Bonnie Judd is an in-demand animal trainer /coordinator for film, television and still photography. She is known for providing and training not only dogs but species as diverse as monkeys, camels, elephant, cockroaches, russian wild boars, bears, and exotic chickens to name just a few. Her work can be most recently seen on The Flash, Arrow, Signed, Sealed & Delivered, A Christmas Tail, Monster Truck and Godzilla. She has an enviable list of credits that stretch back to the X-files and Millennium, Smallville, Supernatural and feature such animal-centric movies as Air Bud (I, II, III & IV), Dogs and Cats, Good boy!, Bailey’s Billions and the Dogfather.
She provided and trained the dogs for the #1 SuperBowl commercial “Fergus Bud Light” in which an uppity yuppie with an over-achieving border collie is shown up by an average joe with a feisty border terrier. Scrabble, who played border terrier “Fergus” got to demonstrate a most effective, if cringe-worthy method, of getting her master a beer.
Bonnie’s success as animal trainer for film comes from several key components:
Bonnie understands that in film, time is money, and she comes prepared to get the shot. She can visualize what the director wants to achieve and then set up the animal portion of the shot so that the ideal outcome is captured on film.
She has an almost empathic understanding of how animals think. She has a strong knowledge of both the science of animal behaviour and the natural and inherited impulses that cause an animal to choose one action over another. She excels in using that knowledge and positively-motivated-training methods to first select a suitable animal for a given project and then develop that animal to both reliably perform the actions required but to also prepare the animal for the noise and movement of a busy set.
Understanding animal structure is an often overlooked part of providing a successful animal actor. Bonnie’s background as a conformation competitor gives her an excellent understanding of animal form and movement. For the movie, the Dogfather, the producer and director were told by every other trainer that English Bulldogs would not be able to perform the actions required (either physically or mentally). Bonnie sourced and trained a number of bulldogs who showed that they were more than up to the challenge. For Resident Evil 5 her knowledge of canine structure and behaviour allowed her to set up the Dobermans so they could make the impressive over the camera jumps while wearing the restrictive mutant zombie suits.
Bonnie knows that days on set are long and that the dogs can be called upon to film scene after scene and need abundant energy and sound nerves (and they have to look terrific too). She realized early on that commercial dry dog foods were not giving her canine actors the nutrition and energy they needed. So, Bonnie, with the help of a number of canine nutritionists developed a raw food diet that delivers human consumption quality meat and vegetables for optimum performance. As she got so many requests for the food she began making it available commercially.
Bonnie knows that the secret to finding good animals is being tuned into the animal community and her list of contacts for dogs and other animals is second to none. If you need it she can find it. To develop up and coming dogs she offers training classes from her facility in the Fraser Valley and has seen many student’s dogs go on to star in commercials and television series.
Her commitment to seeing that directors get the shot they want while still coming in on budget AND making absolutely sure of the animals well-being and happiness at all times has made her a favorite of not only producers, directors and production managers but also of the animal owners who entrust their animal to Bonnie’s care during the duration of the project.
I would trust no one else to train the dog to kiss Jack Nicholson’s face
Production Manager – Richard Bullock