Inside Scoop: Dog Trainer to the Stars Shares Her Tricks
The trainer, who got her start training protection animals for an elite security service in Los Angeles, worked with Aguilera to address her Papillons' "issues with potty-training and chewing things." The dogs, Stinky and Chewy (oh, the irony), had the run of the whole house. "I sat down with Christina and we did some obedience training," says McCarthy, who stresses the importance of rules. "People get pets and they nurture and love them. But there are no guidelines!"
One important guideline, according to McCarthy, is letting a dog know where to use the bathroom. When she met reality star Jack Osbourne's young bulldog, "the potty issues were beyond belief," she says. She laughs when thinking about the poop-strewn family mansion and says it's a good idea to "actually let your dogs OUT to use the bathroom."
And while celeb couples seem to move fast, introducing their pets should take a little bit longer. McCarthy advises a gradual process like she did when her client Jim Carrey dated Renee Zellweger a decade ago.
"One of Renee's cats came to live at Jim's house and it was my job to introduce the cat to the Great Dane and help them get along," she explains. One trick was to keep the kitty in a crate out of harm's way. "The dog gets used to the smell. Slowly you can move the crate down with the door closed until it's on the floor." While Zellweger and Carrey ultimately didn't make it work, McCarthy confirms that the pets "absolutely" got along.
And McCarthy went the extra distance when training the actress Alyssa Milano's German shepherd, Pinto, to protect her home from intruders. "I'd do mock break-ins," she explains. "Running down a hallway with a ski mask!" Now that's dedication.