I've also mulled over taking the shot with a small aperture... waiting till the subject is away... turning the focus to manual so it doesn't shift, and the opening the aperture wide... And then placing them in the bokeh filed image with Photoshop.
You would need a tripod of course.
I've thought about this... but I don't think it is an option I can use with my body's firmware.
Shoot two images onewide open and the other at f8 in quick succession... then over lap then in layers in Photoshop and just make the dog in focus...
I think it would look strange at really large print sizes, but at calendar size, it would go unnoticed.
I probably should read the manual, but I don't think any bodies are set up for that type of on the fly automatic adjustment.
you could do this...it takes a considerable amount of time and care in PP to do it so it doesn't look fake (even at smaller outputs). or, you can just find the appropriate aperture, focal length and distance from subject while you are shooting.