Your Trainers

Sue Thompson has been training all types of domestic animals for 30 years, mostly for live shows at theme parks in South East Queensland, such as the Animal Actors Show at Warner Bros Movie World where she was Head Trainer.  The show featured dogs, horses, pigs, goats and cats – most of which she rescued from the Animal Welfare League and RSPCA.

Sue has had extensive and unique experiences rarely obtained by dog trainers. She has trained, provided and co-ordinated animals for numerous television shows, commercials and feature films such as “Paperback Hero” (starring Hugh Jackman), “Mr Reliable” (starring Colin Friels), and “The Great Raid” (starring Joseph Fiennes).  She has also appeared or provided animals for television shows like “The Ray Martin Show”, and “Hey Hey, It’s Saturday” and in shows dating back to the 80’s, like Seven’s "Super Saturday" and "Totally Wild", just to name a few. 

Sue uses positive motivational training techniques.  She sees each dog as an individual and will apply appropriate training techniques for that dog, owner and family.  Sue believes our dog’s behaviour is reflective of our training, its environment and its breeding, and says “There is nothing better than seeing a dog that is happy and motivated whilst training”.

Sue trains basic obedience and helps people with problem dogs in a realistic and practical way.  She addresses primary issues such as the pack order and hierarchy within its family environment.  Another large area of focus is ‘attention’ and how, when, what and where attention (in its many forms) should be paid to a dog and believes this to be a large part of training to develop communication and values. 

She trains dogs to want to please you and helps owners develop what she calls the ‘whole’ dog, addressing all areas of the dog’s life in order to get the best results.  Sue trains and educates owners to communicate in a dog-friendly language – after all, they are dogs.

Sue also loves trick training and calls it “Star Training”.  Have a look at the Star Training page for more information. It’s fun, it’s for everyone and it’s for all types of dogs.

The Animal Stars Business Manager is Fiona Neal.  Fiona administers all Animal Stars general business, co-ordinates the overseas student’s courses that Animal Stars provides and any requirements needed for film or television productions.

Fiona has had an interesting history in and around the animal industry.  She has been a jockey, an equestrian competitor, a cat breeder and has gained experience and knowledge of dogs and their training with Animal Stars and within previous positions.  She has also worked as a Stage Manager for many years, particularly in shows using animals as cast members.

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