We see how easy it is to train our pets with tips from a movie animal trainer — from hugs to spinning around

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MOVIE animal trainer Julie Tottman reckons anyone can turn their pet into a supawstar.

Julie has worked on the Harry Potter films, Mamma Mia! and James Bond.

We give a rating best out of five to see how easy it is to teach our pets new tricks

Olivia West – The Sun
We give a rating best out of five to see how easy it is to teach our pets new tricks

And now she has a book for dogs and another for cats packed with tricks to teach your four-legged friend.

Here, AMY JONES tries out some of the skills on her 20-month-old miniature schnauzer Ziggy while RUTH HARRISON puts her five-year-old tabby Dusty through her paces. Both give a rating out of five for their pets’ success in doing the tricks.

1. Jump – 4/5

Amy says her Ziggy quickly sprung into action with this trick

Olivia West – The Sun
Amy says her Ziggy quickly sprung into action with this trick

INSTRUCTIONS: Hold a treat above your dog’s head within his jumping range. You may need to bring the treat to his nose and then back up to encourage him. Say “jump” as you do this.

Keep repeating, each time increasing the height. Gradually, you can just say “jump” and flick your hands towards the ceiling as a visual cue.

AMY SAYS: Ziggy bounces around like a pogo stick. He springs into action, quickly soaring through the air.

2. Hug – 1/5

Even though Ziggy can pose long enough for a photo, he wriggles free right away

Olivia West – The Sun
Even though Ziggy can pose long enough for a photo, he wriggles free right away

INSTRUCTIONS: Ask your dog to “sit” and then “beg”. Kneel or stand in front of your dog depending on his size.

Once your dog can comfortably hold the beg position for around four seconds, tell him: “hug”. Then put your arms around him and let him rest his front legs on your shoulders. Say “good” and give him a treat.

AMY SAYS: A hug from your dog? How cute. Ziggy can find his way to my shoulders – but as soon as I place my hands on his waist he wriggles free.

3. Wave – 5/5

Ziggy learned how to wave so quickly even the Queen would be proud

Olivia West – The Sun
Ziggy learned how to wave so quickly even the Queen would be proud

INSTRUCTIONS: Ask your dog to give you his paw. Once you have it in your hand, let go and repeat the command. Bring your hand slightly further back so he has to reach forward.

He will naturally wave to try and make contact with you. As soon as his paw is raised, tell him “good” and give him a treat.

AMY SAYS: Ziggy is soon ­performing a polished wave that the Queen would be proud of. Give that dog a throne.

4. Step-up – 5/5

It takes Ziggy awhile to understand what to do, but once he figures it out it’s almost too easy for him

Olivia West – The Sun
It takes Ziggy awhile to understand what to do, but once he figures it out it’s almost too easy for him

INSTRUCTIONS: Place your dog in front of the object you would like him to stand on.

Use a treat to lure him up. When he steps on to the object with his front feet, use the words: “Put your feet up.” Tell your dog “good” and reward him straight away.

AMY SAYS: Ziggy takes a while to realise what to do, but once he understands he ­happily pops up his front feet on to the box.

5. Spin – 2/5

Ziggy has a strong start but then starts to improvise by jumping up and spinning in the air

Olivia West – The Sun
Ziggy has a strong start but then starts to improvise by jumping up and spinning in the air

INSTRUCTIONS: Face your dog and ask him to stand. Put a treat near his nose and say “spin” then slowly lure your dog round in a full circle.

Once he is back where he started, reward him with the treat and say “good”.

Repeat this several times. As he improves, you can ask him to do faster circles.

AMY SAYS: He’s fine as I lead slowly, but when I start to back away he begins to ­improvise, jumping up and spinning in the air.

Practice makes purrfect for dusty the cat

We tried to see if cats can pick up on tricks as well

Olivia West – The Sun
We tried to see if cats can pick up on tricks as well

1. Walk on back legs – 0/5

Dusty thinks she is being tricked because when the treat moves higher she looks at it suspiciously

Olivia West – The Sun
Dusty thinks she is being tricked because when the treat moves higher she looks at it suspiciously

INSTRUCTIONS: Facing your cat, pop a treat in her bowl and lift it above her head. Once her front paws are off the ground, say “stand up”. While she is on her back legs, reward her.

Keep raising the bowl a little higher and slowly move away so she begins to walk. This can take up to four weeks to perfect.

RUTH SAYS: I hover the treats over Dusty’s head and watch as she lifts her paws. But as I raise the treat bowl higher and move away, Dusty eyes me suspiciously. There’ll be no walkies for this moggy.

2. Hoop jumping – 1/5

Dusty first went around the hoop and then eventually walked through it but she couldn’t be swayed to jump

Olivia West – The Sun
Dusty first went around the hoop and then eventually walked through it but she couldn’t be swayed to jump

INSTRUCTIONS: Hold a hula hoop on the ground. Coax your kitty to walk through the hoop with a treat while using the cue “jump”

Once through the hoop, be sure to reward them.

RUTH SAYS: The first time I try this trick, Dusty goes around the hoop. I’ve soon got her walking through – but no amount of treats can encourage Dusty to tackle the hop.

3. Come – 5/5

Dusty completes the trick with ease by coming straight for the treats

Olivia West – The Sun
Dusty completes the trick with ease by coming straight for the treats

INSTRUCTIONS: Stand near your cat and shake a box or bag of their ­favourite treats.

Continue shaking and reward your kitty. Slowly increase the distance. Eventually they will come running to you from their ­favourite hiding place.

RUTH SAYS: I shake the treats and Dusty comes running. She repeats the trick with finesse. Good girl!

Julie Tottman’s book on how to train your dogs to become superstars
Julie Tottman’s book on how to train your cats to become superstars

© Julie Tottman, 2017. Illustrations by Emanuel Santos. Extracted from Superstar Cats and Superstar Dogs by Julie Tottman, published by Seven Dials on Thursday, priced £9.99 in hardback.

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