When Disney decided to bring back the classic #LadyandtheTramp film, they specifically sought out rescue dogs to fill the many roles within the film. What better owners than Disney to roll out the royal treatment for sweet dogs that needed some tender, love, and care! All this week I’m sharing exclusive coverage from my on-set visit to Lady and the Tramp, a live action film.
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
Disney Sought Out Rescue Dogs for #LadyandtheTramp Film
During my tour of the set, we spoke with Head Animal Trainer Mark Forbes where he shared details about the process of finding rescue dogs for the film. Mark mentioned it was roughly a 2 1/2 month process to find all the dogs, sharing “I think seven or eight of them were complete strays, rescued.” Adding, “the great thing is almost every animal shelter, pound, and rescue group in the country has the dogs [photos online]. You literally spend all day looking through pictures of dogs. It’s a little overwhelming. And then you just take a chance. At some point you make that leap and go ‘I’m going to rescue this dog’.”
They were committed to finding homes for all of the dogs once filming wrapped as well. Many of the dog trainers or other animal lovers on the crew had already claimed most of the dogs during our set visit.
In all, they rescued three “Tramps” (Monty) for the film and several more “Lady’s.” I think it was a total of seven dogs the Director chose for Rose (Lady). The dogs were used for different parts of the film. The main dog chosen for up-close scenes of Rose was actually one of the only dogs adopted from a private home.
Mark mentioned that the training process took several weeks, mentioning “I mean you know the whole saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… It’s really positive reinforcement. It’s getting them to be sort of a team. But the first thing [is] starting with basics. We start training them to sit, lie down, on your feet, go get a mark, stay. It’s about eight behaviors. We’ll spend the first 6 to 8 weeks doing nothing but that.”
What’s the hardest part of training an actor dog – “getting a dog looking in the right directions whether he’s looking at another dog or another actor instead of just looking off-screen at the trainers telling them
what to do,” Mark shared.
The #LadyandtheTramp dogs were so sweet and you could really see just how much the cast and crew loved them. It was such a fun opportunity to visit the set and speak with many of the cast and crew. Speaking of – we still have two more exclusive posts to go! So, stay tuned!
About the film:
In Disney+’s “Lady and the Tramp,” a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.
“Lady and the Tramp” premieres on November 12, 2019, streaming only on Disney+