

Good for: DOG LOVERS, Parents, Students, Photographers, ALL

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Dog modeling as a new career?

ATTENTION: DOGGIE PARENTS, DOG MOMs and DADs, and STAGE MOMs and DADs!

Does your dog have the “je ne sais quoi” and what it takes to be a Doggie Influencer? There’s only one way to find out if FIDO has what it takes. So, what do you do first? After figuring out what makes your doggie super special, and have gotten great headshots (yes, dog models need these, too), then the next step is to find an agent–or agency–and get your dog’s pics seen by the right people.

Dog Model Agencies

Here are some of the Dog Model agencies for best for cool dog modeling:

  • Pawsitively Famous Animal Actors helps your furry pal connect with super well-known brands like Milkbone and Nom Nom. You can register your pet directly through the site and sign up for virtual auditions.
  • All Creatures Great and Small is a big-name animal talent agency based out of NYC. The agency seeks out dogs, cats, reptiles, and other animals to work with leading brands like GQ, Madewell, and Macy’s. 
  • Dognerd Animal Talent provides casting and media training for your amazing pet. All adult dogs must have a minimum of a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) title to apply to work. Submit an application online.

IF you want to go all out, try for the big leagues. All Creatures Great and Small. They are a big-name for animal talent agency NYC (not the show on PBS, BTW). The agency seeks out dogs, cats, reptiles, and other animals to work with leading brands like GQ and Macy’s. Iguanas, too, are a likely prospect.

How Hard is it to Get Started?

We have it listed as Difficulty: MEDIUM and Initial Investment as LOW to MEDIUM, because you need to get good head shots of your dog (or cat, reptile, etc) before you can start. It’s not as easy as putting a pair of sunglasses on your dog and calling it a day, although it was probably that easy in the beginning of the dog modeling craze.

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Just a pair of glasses will do? Not anymore–you gotta get savvy with your camera or hire out

How to Get Good Dog Model Head Shots

The good news is that you do not necessarily have to hire a dog photographer or invest in complicated equipment. When photographing, you want to think about different perspectives and angles. For example, try photographing at eye-level for your pet. This should make them feel more comfortable (unless they try to lick the camera lens-not so great).

TIP: When photographing, think about trying different perspectives and angles. For example, try photographing at eye-level for your pet.

Getting your pet comfortable is crucial to a good photo. That’s because the little guys don’t always FEEL like posing for the camera – or care anything about it. Fortunately, some cameras have special features to help us produce excellent shots of our beloved pets.

Here are their top tips for taking good dog model photos:

  1. Do you know the dog’s personality?
  2. Focus on the dog’s eyes and you will create a sense of depth
  3. Use a black background for classic portraits
  4. Use Burst Mode, Capture Motion, and Panning
  5. Use a wide-angle lens for cool, fun portraits
  6. Use manual focus for clear and focused, sharp portraits
  7. Use natural light for striking and handsome pet portraits
  8. Use simple backgrounds for the most flattering photos
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Get down to their level

What’s the Best Camera for a Dog Model?

There are lots of sites that offer advice and recommendations on the best cameras for pet photography. Camera Groove has a post on the best pet cameras here. Here are some of the top camera models for pets according to that site:

  • SONY ALPHA 7R III FULL FRAME MIRRORLESS CAMERA
  • SONY ALPHA 6600 E-MOUNT APSC MIRRORLESS CAMERA
  • FUJIFILM X-T30 MIRRORLESS CAMERA
  •  GoPro HERO 9 BLACK ACTION CAMERA
  •  SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-RX100 IV POCKET CAMERA

Small cameras can help by being inconspicuous and non threatening to the little critters. You want to think about the best way to make your model dog at ease.

Don’t Feel Comfortable Using Your Camera?

There are lots of free camera classes both locally and online. On Skillshare, there is a free class for SLR Photography here. They cover how to manually balance shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to achieve perfect exposure, and to handle street shots and lots of action (like dogs). It is taught by photographer Justin Bridges, fashion and portrait photographer based in New York City , who takes pictures of NYC city streets, models, portraits, and more.

Also, check out the quintessential SLR camera guide here from the Digital Photography School.

How Much Can My Dog Make with Dog Model Agencies?

According to ZipRecruiter, annual salaries can be as high as $142,500 and low as $16,000 per year (July, 2022). Most yearly incomes range from $25,500 to $52,000. Top earners can making $103,000 across the United States as earnings are not generally location-based or restricted.

TIP: Earnings are not generally location-based or restricted, so income can actually run as high as $142,500 a year.

MAKE MONEY 88 and Beyond: What’s NEXT? A Dog Model IRA?

WE PREDICT the Next Cool Thing will be Roth IRA custodians for working dogs and all the cash they make working for dog model agencies. 🙂. There has to be somewhere to put all that extra cash! According to Nolo, however, the law says that you cannot leave money or other kinds of property to your pet. Animals are property, and one piece of property cannot own another piece of property. However, you can plan to make sure that your pet has a good life after you die.

TIP: Animals are property, and one piece of property cannot own another piece of property, so you unfortunately can’t open a Roth IRA for your model dog.

COOL Stuff on the Horizon–Keep Open to Ideas

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What is the next cool dog model thing?

Note that there are over 7,000 results on Amazon for “cool dog stuff.” Perhaps you should be thinking about the Make Money 88 idea of dog modeling agencies as only ONE route for your amazing FIDO–here are more than 9 kinds of Dog-related Side Hustles for stay-at-home parents, moms, and dog lovers who work from home.

FUN FACT on Dog Inheritances: Gunther III (German shepherd) Left an inheritance in 1992 that, thanks to investments, ballooned to as much as $372 million.

Want MORE Make MONEY Ideas? Wish You Could WORK From HOME? Looking for a Good SIDE Hustle?

Photo by charlesdeluvio and Josh Rakower on Unsplash