Brandon McMillan (animal trainer)
McMillan and service dog Atlas
|Other names||Animal Brandon|
|Known for||Lucky Dog, Shark Week|
Brandon McMillan (born April 29, 1977) is an American television personality, animal trainer, author and television producer best known for his role as host and trainer of the television series "Lucky Dog" on CBS.
Early life[edit source | edit]
Brandon McMillan was born April 29, 1977 in Trenton, New Jersey. His father and uncle were both exotic animal trainers in the entertainment industry. As a child Brandon was raised around a variety of wild animals including big cats, bears, primates, wolves, birds of prey, elephants and many more.
Career[edit source | edit]
As a child McMillan was surrounded by exotic animals of every kind. From big cats to bears to primates to elephants, Brandon learned the art of handling and training all animals by working with his family. At 18 he moved to Los Angeles to work for his uncle's animal training company for film and television, "Hollywood Animals". The company trained and supplied animals of all kinds to Hollywood productions. In 2009 he hosted the Animal Planet series "NIGHT", where he traveled the globe in search of nocturnal behavior of the world's most dangerous animals. In 2010 he opened a dog boarding and training facility outside Los Angeles. It was here he began his work training service dogs and therapy dogs. Brandon also has been a dog trainer to the stars for most of his career. Some of his clients include Ellen DeGeneres, Andy Cohen, Don Cheadle, James Caan, Hugh Hefner, Ronda Rousey, Chris Hardwick, Wolfgang Puck and Kate Hudson. McMillan has worked in over 30 countries throughout his career.
Lucky Dog[edit source | edit]
In the winter of 2012 McMillan was discovered by Litton Entertainment. CBS Daytime eliminated their Saturday morning cartoon lineup and were in search of more all-aged-based programming. After meeting with dozens of dog trainers, Litton met with McMillan and liked his methods and dog training curriculum immediately. McMillan would rescue unadoptable dogs deemed "untrainable" from city shelters, rehabilitate them, train them and find them forever homes. Many of these dogs would become therapy and service dogs for disabled people. Production for "Lucky Dog" began in the spring of 2013 and showcased McMillan's love for rescuing dogs and giving them a purpose in life. "Lucky Dog" premiered in the fall of 2013 on CBS Dream Team. The show was an instant success, receiving rave reviews from critics. In 2015, McMillan won the Daytime Emmy Award for "Best Host in a Lifestyle Series" for "Lucky Dog". In 2016 "Lucky Dog" won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Series. In 2018 he won another Daytime Emmy Award for "Best Host in a Lifestyle Series” for "Lucky Dog".
Shark Week[edit source | edit]
Brandon also hosts a continuing documentary on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week called "Great White Serial Killer", where he investigates shark attacks along coastlines where attacks are common. Although the title was controversial, several top marine biologists praised the documentary. Brandon has a second Shark Week documentary called Great White Abyss where he and Jimi Partington, a great white shark researcher, dive at very deep depths to observe great whites. McMillan has been diving with sharks for most of his career.
Personal life[edit source | edit]
Brandon lives bi-coastally between Los Angeles and New York City. He is the author of “Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days" (HarperCollins), which is a self-help book for dog lovers. He also cofounded the nonprofit "Argus Service Dog Foundation", which trains service dogs to assist disabled veterans. He has a chihuahua named Lulu and a Flat-Coated Retriever name Koda. In his free time McMillan scuba dives, surfs, and is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner.
References[edit source | edit]
- "Lucky Dog Host Bio". CBS Dream Team.
- "Animal Planet "Night"". Discovery Press Web. Discovery Channel.
- "CBS Dream Team Programming". TV By The Numbers.
- "2016 Daytime Emmy Award Winners". E Online.
- "'Shark Week': Inside 'Return of the Great White Serial Killer'". Yahoo TV. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days". HarperCollins. HarperCollins.
- "Brandon McMillan interview". Highlight Hollywood. Highlight Hollywood. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
[edit source | edit]
- Official Website
- Lucky Dog on CBS Website
- Argus Service Dog Foundation Website
- Brandon McMillan on IMDb