The Tails Behind Famous Dogs, Their Co-Stars, and Their Companions
Buy Hollywood Barks:
Written by revered Hollywood animal trainer Kathryn Segura, “Hollywood Barks” is a heartwarming memoir of two decades on the set with famous working dogs and their co-stars. It offers readers a unique perspective on the lives of Hollywood dogs and the celebrities who work with them, and Kathryn generously shares some training tips she used for each dog.
Click here to go directly to Kathryn’s Segura’s Basic Training Tips (necessary prerequisites for the behaviors taught in Hollywood Barks!)
“In a town like Hollywood, everyone likes a good tale (tail). I’ve known Kathryn for years and there’s no doubt this book will be entertaining – can’t wait for my copy!” Jeanie Buss, Executive VP, Los Angeles Lakers
“Five paws up for Hollywood Barks. Kathryn Segura hits “the mark” on telling the stories of well-known movie dogs and describing how they learn their roles. The training tips from expert trainer Segura can be used with all dogs, whether you want your dog to be a star or a well-mannered pet.” Mary R. Burch, PhD, Director, Canine Good Citizen & AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy
Hollywood Barks is charming, warm, funny, and poignant. The stories flow effortlessly and they are about people we all know. As an actor, reading “Hollywood Barks” is like reminiscing with an intimate friend while having a cup of hot chocolate. Kathryn Segura is a marvelous story teller and she has made my gift shopping much easier… Thanks Kath! -Guich Koock, Actor
I’ve known Kathryn since childhood and watched happily from the sidelines as her love of animals became a successful, full time career. With “Hollywood Barks” Kathryn has written her story with the same humorous, loving and passionate touch that she uses with all of her furry friends. I loved this book. –Richard Holland, Producer and writer
First off, “Hollywood Barks” is an easy read, the pictures are great at chronicling the stories, and this is a world we think we know – but really don’t. Kathryn is very humble in this book and people do not realize how much work goes into what she does on set. As movie buff and dog owner – this book gives insight into how movies are made, the detail that goes into some of the most famous pet scenes in cinema, and at the same time gives you lessons you can use at home with your own dog. -Gregg Champion, President, Champion Media & Entertainment
Do you like to teach your dog tricks? Teach your dog to be the life of the party – or of the silver screen! Hollywood Barks features over a dozen comprehensive training tips and tricks, including how-to’s for teaching your dog necessary Hollywood behaviors! Kathryn’s lessons will guide you to teach your dog to wave at your adoring fans, nudge the person in front of you who isn’t moving fast enough, go to a mark (a specific place on the stage), and MORE!
Excerpt: “One of my favorite people to work with is Olympic diver Greg Louganis. No, I don’t have a hidden talent for diving. Greg’s actually the one with the secret gift – for showing Great Danes and training other dogs for agility! We met on the dog show circuit, where I couldn’t but help notice how well-behaved his dogs were. When I got a call for a commercial that required one very large dog and one very small one, Greg’s dogs were the first ones I thought of. They wanted white dogs, so I showed them a picture of my Papillion, Checkers (red and white) and another of Greg’s Great Dane Brutes (a Harlequin – black and white). The producers loved both dogs and we got the job.
When we arrived on set, everyone wanted to meet Greg, which gave me a chance to check things out. I immediately discovered a BIG problem – the set was pure white, and so were the dogs! When it was time, we put the dogs on a sit-stay, and sure enough, all the director could see when he looked through the camera were some floating eyeballs and a few red and black spots. Surprised, the director asked me what to do, and within an hour, I had his solution.
Times like this are when I thank my lucky stars that I learned Hollywood make-up in my early years. To this day, I still always keep my make-up case with me, because in Hollywood you just never know when it might come in handy. In the space of an hour, Greg and I ran the dogs back out to the van, gave them a complete makeover with black and brown pancake make-up, and had them back on the set. Covering Brutes’ face, chest, and front legs (the parts the camera would see), was an epic task. Checkers had much less surface area, but with longer hair it was still quite the chore.
