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Orin Benson Film

Orin Benson (1914 – 2005) was an internationally known animal trainer. He made training dogs his life’s work at Benson’s Kennels in Eagle for nearly 70 years. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Prince Phillip, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Joe Foss, Clayton Moore (the “Lone Ranger”) and many other notables were among his thousands of clients and friends.

Orin traveled the nation many times over, giving memorable performances with his troop of dogs. He also worked with bears, foxes, otters, skunks, hawks and other animals. He was well known for the wolves he kept. He made many wildlife film segments for Walt Disney and was broadcast on television and the radio.

Orin was inducted into the Retriever Field Trial Hall of Fame and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show Hall of Fame. He was instrumental in forming the sports show 65 years ago. He received a citation from the Wisconsin State Senate for his abilities and contributions to society, and he has numerous other accolades for his work.

See a Short Orin Benson Film Here

Produced by Caleb Alexander Peavy

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10 Comments to “Orin Benson Film”

  1. I just watched the film. My dad was Orin’s head trainer for years. My family lived at the kennel, my younger brother got roughed up by Kepa one day when he got too close. Orin and Lucille were a big part of my life growing up, and yes he played a lot of fun tricks on me and my brothers. The film brought back so many good memories. I’m going to show it to my parents. My father, Floyd, has some dementia. I hope this film rekindles some memories for him. Thank You

  2. We’re glad you enjoyed old memories. Thanks for your wonderful comments!

  3. So happy to have stumbled across this amazing video and story about Orin Benson. My dad (Mike Bronk) was friends with Orin. I grew up down the road. I went to first grade with his adopted son, Bobby. Ironically I married a wolf biologist. Maybe there is something in the water. Orin was obviously ahead of his times, having the ability to understand and respect other life forms. Thank you for preserving this important part of history!

  4. Thanks for sharing with us. We’re happy you enjoyed the video! Our volunteers are working on cataloging volumes of information on Orin Benson, donated by close friends of his. Stay tuned, we will have more in the future.

  5. I enjoyed the video, Caleb did a fantastic job telling the story. At about 45 seconds into the film it shows a small white car in a parade, I now own that very car and am interested in any information about the car when it was owned by Mr. Benson. (1957 Messerschmitt KR201)
    Jim

  6. My grandfather, Rudy Baker and his wife Athena, was great friends with Orin. we just watched this video together he told me he remembers Floyd Ackley.. My grandfather had a yellow lab named Andy Orin absolutely adored Orin trained Andy for my grandfather and also used him as a stud.. there is a yellow lab from 3:20-3:30 that my grampa swears could be his dog Andy.. would anyone happen to know who’s dog that was???? This is an absolutely wonderful video regardless and a great tribute to a great person thank you to everyone involved..

  7. Thank you for your comment and we’re happy you enjoyed the video. The car is pretty cool, but we don’t have any additional information at this time.

  8. Thank you for your comment and we are happy you liked the video. At this time, we don’t have an more information of the yellow lab, but perhaps someone out there knows!

  9. I have many fond, 40 year memories of Orin. My dad Bob Distin was a very good friend of Orin’s, and I recall many hunting trips with them in the 1960s & 1970s. Same with hanging around Orin at the Milwaukee Sentinel Sports Show, where my dad had the Shakespeare booth for over 20 years. Orin trained 4-5 of our dogs, and I recall his saying, “Obedient dogs are happy dogs. If they misbehave, it’s usually because they’re frustrated, unhappy, or both.” Orin graciously let me hang out at the kennels sometimes, where I observed his incredible skills & friendship with all kinds of animals. I fondly recall the wolves Kepa & Pake – often times hanging out in the house with Lucille. The last time I was with Orin was 2002 – I sure wish I’d taped that visit. They clearly broke the mold when Orin was made – we’re all richer for having known Orin Benson. RIP, my friend…

  10. I’m glad you enjoyed the video and thanks for sharing your fond memories…

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