Categories
Articles Cool and Fun Stuff Get informed and educated Pet Care Pet Care Product Reviews

Collar vs. Harness

The Competition Runs Neck-and-Neck.

So I’m talking with fellow packpeople David and Yurda about pertinent blog topics and the age-old issue of leashing dogs with collars vs. harnesses comes up. Naturally, there is no easy way to answer this – there are arguments for both and I’ll get into that in just a bit – but the funny thing is that no sooner had we discussed the topic than I discovered that Ringo (my 15 lb. mix of corgi, dachshund and possibly seal) needed a new harness. My neighbor Connie, who takes care of Ringo when I work late, had noticed redness on his chest, and the subsequent discovery of frayed, protruding stitching on his harness’ chest strap sent Ringo and I straight to the pet store.

Why does Ringo wear a harness? It’s this simple: when I adopted him, he was wearing one. He always wears a collar for ID as well as decorative purposes, but for leashing he and I are accustomed to the harness. I like the security of its hold over his torso, and as he’s a smallish dog, I’m more at ease knowing I won’t inadvertently hurt his somewhat delicate neck. Looking over the vast selection of collars and harnesses at our neighborhood pet supply store, however, it’s clear to see that there are countless options available, in styles ranging from eco-friendly hemp fiber to breathable nylon mesh to bright, bold and bejeweled.

Collars vs. harnesses. Everyone’s got an opinion, and you’re best to form one of your own, with expert guidance from your veterinarian. Here are some thoughts, though, that seem to recur in many dog care forums on the subject:

Basic collars, when fitted properly, are a comfortable choice for dogs without “pulling” tendencies. Some collars can be useful for training, with choke chains and prong collars providing methods of correction (and in these cases, it’s highly important that humans are trained for their safe and sensible use). Collars are also easy: easy on, easy off, and even if you opt for leashing your dog with a harness, the addition of a collar is more likely to accommodate pet ID tags with a characteristic metal D ring.

Leashing on a harness minimizes the risk of injury to a dog’s neck and back, particularly in smaller breeds. Simple nylon harnesses can be purchased, as well as specialty harnesses designed to provide the same corrective effectiveness as traditional training collars. Harnesses are also available which provide transportation safety, with designs that are compatible with automobile safety belts.

After about 30 minutes of walking back and forth and trying things on in the collar and harness aisle, Ringo and I settled on something new (for us, that is). Typically, he’s been wearing a simple nylon-strap harness, but this time we opted for a breathable mesh harness that covers more of his chest than his previous gear, allowing pressure to be more evenly distributed across his chest. It’s a Comfort Control Harness made by Four Paws Products, and we chose a fetching shade of royal blue because that’s all the store had left in the appropriate size, and also, we’re fancy. We walked around a bit in the store parking lot to “test drive” the item, and the change in attire suited us both. I felt no loss of control in guiding Ringo at my side and he seemed perfectly comfortable.

So I urge you to consider all your needs when choosing not only between a collar or harness but also which collar or harness. There are thousands of them out there. You might even choose more than one, for different applications. Take a look at fit, finish, materials and construction involved as well – Ringo’s reddened, irritated chest taught us both, the hard way, to examine details like stitching and seams for durability and comfort.

Then, adequately equipped, you’ll enjoy peace of mind and greater control over a safe and secure dog.

This way, Ringo. RINGO. THIS WAY. Good boy!

Categories
A - Z: Show me all interviews Fun Stuff and Pet Companies Interviews on packpeople.com Interviews on packpeople.com Lilly Recommends Shelter Animals

‘Original Sock Dogs’ made from scratch – Interview with the founder

I saw a link on a website which transferred me to another website and then another website. I lost track of what I was actual looking for, and somehow I ended up on http://www.sockdogs.com. This is one of the cutest hand crafted ideas I have seen this year. “Original Sock Dogs”… the name says it all. Artisan Stacey’s idea arose after a visit in Taiwan where she met a stray dog. In honor of this special dog. and to support her local Humane Society Organization, she started making original sock dogs from scratch.

Read our interview with Stacey, the founder of Original Sock Dogs, and see how an individual can make a difference in animals’ and people’s lives, by doing what she loves to do.

