In the 2004 film, “The Day After Tomorrow”, a homeless man named Luther (played by Glenn Plummer) always had his best friend by his side – a border collie named “Buddha”. Ian Doig was the animal trainer for this film.
The wolves in the movie were CGI but during shooting, real trained wolves were used and during post-production CGI animated wolves were inserted over the real wolves (presumably to make them look bigger and badder).
K-9 was a 1989 film starring James Belushi (as Officer Mike Dooley) and “Koton” (as K-9 Officer Jerry Lee) about an officer (Mike Dooley) who needs to find, and bring to justice, a drug dealer who tried to kill him. He is given a German shepherd who is trained as a narcotics dog to assist him. Of course, Mike has never worked with a K-9 before and his lack of experience comes out when Jerry Lee starts off very independent. K-9 also had a sequel, the 1999 film K911 also starring James Belushi and another German shepherd, “Mac”.
Koton also starred in TV series, K-9 where he starred as “Rondo the Dog”.
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In 1989 Tom Hanks starred in the film “Turner and Hooch” (starred by “Beasley the Dog”) where he is an overly neat (OCD?) police officer who ends up having to take care of a dog who may be a witness to a murder. “Hooch” was a Dogue de Bordeaux (a.k.a . French Mastiff). Of course this set sup the conflict between the overly neat human and his excessively messy and destructive canine companion.
They most likely used the Dogue de Bordeax for many reasons – it’s size, it’s dirty look, as well as its “slobberyness”.
Clint Rowe (also an animal (wolf) trainer for “Men In Black“, “The X-Files“, and “Dr. Dolittle 2“) is credited for being Hooch’s owner and Scott Rowe (who has also done work in “True Lies“, “Cats & Dogs“, “Star Trek Enterprise“, and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua“) was credited as being the animal trainer.
In 1999 James Belushi (Mike Dooley) starred with a German shepherd (“Jerry Lee” played by Mac) in the sequel to “K-9”, “K911”. Jerry Lee is an older and close to retirement K9 office that the captain thinks should be retired but Mike refuses a younger K9 officer has his new partner.
German shepherds are not only the most recognizable breed of dog in the world, they have also been the most popular breed for a pet (or working-pet) dog for almost 100 years. Due to their intelligence, loyalty, ruggedness, and stamina they are also often used in police and military work.
The film also featured a Doberman pincher being used as a younger and more outgoing K9 officer.
Karl Lewis Miller is credited for being the “animal action coordinator” yet the credits do not list any trainers or handlers. Mac is not credited for being in any other film at this time.
Jean, the Vitagraph Dog, was the first canine film star. Owned by Laurence Trimble (also owned Strongheart) where he ended up at the Vitagraph Studios to do a story for a local magazine on film making. His timing was perfect, he was there with his pet, Jean, when they needed a dog on the set to play opposite of Florence Turner
Jean became quite popular and was soon known as “the Vitagraph Dog”, starring in her own films along with “the Vitagraph Girl” all directed by Larry Trimble. One- and two-reelers with titles such as, Jean and the Calico Doll, Jean and the Waif, and Jean Goes Fishing were made by Trimble as their troupe filmed along the coastline in his native Maine.
Jean died in 1916.