Mathilde de Cagny, Animal Head Trainer, Pet Adoption Consultant, and Dog Lover
Mathilde and I share French origins and an absolute LOVE for dogs. Mathilde came to Los Angeles to turn her passion for animals into her career and has become one of the most awarded animal trainers.
What I love about her approach is that she picks all her dogs in shelters and rescues, giving them a happy life and for some of them traveling first class in planes to go to film premières :-)
Mathilde is a friend and true inspiration, a reminder that when you follow your dream, miracles happen. She was awarded the World Dog Awards two years in a row, and Trainer of the Year Award in 2013.
Her late dog Moose, also known as Eddie from Frasier, won four Emmys in a row for Best Comedy Show Actor. Other notable credits with canines include Back to the Future, As Good As It Gets, My Dog Skip, Lassie, Hotel for Dogs, Marley and Me, Beginners, Hugo, and The Dictator.
With a true passion for working with dogs, Mathilde also trains with animals such as pigs, cats, goats, birds, insects, and many others.
She also does pet adoption consulting and dog training where she will develop a profile for the dog that is right for you based on a number of factors.
I am so excited for you all to get to know her and learn what some of her craziest training experiences were as well as the first thing to think about before adopting a pet.
Tell Odacité beauty lovers a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to become a head animal trainer.
Hi Odacité beauty lovers! Well I originally became an animal trainer by volunteering for a company called Birds and Animals Unlimited back in 1985 and haven’t stopped since.
One of the first times I went in a shelter to find a dog for me to train, I found a little long haired mutt who eventually got picked to be the dog in Back to the Future.
What is your most memorable and special animal training you have done?
When I trained Clyde, also known as Marley in the movie Marley and Me was memorable because everything I did I used toys and fast drive to get the dog really excited. It was so much fun to put the dog in that character. I basically had to train him how to do mischievous behaviors.
Another part of my job involves working with the actors which includes training them how to work with the animals.
I worked with Woody Allen in the movie Picking Up the Pieces.
He didn’t like animals so to be able to gain his trust and willingness to work with one of my dogs was a pretty big deal for me.
What about the weirdest animal/training experience?
(Laughs) I have worked with butterflies, spiders, cockroaches, and a bunch of other insects which are all definitely pretty unusual, and there have been times where I had to overcome my fears while working with some-as you can imagine.
However, I have to say the weirdest training experience I had was when I trained mosquitos and alligators. With the mosquitos, I had to get one male to land on my arm for the scene. So whenever a female mosquito or multiple mosquitos tried landing on my arm, I would blow them away using a straw.
What is normally your first rule for training an animal and what is a good trick you can share with us that pet owners can try at home.
Good training always starts with you in control. And where does control start? It starts with the leash. So you want to be mindful of training your pet on the leash and not taking them off too soon.
A good dog trick I love teaching is getting them to bark on command. It is fun and simple but like all tricks, it does require patience.
Here’s How: First start by finding out what your dog barks at or getting him/her excited enough to bark (doorbells usually do the trick). As soon as you hear the bark, use a training clicker and follow with a treat.
So first comes the bark, then comes the click, then comes the treat. Repeat this enough times and then you can easily progress into adding a verbal or hand command when your dog starts consistently offering a bark.
You now do pet adoption consulting services. Can you share with our readers what they should consider before adopting a pet for the first time.
Yes I also do pet adoption consulting and training.
Basically what I do is first profile clients’ lifestyles then help them find a dog that pairs well with them. I do this by visiting shelters with them, evaluating the dogs they are interested in, educating them on the dog breed, and then once they adopt a dog, I consult them on how to bring a sheltered pet home and the dos and don'ts.
I also work with kids and teach them to train and play with their dogs. A lot of the times dogs take charge of kids without parents realizing it.
By doing this, there is a lot of relationship bonding and a sense of responsibility.
Last but not least, could you tell our readers what your all-time favorite Odacité product is and how you use it in your skincare regime.
Oh let’s see I really love all of the products but especially love the serums-they are magic!