Mark Vette – Internationally renowned Animal Behaviourist, Educator, Author and TV personality

Zen Heart Book

What I’ve learned from animals and life

“Nature speaks to me in whispers, when my mind and heart are still.’

My life has been rich and full of wonderfully colourful stories, all of which have sculpted me into who I am today. This book tells my journey.

Zen Heart takes you through my childhood as the son of a jet-setting pilot and beautiful young mother, my years at a private boys’ boarding school learning to see through the ‘tough guy’ facade, right through to my time studying wolves in the US, raising my young family, my relationship beginnings and breakdowns, years spent running a rescue zoo, behaviour clinic and training animals for big-budget Hollywood films, and behind-the-scenes on my stunning world-first animal training feats.

Throughout it all is the evolution of my deeply important Zen Buddhist spirituality practice, the journey I took to drop the tough-guy act and learn to truly feel my feelings, and – of course – the impact the animals I’ve surrounded myself with have had on me and the lessons they’ve taught me about life.

It’s the story of how I came to have such a special window into the world of animals, and everything I’ve learned along the way.

Here’s a sneak peek into the book


Uncle Merv, my sister Catch, my mum Heather, me, my father Gordon 1957

Writing this book was a vulnerable experience – sharing the ups and downs of my life, opening up about my worries, ideals, relationships, spirituality and work. But it’s authentically me and there are lots of laughs to be had, with the crazy animal antics I’ve been a part of. If you’ve ever been curious about how my training philosophy evolved or how we train and wrangle cockatoos, baboons, bulls, mice, rats, cats, horses, chickens, pūkeko, wolves and (of course) dogs for movies and TV ads, you’ll enjoy this read!

Most of all I hope you will come with me on my journey into how animals see the world and into my inner life as I share my insights that have been guided by the way animals live, learn and love.

We are all brothers and sisters in this world together – love is understanding, to care deeply about each other we must first understand each other – let’s listen deeply together.


Hercules the Toyota Bugger Dog
Mark and Narnia hybrid wolf
Reggie the world’s first flying dog

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