Bouncer (Trained by Luke Hura)
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Born in 1986, Bouncer made his Neighbours debut in early 1987 in episode 418. He was between 12 and 14 weeks old and selected by trainer Luke Hura after Neighbours had asked him to find a male Labrador for the show. Even from a young age, Bouncer was an excitable and sociable dog that found it easy to get on with people. As a pup, he began his career by simply staying in shot and playing with toys, but by six months of age, Bouncer had learnt to bark on command, crawl, play dead and walk backwards. These impressive skills, were displayed to the directors, which went on to influence many of Neighbours most memorable storylines.
Co-star Maggie Dence (Dorothy Burke) paid tribute to Bouncer during Neighbours tenth anniversary celebrations, by describing him simply as “the best” and recounting the time he swiftly stole the cast members smoked salmon while she was passing the plate to a colleague. Not only was Bouncer the only pet to receive his own actor fancard, it went on to become the most requested of all the cast members cards.
After an impressive six year tenure, Bouncer’s contract came to an end and he made his final appearance in episode 1850. Just thirteen and a half weeks after finishing filming, Bouncer sadly died of cancer. Huge numbers of fan letters from all over the world were sent in tribute to Neighbours' most loved animal actor.
Part of Bouncer’s wonderful acting success must be put down to his trainer Luke Hura. Luke began his animal training career in 1973 by training his own pet Labrador Retriever “Rusty”. After winning several obedience trial titles with Rusty, Hura began using his skills to train dogs for other people in the fields of both obedience and protection. In 1980 he began working in film, television and theatre - not only with dogs, but also cats, pigs, rats, chickens, cows and many more. Luke joined Neighbours in 1986 and worked there with various animals until 1999.
Profile by David