Dog trainer and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ finalist Lucy Heath gives a tantalising taste of the training tips and tricks she’ll be showcasing in an upcoming programme...
Lucy Heath shot to fame on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2015. The following year, she and her tiny cross-breed, Trip Hazard, were finalists, receiving standing ovations from the judges and audiences for their clever routines.
A dog trainer for 12 years, Lucy is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is one of the UK’s top Heelwork to Music competitors, appearing in the Crufts finals six times. As well as Trip Hazard, Lucy’s current canine collection includes Smooth Collie Trent; Shetland Sheepdog Ash; Border Collies Indie and Foxy; and Pomeranian X Maltese Dizzy.
Q. Can you give us a sneak preview of the dog training tricks and tips you’ll be demonstrating in the show’s School 4 Dogs programme?
A. “Some of my dog training students will be joining me with their dogs to show everyone that it doesn’t matter how old you and your dog are, or what breed you have, all dogs can enjoy and benefit from spending quality time learning fun new things with their owners.
“We cover some simple tricks people can easily and safely try with their own dogs at home, such as spin, twist, leg weaves, walk backwards, clicker training basics, how to motivate your dog, and how to advance the tricks. At the end, all the owners get their time in the spotlight to show off their dog’s best tricks.”
Q. What one command should every owner teach their dog, and what’s the easiest trick for a dog to learn?
A. “If I could only choose one command to teach my dogs, it would definitely be to come back when called. A well-trained recall is the best gift you could ever give to your dog, as it allows them the freedom to run and just ‘be a dog’, but with the safety and security that you can call them back if necessary at any time. One of the easiest tricks to teach is ‘give a paw’.”
Q. You wowed ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ with your nifty dance floor moves — how has the show changed your life, and what’s next in the pipeline for you both?
A. “‘Britain’s Got Talent’ was one of the best experiences of my life and has enabled me to do what I love for a living. We have starred in panto and performed all over the UK (and had requests from around the world too). Trip finished fourth in the British Freestyle final at Crufts this year — the highest placed non-Border Collie in the whole of the UK. And he was selected by the Kennel Club to be a part of Team Great Britain, competing in the Open European Heelwork to Music Championships in Switzerland in October (the only non-Border Collie on the team).”