Animal wrangling is a multi-faceted process that requires careful planning, preparation, and execution. From selecting suitable animals to their performance on set, each stage of the wrangling process plays a crucial role in the success of film and television productions. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the step-by-step process of animal wrangling, offering practical advice, tips, and best practices to help wranglers navigate challenges and achieve desired results.

Step 1: Preparing for Production

  • Understanding Production Requirements: Before selecting animals, wranglers must understand the specific requirements of the production, including the types of animals needed, their roles, and the desired behaviors or actions.
  • Assessing Animal Suitability: Wranglers evaluate potential animals based on factors such as temperament, training level, and physical attributes. They consider how well each animal fits the requirements of the production and its suitability for specific scenes. They also can perform evaluations and certifications of animal actors. 
  • Securing Permits and Permissions: Depending on the location and type of animals involved, wranglers may need to obtain permits or permissions from relevant authorities. They ensure compliance with legal regulations and ethical standards governing the use of animals in entertainment.

Step 2: Training and Preparation

  • Building Trust and Rapport: Wranglers establish trust and rapport with selected animals through various techniques and consistent training methods. They create a bond based on mutual respect and understanding to facilitate effective communication and cooperation.
  • Teaching Desired Behaviors: Wranglers train animals to perform specific behaviors or actions required for scenes, using techniques such as shaping, targeting, and luring. They break down complex behaviors into manageable steps and reinforce desired behaviors through repetition and reward.
  • Rehearsing Scenes: Wranglers conduct rehearsals with animals to familiarize them with set environments, equipment, and cues. They simulate filming conditions to prepare animals for the challenges they may encounter on set and ensure they perform reliably during actual filming.

Step 3: On Set Execution

  • Collaborating with Production Team: Wranglers collaborate closely with directors, producers, and other crew members to coordinate animal scenes effectively. They communicate the needs and requirements of animals and ensure that filming proceeds smoothly and safely.
  • Monitoring Animal Welfare: Wranglers oversee the welfare of animals on set, ensuring they are comfortable, hydrated, and well-rested between takes. They advocate for breaks and rest periods to prevent stress or fatigue and maintain the animals’ well-being throughout filming.
  • Providing Support and Guidance: Wranglers support animals during filming by providing cues, prompts, and encouragement as needed. They remain attentive to the animals’ signals and adjust their approach accordingly to ensure a positive and successful performance.

Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices

  • Start Small: Begin with simple behaviors and gradually increase complexity as animals gain confidence and proficiency.
  • Be Patient and Consistent: Training animals requires patience, consistency, and repetition. Be patient with progress and celebrate small victories along the way.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward desired behaviors with treats, praise, or toys to reinforce learning and motivation.
  • Stay Calm and Confident: Animals pick up on your energy and demeanor, so stay calm, confident, and positive during training and filming sessions. We need confident and calm animals for production!


By following this step-by-step guide and incorporating tips and best practices from experienced wranglers, aspiring animal wranglers can master the art of animal wrangling and contribute to the success of film and television productions.

Tag Post : Animal Talent

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