About 1st Choice Animals

Animal Wranglers





35+ years of animal agency excellence

1st Choice Animals don't just provide trained animals – We provide decades of experience and unparalleled expertise, whatever your animal needs of the nature of your project or occasion.

One all-in-one service covers the supplying, training and coordinating of any species, all while taking steps to ensure that both the animal and those it will be working alongside are safe and looked after.

All the 1st Choice Animals team are highly-qualified professionals working with animals in audiovisual, hold a complete range of Animal Transport certifications and founder Jill is an A1 Assessor for animal care who runs training courses on-premises.

We have you covered from the sourcing to the training to the supplying – No matter the animal

Contact 1st Choice Animals today by emailing Jill Clark to get started.



1st Choice Animals, Jill Clark and farm cow



British animal agents with an international reputation

Since our humble beginnings training dogs in 1987, 1st Choice Animals has grown into a world-renowned animal talent agency. Just as we have steadily built up a network of trusted suppliers, contacts and trainers on all corners of the world, so has our reach expanded.

With offices in Buckinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, France and South Africa, our reach is truly global. Whether your animal needs range from the familiar to the outlandish to the downright exotic, 1st Choice Animals will inevitably have somebody who can safely and humanely source it for you.


You've probably seen our animal stars yourself!



London Olympics 2012 sheep from 1st Choice Animals

London Olympics 2012

Doc Martin goat from 1st Choice Animals

Doc Martin


Not Going Out screen cover

Not Going Out

War Horse film poster

War Horse

Johnny English film poster

Johnny English




How does our animal talent agency train animals?

While 1st Choice Animals may have an international scope and coverage, our training and handling of animals is still very much hands-on.

Our training philosophy is simple – Positive reinforcement and reward-based techniques. It's a straightforward approach that nonetheless produces repeatable and reliable results across the entire animal kingdom, regardless of whether we happen to be training a donkey for a nativity play or a canary for a feature film.


1st Choice Animals, Ernie dog





C O N T A C T  U S

Have any questions about how we train our animals?

Just get in touch with Jill Clark directly and we'll be happy to advise.





How do our animal wranglers look after animals?

Film and TV sets are exciting places for people – but potentially overwhelming for animals. That's why 1st Choice Animals take meticulous steps to ensure a safe and positive environment for everybody involved.



 Before any animal joins the production or is forwarded for an occasion, we conduct thorough temperament assessments to make sure that particular animal is suited for the demands of its destination. There's no point in choosing a dog for a production based on its appearance alone, if said dog is prone to biting – This isn't fair to the animal, crew or bystanders.

 By the time we have arranged the transportation of an animal, it has already been shortlisted for its temperament and thoroughly trained to become acclimated with people.

 However, our commitment to safety doesn't stop there. Every animal is going to need its own space, and on-set animal wranglers make use of strategic fencing and barriers to create a safe and secure zone for the animal. This helps to control the animal's movement, prevent unexpected interactions and ensure their wellbeing in accordance with the Five Animal Welfare Needs.

1st Choice Animals, Aby goat





1st Choice Animals horse portrait by Alan Wennington


 The need for a suitable environment

e.g. giving a Labrador Retriever cast in a film set a designated quiet area with shade, water and comfortable bedding to retreat to between takes.

 The need for a suitable diet

e.g. providing a predatory animal with a diet specially formulated for its nutrition needs that mimics its natural play as closely as possible, along with ready access to fresh, clean water.

 The need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns

e.g. making sure a group of monkeys participating in a TV advertisement have ample opportunities to climb, socialise and engage in natural exploratory behaviours within a safe and controlled environment.

 The need to be protected from pain, injury and suffering

e.g. never pressuring or pressing an animal to perform an action that would cause it discomfort or fear, and stopping filming at the first signs of distress.

 The need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals

e.g. housing a particularly sociable goat cast for a film scene with compatible goat companions, while on the other hand providing a cat with a separate, secluded space a suitable distance from other animals it may come into conflict with.





Fancy a one-on-one experience with some of our animal stars?

Take a look at our experiences to find out more.