About Kathryn Segura:
After a childhood full of dog shows and a stint in the high fashion make-up industry, Kathryn Segura found her niche in Hollywood as a studio wrangler/animal trainer. Through her company PHD Animals, she has helped cast and train every creature imaginable: from cats to dogs, horses to zebras, and even “lions, tigers, and bears” (Oh, my!). With a resume chock full of experience in print work, TV shows and series, commercials, and major motion pictures (such as the blockbuster hits discussed in this book, Tin Cup, and The Addams Family), Kathryn continues to be called upon to bring life and depth to “anything Hollywood.” Recently, Kathryn has melded her passion for animals with her experience in fashion and make-up to create Take 1 Products,which makes specialized animal skin and fur care products.
Kathryn Segura’s Basic Training
Hollywood Barks! gives you the scoop on how to train your dog to perform behaviors that are useful on Hollywood sets (and fun at parties!). But before you teach or dog the more advanced tricks, be sure he’s got the basics down! Here are some basic training tips by Kathryn Segura.
- Have your dog on a six-foot leash and treats in hand.
- Position yourself so your dog is in front of you, facing you.
- Hold the treat over his head with your palm up, and bend your wrist up as you say, “Sit.”
- If he struggles, move the treat slightly towards his ears (back over him) while saying sit. This should make him look up, usually putting his butt down.
- Eventually you can practice this behavior without treats. I recommend stopping at each street corner and having your dog sit. Not only is it good practice, it will help teach your dog not to run into the street.
- Put your dog in a sit at your left side while on a six-foot leash.
- Say, “Stay,” with the palm of your right hand in front of your dog face.
- Then pivot in front of your dog. Then back to his side, if your dog does not move praise your dog. If he breaks, start over, repeating until your dog stays.
- Once you can do this without your dog moving, put your dog on a stay and walk to the end of your leash (do not look back at your dog).
- Turn around and face your dog, waiting about 30 seconds before walking back. When you’re at his side, release him with a command like “OK” or “release,” and give him lots of praise.
- Continue increasing your distance (perhaps using a longer leash), practicing both facing your dog and facing away from your dog.
- Put your dog in a sit-stay while on a six-foot leash.
- Walk almost to the end of your leash (facing away from your dog). Call, “(Dog’s Name) Come,” and run backwards a little.
- Once he comes, stop running and have him sit in front of you while giving him lots of praise.
- Note: By saying his name first, you’re getting his attention, but you don’t want him to come until he hears the command, “Come.” The reason for this is if you can’t find your dog and you’re calling his name, the last thing you want is for him to come running across a busy street once you spot him. If he knows not to come until you specifically tell him to, the dog is much safer in this situation.
- Try not to train the “Sit-Stay” and “Recall” one after another. Mix it up with other behaviors between them so as not to confuse your dog.
- Kneeling in front of your dog, put him in a sit-stay.
- With a treat in your loose fist, say, “Down” as you move your hand to the ground in front of him
- Let him sniff and lick your hand until he gets the message that he’s supposed to lay down. It might take a while, but it will pay off.
- Praise him when he lies down. Once your dog understands the “Down” command you can work on a “Down-Stay.” It’s the same as a “Sit-Stay” except he is lying down.
This is not a trick, but it’s very important to me, and I want you to know about it. First, I can’t stress enough the importance of socializing your dog. Let people handle your dog when you take him out, and be sure to give him time to meet other dogs.
To get to those places, you’ll most likely take a car, so now I’ll get to my point. Don’t let your dog sit in the front, whether on your lap or in the passenger seat. If, heaven forbid, you have an accident and the airbags deploy, well….
The safest place for your dog in the car is either in a crate or seat-belted in a car harness made especially for dogs. If you have a smaller dog or a puppy you may even consider getting a dog car seat. Think of it this way – if you wouldn’t put your baby in the front seat, why would put your dog there? Please, take care of your pets and keep them in the BACK!