Pretty Poochy – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s canine cast are lapping up the limelight

Ben Nielsen catches up with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s canine co-ordinator in Adelaide!

Badger is just one of the gorgeous canine stars featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Image supplied.

Every day is a bit of a dog’s breakfast for Kate Lloyd.The director of the Adelaide Animal Actors Agency has spent the last few months assembling, training and handling the canine ensemble for the Adelaide season of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Adelaide’s dog training industry is relatively small, but Lloyd makes a living as a full time trainer. Her additional role as an animal agent happened quite by chance.

“The reason I wanted to do film, television and media with animals was that one of my own dogs has a really good look and personality. I was trying to get him work but couldn’t find anyone, so I started my own agency.”

It may be a niche market, but there was certainly no shortage of dogs for Lloyd to choose from for the show. Most were volunteered by private owners and a few came from shelters and rescue centres.

As with their human counterparts, the dogs are put through a stringent selection process, but the deciding factor is their temperament and look.

“They’re not really highly trained, they’re just every day dogs. They only run from one side of the stage to the other, but they have to be confident and comfortable with the strange environment, costumes, actors and lights.”

They say that show business is a dog eat dog world and it is certainly no different for the Chitty Chitty canines. Several dogs didn’t quite make the grade and Lloyd has even had to ‘rest’ a pooch because of his excitable nature. The show had to go on though, with an understudy eagerly waiting in the wings for his debut. It would seem as though every dog really does have his day.

According to Lloyd, each animal is very well behaved. Despite the attention, the dogs have dealt well with their new found fame.

“They actually love the whole process. I use a food reward system, but they would probably do it without a treat. The dogs just really enjoy running together after the spies [George Kapiniaris as Goran and Todd Goddard as Boris].”

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang plays in Adelaide until 26 May 2013 before heading to Perth.

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Ben Nielsen

Ben Nielsen is an Adelaide based writer. He has contributed to a variety of publications including artsHub, Dandy Magazine, and the Adelaide* magazine.

Ben Nielsen

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