Original Sock Dogs by Stacey

Specializes In: Handmade Collectible Plush Art

Interviewee: Stacey Hsu – Kansas City, Missouri.

How and when did the idea for your business with handmade sock dogs come about?

Every year, my local shelter, the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, holds a silent and live pet-themed art auction called Art Unleashed. In the past, I donated small paintings and illustrations, but I wanted to make something different in 2005. I found a great book called, of all things, Stupid Sock Creatures (John Murphy). Instead of making “sock monsters” I decided to make sock dogs to fit with the pet-themed auctions.

What is your background as an artist?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and drawing. When I was 8, I sat in my room and practiced drawing Garfield and Snoopy day and night—mostly to impress my friends and family. I enjoyed drawing so much that I kept up with it, and eventually branched out to other art forms like sculpting, character design and animation.  I have a degree in Advertising, but chose to follow a different path, and worked as an editor, producer and director at Hallmark Cards for 10 years. Now I’m taking care of my kiddos and running my own business from home. (Thank you, Etsy!)

Can you describe to us the material you use for the sock dogs, and the work that goes into making them?

They really are made of socks! (All brand new socks, I might add. I’ve been asked!) Most Original Sock Dogs’ noses are made from big black buttons—there’s just something about those big dog noses! Lately, most of the dogs I’ve been making are customs based on people’s pets. Each one is a new adventure! I learn a little about the dog before I start (personality, etc) and take a good long look at their photos. In a way, I suppose I meditate on all of that before I begin sewing. I want each custom Original Sock Dog to represent the real dog not just in appearance but also in spirit.

What do you love most about handcrafting sock dogs?

It’s so exciting to see a bunch of raw materials transform into a real character. Although the basic elements are the same on many of the sock dogs, they each take on their own shape and attitude. I can’t wait to add the finishing touches and see them spring to life.

Do you also create other animals?

I do! I’ve made seagulls, bunnies, bears and cats out of socks. I also make collectible artist bears from mohair and plush when time allows.

I checked your picture gallery on www.sockdogs.com and your etsy shop on http://www.etsy.com/shop/originalsockdogs. You are an amazing artist – every single sock dog is unique and absolutely adorable (smiling puppy faces)! I have already found my personal favorite. Do you have a favorite sock dog?

I don’t have one single favorite, but there is something really meaningful to me about the Sock Pit Bulls I make. I’ve worked with quite a few Pitties while volunteering at the shelter and they are really amazing, devoted, loving dogs. I’d like to think that I’m helping to soften their image a little, for people who fear or misunderstand the breed.

You offer many different sock dogs as well as custom dogs. If I want you to create a sock dog of my dog, what do I have to do?

To order a custom, all you need to do is visit my etsy shop, purchase a custom listing and email me photos of your dog. All customs are $85 plus shipping.

On your Facebook page people can follow your sock dogs/cats. I read you are fully booked for Christmas 2012 – and congrats! – but you can still do some of the itty pitties, right? And what are itty pitties?

Yes, I can still work in a few itty pitties! They are small (3” high) needle felted Pit Bull puppies that are posable and of course, each is one of a kind. Needle felting is a process of using a very sharp needle to poke and shape wool and other natural fibers. The end results are so cute, I don’t even mind occasionally stabbing my fingers while making them!

For a unique holiday idea, you offer gift certificates. How long does it take to finish a single custom sock dog and how much does it cost?

From start to finish, a custom can take anywhere from 4-12 hours. It depends on the complexity of the markings, the type of coat the animals has (long or short) and other distinguishing features or special requests. The time it takes to have it ready for a customer also depends on how many orders are already on the schedule—it’s first come, first served!

What is the secret of your success? Do you have any ideas, tips or advice for the next talented artist who might want to start a business like yours?

You have to love what you do. If you don’t have a huge passion for your craft, you just won’t stick with it. I have a 5 year old, a 2 year old, a husband and 4 pets that need me, and even when I’m dead tired at the end of the day, I still look forward to heading into my studio and designing and sewing the dogs. If you have a love of what you do and make, it will show in the finished product.  You might also consider donating a portion of your sales to a non-profit or mission that is close to your heart. It keeps you going, knowing that you are helping someone other than yourself!

You are an animal rescue supporter, you volunteer at your local no-kill shelter, and you donate 10% of your sock dog sales to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. Why are volunteers important for animal shelters and what have you learned through your work at the Humane Society?

