A native of the village of Kluk in northern Sweden, 30-year-old Ulrika Andreasson is Sweden's only cutting-edge professional in the field of deer-training. Her pets Rudolf and Frost have risen to international fame through the fancy tricks she taught them. Until her arrival, few had seriously considered the possibility of training reindeer.
By her own admission, Andreasson has always had a penchant for working with animals, liked unconventional pets, and dreamt of becoming involved with the film industry.
"All I wanted was to live in the middle of Norrland [Sweden's northernmost province] but there are already lots of people training dogs, so I needed to find my own niche," Ulrika Andreasson told Swedish news outlet The Local.
Since taming reindeer is a rather niche business with a narrow demand, Ulrika's antlered disciples have pretty much captured the whole market. In 2014, Rudolf rose to stardom in Sweden after his appearance in comedy film "The Anderssons Rock the Mountains." Rudolf became a celebrity, showcasing his amazing his skills like walking on his hind legs, bowing, taking the hood off Ulrika's head and even stepping up on a table. Whenever filmmakers need reindeer for a Christmas film or advertisement, Rudolf and Frost are their best bet. With Christmas approaching, they will be hardly be left out of work. Unsurprisingly, Rudolf is an indispensable employee at the Ullis & Rudolf company, which offers both training and entertainment.
By Andreasson's own admission, it took no less than 10 hours a week to reach this astonishing level of rapport with her reindeer, both of whom have become as faithful as dogs. To form an understanding with reindeer, Andreasson used the so-called "clicker method" for reinforcing the right behavior. A clicking sound means that the animal has performed well and that a reward (a portion of tasty reindeer moss) is coming. Clicks are said to be more effective than voices, which may have different pitches, whereas a click always sounds the same.