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Search on for Annie's top dog

Monday 3 Mar 2014 2:21 p.m.

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Hopeful dog actors have been put through their paces in Wellington this morning vying for the position of top dog in the upcoming musical Annie.

Casting scouts will look over a number of pooches throughout the day, searching for the perfect one to play the loveable red-head orphan's sidekick Sandy.

In an X-Factor-style audition, the dogs were checked for their appearance before being given a basic obedience test. Successful dogs then moved onto more trials.

Animal handler Maria Alomajan says she's looking for how dogs react when they see something new or how they react in a strange environment including stage lights, an audience and people in costume.

"They'll have to be away from their owner, they'll be working at nights and in a completely foreign environment to dogs," she says.

The dogs need to be mid-sized with sandy-coloured fur, and must be comfortable with children and strangers as well as being away from its owner. They also need to tolerate loud noises.  

More auditions will be held in Auckland on Friday at the town hall.

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