The film and TV industry is pretty small in Perth, but I do get to do a bit here and there. It was so much fun working with this little Chihuahua, Buddy. My colleague Tracey Lord and I work with three Chi's between us and this was what we got!
We started by teaching Buddy to target by clicker training him, canned chicken was Buddy's favourite treat. We began on the floor with clicking and treating for looking at a box, then for front paws in the box, all paws in the box and eventually jumping into the box. A box was chosen as it was much more stable than a handbag.
Once he was good with the box, we transitioned to a hand bag. We also had to add in jumping onto a table from a lap into the bag. All in two weeks, while working our normal job full time in addition to training a dog neither of us had previously met!
Jumping into a handbag or a box is a fairly easy trick to teach, but don't forget this amazing little dog left his home hom for two weeks to stay in someone else's house. After two weeks of training, he was asked to jump into that bag again and again for about an hour and a half on set with strange people fussing around, bright lights, filming equipment and cameras. Film and TV work is very challenging for animals and it is so important to ensure you use an animal with the right temperment for the role.
The production company, Factor 30, did a great job of making this advertisement!