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Top tips from expert movie animal trainer, Kay Raven

Top tips from expert movie animal trainer, Kay Raven

From the Bond villain's cat to the Queen's corgis, Kay Raven has spent 30 years working with movie stars - the furry ones, that is! Here are her top tips for training your dog

1) Give every action a name
Name it and keep repeating it while the action is taking place so that the dog makes the association. For instance, when your dog is laying down praise him with, 'Down, good, down.' My puppy naturally tugs on people's trouser legs when she's playing. So I give the action a name, for instance 'ankle', so that I can train her to do it on command for films when she is older.

2) Be consistent and patient
If I am training a dog not to pull ahead of me out of the door, I will just not let it happen - even if it takes eight hours!

3) Reward good behaviour
Toys excite dogs, whereas food calms them down. Be lavish with your praise but deduct their training treats from their daily food allowance to help control their weight.

4) Never punish
Obedience training is always reward-based, never ever fear-based. Don't raise your voice or get frustrated if things are not going well. Stop and try again later.

5) Make it fun
Vary routines, be unpredictable and exciting. Show excitement and run around like a mad thing!

From PetPeople magazine issue 1

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