Volunteers are absolutely essential to shelters. They are the glue that holds all of the shelter efforts together. They help coordinate events, help garner donations, take dogs out for adoption days, and spend one on one time with cats and dogs that need socialization, love and affection. I started volunteering to get my “dog fix”—I didn’t have any at the time. Now I have two dogs and two cats—all from shelters. So if you decide to volunteer, get ready to fall hopelessly in love with the animals you meet.

I saw the cute Johnny Justice Sock Dogs on your Facebook Fan Page. Can you tell us a little about “Johnny Justice”?

Jonny is one of the Pit Bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting kennels. He was adopted by a loving family and has been certified as a service dog. He has worked in libraries, helping kids learn to read, and is a goodwill ambassador for his breed.

Can you describe an experience that has particularly moved or inspired you?

During a trip to Taiwan in 2004, my husband and I came across a stray black dog with an injured front leg. She was being bullied by the other strays—chased away from food scraps, snapped at, it was awful. She basically attached herself to me and followed me around all morning. My heart seriously broke that day.

This is the cute dog Stacey met in Taiwan.

I wanted so much to just fold her in my arms and take her with me. But we were traveling by train, and not knowing the country or the language very well, I felt helpless about the situation. We bought her a warm meal at a street vendor and sat with her while she ate, to protect her from the other dogs. I cried the whole way back on the train, and for days after. I vowed to do something to help other dogs like her when we returned to the states, and that’s why I started volunteering. I’ve always loved animals, but I think that sweet girl gave my compassion levels a huge boost—ever since I’ve been dedicated to finding ways to help the animals, through sharing my time and my art.

In general, why should people adopt from a rescue?

If you are looking for a companion, someone to love who will love you back unconditionally—please adopt from a shelter. There are so many animals waiting in shelters for loving homes. And every time a dog or cat is adopted from a shelter, space opens up for another homeless animal who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to find a forever home. I also believe that shelter animals know they have been “rescued” and possess a special kind of gratitude toward their people.

If you could give pet owners one piece of advice what would it be?

Love them while they are here. Their lives are so short—never take them for granted.

Do you have pets of your own?

My two dogs, Lolly and Ava are both from the shelter where I volunteer. They are black dogs, which are very often overlooked in shelters. They are also two of the most loving, devoted, goofy, wonderful girls ever. Our two cats, also from shelters, think that they own us!

Which websites or pet-related books would you recommend to PackPeople?

I would definitely recommend that everyone check out their local shelter or rescue’s web site. Get to know what they are about, what they need, and how you can help out. There are so many ways, big and little, to pitch in and make life better for these wonderful dogs and cats. I’d also recommend taking a look at bestfriends.org and gentlebarn.org.

In terms of print publications, I am a big fan of The Bark Magazine. Great articles and a pro-rescue point of view.

Website: http://www.sockdogs.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Original-Sock-Dogs

Etsy-Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/originalsockdogs

Original Sock Dogs is also a proud member of HeArtsSpeak.

Categories
Lilly Recommends Ringo Bingo's Raffle

Win a Monster! Needle-felted by Michiko from Japan

This month’s raffle item is looking for a new home. We’re giving away three of our newest needle-felted monsters from the Happy-Go-Lucky Vol. I line. These cute little creatures, hand crafted in Japan, are friendly, appear singly and in groups, and some are even made to join your keys as key holders. They come in different colors, shapes and sizes and make funny companions or simply decorate your home, office or car.

They highly enjoy the presence of humans and like to get affection. Each one is unique, made from scratch with needles, felted wool and the fanciful ideas of artist-creator Michiko. They require minimum care and make good friends for children. Their coats are not exactly smooth, but short and easy to manage.

How can you win one of the felt monsters in the pic at right? It’s easy: We’ve got lots of ways to enter in the Rafflecopter below; you can enter with as many or as few entry methods as you like. This giveaway is open to US, Japan, Europe, Southern America and Canada mailing addresses. Good luck! We’ll announce the proud winners in 3 weeks.

Facebook Fan Page link: https://www.facebook.com/FeltMonster

Not suitable for children under 8 years.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories
Articles Cool and Fun Stuff Lilly Recommends News

Has your dog gone Postal? Will no treat satisfy her/him?

