Movies

Dug and his pack from Up

Normally I do not intend to do animated films but Pixar’s “Up” really hits home with their dogs.

First, we meed Dug, a retriever (voiced by Bob Peterson). What’s unique about Dug is that he has a collar that converts his thoughts to words we (humans) can understand. Dug is a very typical retriever – in love with everyone he meets and wants to be their best friend. of course, Dug is also not the brightest dog you’ve ever met nor the most attractive but what he lacks in intelligence and looks he over-compensates in sweetness and personality. SQUIRREL! Continue reading

The Patriot

In the 2000 historical film, “The Patriot” General Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson) had two pet dogs, both were Great Danes. Mars (played by Charity) and Jupiter (played by Vanilla). Of course, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) adopts these two dogs and while Cornwallis states that they’ve probably been eaten – the next scene shows that Benjamin is treating them very well – feeding them meat (while the troops were low on food). Later in the film, Benjamin returns the dogs to Cornwallis only to call them back as he exits the gates – much to Cornwallis’ anger.

Great Danes are very large dogs (one of the largest breeds in existence) and were considered a status symbol in England royalty at the time (1700s).

Elizabeth McMullan and Kathleen Pirelli are credited for being the dog trainers on the set.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

In the 1986 cult-classic film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day off” there is a scene when principal Edward Rooney (played by Jeffrey Jones) tries to break into Ferris’ house to catch him playing hookey red handed. Of course, no one his home except The Bueller family’s dog – an unnamed Rottweiler who proceeds to chase Rooney out of the house. Later on, Rooney is able to knock the dog out with a floral arrangement that was delivered for the ailing Ferris (don’t worry – they just put the dog in a “play dead” command while they had the debris around him). Don’t worry, the dog did get his revenge when towards the end of the film, Ferris’ sister, Jeanie, slams a door shut with Rooney in the back yard. Of course, this wakes the dog up and you can hear a “vicious” attack going on behind the door with Rooney screaming.

Rottweiliers are commonly used in movies as “tough” dogs due to their bulky appearance and reputation when in reality a well bred and trained Rottie is actually a very sweet and cuddly dog but they can be protective of their family and can be trained to look aggressive.

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment

The 1985 “in your face” comedy sequel featured the least likely of additions to the police force: Officer Vinnie Schtulman (Peter Van Norden) and his K-9 Newfoundland dog, Lou. Of course, Officer Lou is the exact opposite of your traditional police dog – slow, cumbersome, clumsy, messy, and seemingly unintelligent (in reality Newfies can be smart). The K-9 compliments Officer Schtulman who is also messy, slow, less intelligent than the others, and quite stubborn. Of course, it hads to the comedy when they both eat form the same plate.

Officer Lou was played by the most titled Newfloundland dogs to date, Kodiak (aka VN Ch. Riptide’s Brown Kodiak Bear, CD, WRD, DD). Of course the dog was a big teddy bear on the set and was quite stubborn – quite often dictating how many takes he’s want for a shoot. Don’t let this get you, though, he did alert his owner, Kathie Cullen, to a dangerous fire that was burning in her home. Kodiak has also earned the Newfoundland club’s prestigious “Versatility” award. Continue reading

Stand By Me

The 1986 future-star studded film was about four young boys on their way to find a dead body. Their journey proves difficult for them and they come across many tests of courage during their trip. One of them was to face “Chopper”, a guard dog at a junkyard where they took refuge one afternoon. There is a rumor that the owner of the dog taught him a command that would strike the fear into any young man’s heart – “Chopper – sick balls”.

Chopper was a golden retriever named Popeye who was also in the films “War of the Roses” (1989 as “Benny”) and “Out of Bounds” (1986 – as Barney the Dog). Golden retrievers love to play fetch, catch, and any other “game” that requires retrieving. They are also trained to retrieve shot-down foul for hunters. They can easily be made to look like a dangerous mutt with good speed and agility – and when needed, to bite Corey Feldman in the rear end.