How To Control Your Dog’s Barking When Filming

When working with dogs in film it can sometimes be difficult to get them to behave exactly as the role or storyline asks, and anyone who has worked with puppy actors for some time is going to know this fact intimately well. Even worse, barking on-set can lead to all sorts of issues, from annoying the human actors and film crew, to aggravating the director, and even to ruining audio from a perfect take. If you’re just filming for Instagram at home it can still be an issue, you might be on a tight deadline to get out your next post but your dog might be howling away, completely distracted from the job at hand.

What can you do as a dog owner in these situations or something similar? Well, luckily, it all comes down to basic training and while there may not be an immediate solution that is permanent, there are indeed immediate solutions as well as solutions that are more permanent. Let’s start with some immediate solutions.

Immediate Solutions (The Quick Fixes)

If you’re filming on set for an expensive movie where there is simply no room for mistake, there are two solutions to get your dog to either stop barking or to prevent them from ruining the audio.

Remove Them From The Scene

The simplest and easiest tactic is to remove your dog from the area of the scene entirely. Getting them far enough away from the microphones so that they won’t be picked up – or at least can be edited out – is by far the quickest and easiest solution when you’re in a pinch. The director or audio engineer should be able to give you a good read on whether or not your dog’s barking is damaging the audio – heck, they are probably the reason you know your dog’s barking is a problem in the first place. Sometimes removing your dog from the scene just isn’t possible though, for instance, if you are on a particularly small scene or if your dog is up next. What can you do in those circumstances?

Stopping The Barking

When removing your dog from the scene is not an option, the absolute fail safe is to put a bark collar on until it’s their time to shine. This is probably a tool you should get your dog used to anyway if they’re going to be in this business for the long haul, as once they get used to the collar simply having it on their neck is enough to let them know it’s time to keep quiet. With most collars these days you can start with a collar that shocks if needed, and slowly move to a vibration as your dog becomes more familiar with the collar. You can find some good collars here:

The More Permanent Solutions

If your dog is going to be a canine superstar, the real solution is to train them properly so that they know when it is OK and when it is not OK to be barking. This is done through a number of tactics and they all take patience and persistence to implement properly. The industry-standard these days is positive reinforcement, which is best achieved through clicker training in the application of film. The process is too long to explain here, but it’s worth reading up as it is really a great long-term investment for your doggy star. The most recommended book is Don’t Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor.

How To Train Dogs For Professional Roles In Film

Many people would search for dog videos online just to be entertained and relaxed. It just releases stress and forget about the long day or week that just happened. Because of that, many people would set up profiles or post videos of their dogs.

It is not only about videos. Movies also tend to do something with dogs in them. No matter how their role and scene, it almost always grab the attention of the audience. 

If you are thinking of having your dog in those, it would be a great opportunity. It’s possible to have your dog trained for this, but it will take a lot of effort and patience.

To get started, here are the tasks you need to do:

1. Preparation

Preparation is require for both your dog and you. The first thing you should do is to have some research about the basics and possible methods. Another is knowing your dog. Can your dog take it? Some dogs are easily trained, but that does not mean it will be the same for acting. You should know if they have the right personality for it. They should be sociable and alert at all times. Then after that, you should prepare yourself and see if you are really willing to train them for yourself.

2. Start with the Basics

If you are really decided, that does not mean you will train them with acting right away. You will have to start with the basic skills and master it. With that, it will be a lot easier for them to go on more advanced skills. 

3. Get Advanced

As they master the basic skills, you can teach them more advanced bit by bit. With this, you will train them some expressions and positioning. It is not all about the acting though but the right timing of their actions. It is also this time that they need to be trained in different areas and situations. It could be in crowded places or those with different temperatures or surroundings. They will also need to get used to different people and even animals. 

4. Practice

As they say, practice makes perfect. This means you will have to do things repeatedly for them to get used to it. By practicing, they will also get to develop it. Having some routine will certainly help, but there are more ways to do it. One of those is exposure which means having them trained with other dogs. You could have a collaboration with other trainers, and it will surely be helpful for both. It is also a nice way for you to have connection and contact with others which will be very useful in the future and in industry.

5. Certification

Another way to get connected to the industry is to be certified. When you have a certificate, you can be recommended and also be known. You may also learn about the different agencies by yourself and be the one to approach. And with that, not only your dog will have the chance, they can also be trained further.