commercial model application process

Serving more commercial clients every year, each requiring specific shots, locations or unique models for their pet-related products and brands, we have often called upon past clients and their animals for modeling work.  However, with demand increasing for commercial photography work, along with other agencies contacting scruffy dog seeking models, a database is required to assist these clients in choosing their prospective models.

Does your dog or cat have what it takes to be a supermodel?

Please read all of the info below, as well as the HOW TO APPLY.

NOTE: We are NOT an agency.  We cannot represent you and your animal to other companies, although we occasionally receive inquiries from agencies seeking models.  We do NOT shoot commercials; this is photography for commercial purposes.



Commercial sessions run differently than a private shoot.  With commercial, it’s not always about what the pet gives us, but rather, what we need from the pet, while still working within that animal’s natural abilities, drives and tolerances.  As such, it is vital that you are 100% honest in your assessment of your pet and their abilities.

To be an “Endorsed” model, your pet must meet all of the following qualifications.

DOGS … any breed, mix, size, age!

  • must have a higher than average level of training – “down”, “stand”, “sit”, “wait/stay” and more – all with owner at least 20′ out, and with a moderate level of distractions;
  • must be relatively trustworthy off-leash, but 100% is not necessary;
  • must have a reliable recall;
  • must be comfortable in new surroundings and new situations;
  • must possess leash-respect – i.e. little or no pulling;
  • must be healthy;
  • must possess some kind of a ‘working/directable’ drive – ball, frisbee, treats, owner, etc.;
  • must live in Southwestern Ontario and Greater Toronto Area, particularly KW and GTA, and must be available for travel to sessions across Ontario.

CATS …  any breed, mix, size, age!

  • must be outgoing and friendly;
  • must be comfortable with new people coming into their space/home (since we are typically needing to shoot in their own home where they are most comfortable);
  • must be playful or at least somewhat lure-able with food/treats;
  • can be any color, breed, hair-length, etc.;
  • must live in Southwestern Ontario and Greater Toronto Area, particularly KW and GTA, and must be available for travel to sessions across Ontario.

 If your pet meets all of the above requirements then being a scruffy model might just be for you! 



BUT WAIT!  There’s more!  What if your dog doesn’t meet all of the above qualifications but they are an extremely unique-looking dog (i.e. unique cross-breed, color or coat) or a rare breed?

We want rare and unique cross-breeds as well!

We are opening up a small section of the database to rare breeds and unique cross-breeds, making them available to commercial clients even though they might not be the most highly-trained specimens in all of dogdom.  These dogs can certainly be upgraded to the status of a fully “Endorsed” model with some training, but in the meantime, they can reside in the special section on the database, at the ready for any commercial clients who are after those diamonds in the ruff!

 … and if your scruffy doesn’t meet any of the above requirements, hey, we still love them!



If you are interested in the opportunities associated with being a scruffy dog commercial model AND if you live in Ontario:

  • drop us a line
  • PLEASE indicate that you are inquiring about modeling possibilities
  • do NOT send photos your email being deleted

We will send you the full information package detailing the full scope of requirements, what is involved, the perks and benefits, application form, and more!

Former clients: you’ve already got one foot in the door with your scruffy in that he/she has already met the SDP cameras.  If your dog/cat meets the requirements, PLEASE, we definitely want to hear from you!

We look forward to hearing from you and to the many exciting possibilities!

All written content and photos copyright to Illona Haus, scruffy dog photography.
DO NOT COPY or use the content of this website in any way.
Any form of copying or plagiarism will be thoroughly pursued by our attorneys.


Sara Megson - Hi
I have two dogs that are certified therapy dogs and have worked in hospitals and senior home. One has also been on Rachal Ray and has a crazy intelligence. Both very well behaved. One is 12 and mild mannered from the day he was born, he has a high drive for retrieving anything. He also can target, touch, knock down objects , will sit up, roll over, play dead, head down, place and lots more. He is a very long legged mini poodle. He is so tall he falls out of the miniature poodle standard, but is way to petite to be called a standard, he is black with some grey due to age.
My second dog also knows lots of tricks has high drive for fetch with her ball, she is a very busy but chilled little girl, with the courage of a lion. She also knows the usual and a few more tricks and commands. She is told every day how adorable and pretty she is, she is a 7 pound yorkie poodle mix and is going to be 7 this year. She has a u I’ve personality that has everyone smiling when she walks in a room.

Elise West - Hello i just emailed you the info for the pkg .My name is Elise and my dogs name is Stark .Sorry I forgot to label it .

Jeremy Vachon - nobody can read, it says “call!”

Dianne Singer - Do you have any interest in horse/equine models?

Marcy Wright - Hi my dog meets the requirements. ..she can sit stay do tricks if need she is a JRT she is 2 yrs old…

illona - Stephanie, if you would like information and an application, please follow the links in the article above. thank you!

Stephanie - I have a 7 month old Jindo mix puppy who is extremely beautiful and fun to work with. She is fully trained and is very paitent, Let me know if you would like to see pictures of her!

illona - feel free to follow the links to fill in an application, Sweetie, Shivers and Lulu!

Lex Alberto - I have a beautiful all grey with yellow eyed mini Pitbull that everyone tells me i shoukd find a way to model.Hes very obidient.I have a lot of pictures of him wearing all kinds of apparel even doggles and doggy shoes.Everyone falls in love with “Bronx” when they meet him.Hes even helped a few people get over the fear of being around pitbulls.Hes truly special and Beautiful.

Bonnie Chiu Yin Wong - my alaskan malamute can be an “Endorsed” model with treats…

Sweetie, Shivers, and Lulu The Jack Russell Terrier - Hi, I am inquiring about the pet commercial. My dogs have done commercials,magazines, and have been on Talent Hounds. ( documentary). They have done shows for the All about pet show, and have done the stupid pet trick at Woofstock; also have done tricks at Slooberfest as well. You can check out my FB page Sweetie, Shivers, and Lulu The Jack Russell Terrier and if you think my girls fit your bill I look forward hearing from you…..Have a great week.

illona - Robyn, as per the info on this page above, dogs and cats must “live in Southwestern Ontario, particularly KW and GTA”. the reason for this is that quite often for commercial and editorial work, models are required short notice. factoring in a trip from out-of-province isn’t typically viable. but thank you so much for your interest.

Robyn Raoul - Inquiring about the pet commercial database, I did put my dogs photo on your facebook wall, not sure if that is sufficient. I know that you mostly only take dogs from your area. We live in Nova Scotia but could be willing to travel just for the experience for my dog and myself. Of course, everyone thinks they have the cutest adorable dog I know I am probably bias as well but I really think my dog has a lot of personality and good looks. Wherever we go he seems to turn heads and gets people’s attention, a bit of a diva. He is a loveable Coton de Tulear. Anyways, I am just putting it out there for your interest. Would be interested in getting more information on this commercial database.

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