Animal trainer celebrates Crufts’ 125th anniversary

Gill Raddings with her stunt dogs. Picturet: onEdition PNL-160314-154117001
Gill Raddings with her stunt dogs. Picturet: onEdition PNL-160314-154117001

Her company may have trained stunt dogs for blockbuster films and award-winning TV but Banbury trainer Gill Raddings was in a different type of spotlight last week, when she appeared at the 125th anniversary of Crufts.

Founder of Stunt Dogs and Animals, Gill, and her team of animal trainers have developed a reputation for supplying trained animals to the film, TV and advertising industry.

Ranging from films such as Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and Sherlock Holmes to TV programmes such as Poldark and Downton Abbey, Stunt Dogs and Animals can boast a portfolio of animal appearances.

But dogs are their speciality – and 14 of them were with Gill last Thursday at the world’s largest dog show at Birmingham’s NEC, among them Buddy from Doc Martin.

Gill believes no dog is too disobedient to be trained.

Gill said: “These dogs have different amounts of training. Our top dogs, with all the top tricks, take about three months.

“But doing all the basics doesn’t take too long at all. We can do that in a couple of weeks really, but it depends on the dog.

“I believe that any dog is trainable to greater or lesser degree.

“Obviously not every dog can walk on its back legs or hide its eyes and turn around in circles, but every dog can be trained to sit, lie down and come when it is called.”

Gill has putting on displays at Crufts with her company’s dogs for the last 20 years.

She said: “I love Crufts. We are here all four days and we come every single year. It is a very exhausting four days but it is fab, I love everything about it.

“It means the world to me to be involved with the Crufts 125th anniversary celebrations, it is an honour and a privilege to be involved in Crufts.”