TONI HANDCOCK DOWNS
Hollywood Dog Trainer
Toni Handcock Downs has had 30 years experience training for the movies and TV, and privately for families in the home. Toni got her start under the tutelage of legendary animal trainer Frank Inn (Benji, Morris the Cat, and Arnold the Pig, et al). After she felt she had learned all that Frank could teach her, Toni started her own business and it wasn’t long before she was one the most sought after dog trainers in Los Angeles. Among her clients were TV and movie stars, including Robin Wright (The Princess Bride) and Lindsay Wagner (Bionic Woman); as well as movie moguls like Steven Spielberg’s partners, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.
Toni also owned and trained Zeus the talking dog who was a sensation on the talk shows, including a much heralded performance on the Mike Douglas show, and a huge win on the Gong Show. Zeus also appeared in movies and TV commercials, and a photo op. with the late George Burns, to whom he gave a kiss and made the front page of the L.A. Times.
Above, Toni & Zeus on the Gong Show.
Right, Toni & Zeus with George Burns.