Discover the Training Secrets and Talents of Brandon McMillan, host of CBS’ Lucky Dog Show

Arden Moore on Pet Life Radio

Brandon McMillan has trained tigers and lions and yes, even insects for movies and TV shows. He has tangled with two-ton sharks off the coast of New Zealand, but his biggest achievement is plucking dogs out of shelters, training them and getting them into welcomed homes or as service dogs for the military wounded. Animal trainer extraordinaire Brandon McMillan returns as a guest on the Oh Behave Show and shares his training secrets, his childhood growing up in a circus family and much more with host Arden Moore. Got dog? You need to tune in to this episode.


Brandon McMillan is an animal trainer and behaviorist who has spent his entire life learning about and working with all types of animals—from household pets to the wildest of untamed beasts.

Born into a family of animal entertainers, McMillan has been training wild animals since he was born. Thanks to his father and uncle who gave him the knowledge and work ethic , McMillan developed an attachment to animals at an early age. He jokes that he’s been “picking up tiger poop” as far back as he can remember, but his early years around the animal performers certainly gave him valuable skills that he uses in his current career as a Los Angeles -based animal trainer.

Since becoming an animal trainer, Brandon has trained lions, bears, tigers, reptiles and even insects for such films as The Hangover, We Bought a Zoo, The Jungle Book II, I Am Sam, Buddy, Soul Plane, Red Dragon and television’s 24, Dharma and Greg, Jackass, Wildboyz and Carnivale, plus hundreds of commercials and ads. Even with no formal training, Brandon has built such expertise with animals that he now teaches others how to train wild animals, priding himself on his blue-collar educational background.

Brandon and Conan copy“My school was the school of hard knocks,” he says. “All my educational background is from 100% experience in the field– no books, no classrooms.” When asked if he feels he’s garnered a sixth sense because of all his interactive animal experience, Brandon replies with an emphatic, “No!” He doesn’t see it that way. “I don’t have any special powers, just cut and dry experience. Having a sixth sense won’t save my life if an animal is coming at me, but experience will.”

In his spare time, Brandon brings his vast animal knowledge to the domestic world when he trains dogs at his prestigious canine obedience school the “LA Dog Retreat.” Brandon is well known in Los Angeles for rescuing dogs out of the pound that are just days away from being put to sleep and turn them into movie stars. Many of Hollywood’s A-list celebrities call upon Brandon to help with their out of control pets at home. However, as much as Brandon loves man’s best friend, his wild side and the need for an adrenaline rush always beckon him back to the wild beasts.

“I just need the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up at least once a day,” he admits. “It lets me know that I am alive and living, not just alive. There’s a big difference.”