HE was an unlikely movie star - a bigger than life rescue dog who owner abandoned him, claiming he was too aggressive.

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But top pet trainer Julie Tottman spotted star high quality in Neopolitan Mastiff Monkey - who went on to sprinkle some pet magic top top the take care of Potter films.

Monkey starred as gamekeeper Hagrid's dog Fangs from the fourth film onwards

Julie, 50, who’s credits include Game that Thrones, 101 Dalmatians and several James shortcut films, has written a book about how she turned starving, unruly Monkey right into the dog who played Fang in the renowned movie franchise.

She says: “I had actually an instant connection with him. When I uncovered him he to be desperately malnourished, and also desperate for love and also attention. I had actually no idea if that would make the a good dog because that the movie however I knew ns wouldn’t be able to resist trying!”

As Harry potter’s head animal trainer, Julie trained over 250 pets for the movie franchise in between 2000 and 2011 - native owls come cats and also even spiders.

One the the vital animal characters is Fang, the dog belonging come gamekeeper Hagrid, played by Robbie Coltrane.


Julie likes to usage rescue pets for movies to offer them a new lifeCredit: Damien McFadden

When Julie rescued him he to be a 'bag of bones' but quickly bulked up with constant mealsCredit: WENN

In the an initial three films the duty was played by a Neopolitan Mastiff dubbed Hugo, that memorably splattered presenter Fern Britton through drool during an illustration on This Morning.

But with simply weeks come go prior to filming began on the fourth installment, bother Potter and The Goblet the Fire, the decision was taken that ageing Hugo required to retire - leave Julie through a big hole that needed urgently filling.

She recalled: “I knew it would be a big challenge to replace him in together a short time frame. Neapolitan Mastiffs space a rare breed and they deserve to be fairly tricky to occupational with. TIme was no on our side.”

Devoted to animal welfare, Julie always tries to use rescue pets where she have the right to - so started by ringing ring dog rescue charities.

She explained: “I always tried to cast rescue animals for movies due to the fact that there room so numerous deserving pets languishing in house who are desperate for a brand-new life.

“It breaks my love to think of the cruelty and neglect humans deserve to inflict on animals, yet no issue what horrors a creature has endured, a little of kindness and some careful training have the right to turn them right into stars.


Monkey came to be a certain favourite through the actors including Robbie Coltrane

Julie didn't have actually long to acquire Monkey screen-ready however still regulated itCredit: Damien McFadden

“The people writes castle off, however I knew from experience that rescues are frequently the hardest working, many loyal and loving animals.”

After hitting numerous dead ends, Julie finally struck the lucky with a specialist mastiff rescue charity who had a Neopolitan Mastiff the same blue colour as Hugo.

But there to be one trouble - his ahead owner had actually abandoned the claiming he was aggressive, which would certainly hardly do him a an excellent fit for a set full of kid actors.

Julie decided the dog to be worth checking out anyway. She explained: “Often owners say a dog is aggressive as an excuse to eliminate them. But nine times the end of ten it’s because they weren’t all set for how huge the dog got or exactly how expensive it is to feeding them. Human being prefer to blame the dog 보다 blame themselves.”

As quickly as she set eyes on Monkey, then known as Hercules, Julie knew she was right to have trusted her gut.

Although complete of energy and spirit, he was in a i m really sorry state. She recalled: “He was extremely skinny – little more than a bag of bones. A Neapolitan mastiff should have actually skin the hangs loose over the solid rock of your body, however this dog’s folds were prefer old rags draped around his bony frame. It damaged my love to see just how he must have actually been starved and also neglected by his previous owners.”

Monkey had actually been abandoned by owners who declared he to be viciousCredit: Getty
Julie's brand-new book details the story of Monkey and his journey to ending up being a movie star

What’s more, it was clear Hercules was soppy and affectionate - a much cry native the vicious beast his former owners had made him out to be.

She added: “He looked up in ~ me through a watch of such gentleness the I immediately knew that whatever I had actually heard around his aggressive side must have actually been wrong. I can tell this was a dog who simply longed to it is in loved.”

Renaming him Monkey to fit his goofy, cheeky nature, Julie determined to take it him home to Tring, Hertfordshire, on the spot.

She knew he needed feeding up, attention and something to placed his power into - therefore the film could be just what the needed.

Julie to be responsible because that a variety of animals on the film including CrookshanksCredit: Damien McFadden

But it to be still a race versus time to obtain him ready.

She said: “Usually, if ns was beginning from scrape with a brand-new dog I’d desire at least twelve main working with them before taking castle on set, starting by simply building a relationship before moving top top to an easy commands and also eventually the specific moves they’d need for the film. The Goblet of Fire started in less than fifty percent that time.”

In she book, Julie explains how Monkey went from class clown come a star turn who dazzling his young co-stars, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and also Rupert Grint.

But that’s no to say over there weren’t a few mishaps follow me the way. On one occasion, Monkey launched himself at a priceless, anamatronic dragon - thinking it was a supersized dog toy and also not a bespoke masterpiece that had actually taken the props department month to conceive.

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And one more scene saw him shower head the whole set in drool - after shaking his substantial head at simply the wrong time.