We’ve just been let into a little secret from the people over at Postal Puppy. They are about to start shipping shiny new dog stuff to doorsteps every month. We’ve convinced them to share the contents of their first boxes with us: Natural dog treats, along with some organic dog treats (made with locally sourced ingredients), an organic flea and tick control, a professional pet shampoo AND something magic. It’s so magic that it’s guaranteed to stop unwanted barking, console whimpering puppies, reduce hyperactivity, minimize fear of thunderstorms, calm your dog in the car, and more!

So, you can head over to PostalPuppy.com to guarantee yourself a box full of goodness or you can enter this contest to win a box. (Or, both!)

Please note, the first Postal Puppy boxes don’t go out until July. But, yours will be shipped mid-June, wahooo!”

Boozer already received his box full of premium pet products.

Do you think your dog would appreciate this box? Qualify for a give-away right here and receive this exclusive box with treats that are USDA organic, and locally sourced.  A professional, high-performing pet shampoo.  All-natural deliciously healthy treats.  And, an Organic Flea repellent.  And, the last insert is a digital download of music that is sure to calm almost any dog (seriously). Sorry, we can only ship to US addresses.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories
Articles Food and Treat Recipes Health Lilly Recommends Pet Care Pet Care

Dog food review – ‘Verve’ The Honest Kitchen

I mentioned earlier in our interview with The Honest Kitchen that I was going to try out their dehydrated dog food for Lilly and Red. We ordered our first box of 10 lbs. of ‘Verve’ on March 31st. We ordered online from the  shop of the producers and food makers, The Honest Kitchen, located in San Diego, CA. With our discount coupon code we paid  $68.19 (including $10 for shipping). The ordering process was easy and the food arrived exactly 5 days later.

First of all, I have to say that the box Lucy and her team created is very nicely designed and appealing. The marketing department did a great job putting every valuable piece of information on the package to make it  very easy to understand. You get an overview of the ingredients, how to prepare the food and information on ‘how much to use”. I opened the robust box right away and found the food was packed in a bag with a zipper. It looked like my mom sent me some homemade cookies. You have the option to leave the food in the box (bag) or use your own container. I left it in the box and placed it on my kitchen counter to show everyone the beauty of the box, haha.

I opened the bag and the first thing I realized was the incredible good smell of the dog food. It smells and looks like instant soup to me. You can literally see the chopped little pieces of veggies, fruits and herbs. It’s the same experience you have after opening a bag of coffee (ahhhh, I love coffee!). Verve is made with USDA hormone-free beef and organic rye. Like all of The Honest Kitchen’s diets, it’s 100% human-grade, made in the USA, and does not contain corn, soy, rice, beet pulp or wheat. Here is the list of ingredients: dehydrated beef, organic oats, organic rye, organic flaxseed, potatoes, carrots, organic alfalfa, eggs, apples, parsley, cranberries, spinach, chicory, rosemary, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate.

'Verve' dehydrated food mixed with warm water.

Next step was to introduce the food to our dogs. I wanted make the transition slowly and added 1/4 of the indicated amount of the food as a topping on the regular food I’m feeding to Lilly and Red. Both were watching me very closely in the kitchen, thinking: “Hmmmm, what is she adding today? Looks like new food”. I also added my beloved and highly recommended fish oil and warm water to the food. I had some cooked potatoes left from dinner and through them in. The good smell of the dehydrated food turned into a neutral smell. I stirred a few times and waited 10 minutes (5 minutes are recommended), the dogs waited tense without hovering over me. After 10 minutes the food looked like a brown greenish mash for vegans :). My husband said: “We could sell this at Whole Foods as lentil purée”. 🙂

Easy and quick - that's how you prepare the food.

It was time to get the critical opinions of my dogs. Our French Bulldog is a little more picky than the American Staffordshire Mix but after I placed the bowls down  and I could hear them gobbling the food. It didn’t take long for them to finnish and I noticed them eating up to the last bites of each other’s bowls. The following week, I added a little more of the dehydrated food  every day and  finally replaced the dry kibbles after 2 weeks. The dogs love it!

That's Red's and Lilly's answer. They loved it!

I still have a quarter left of the all natural dehydrated food and will definitely order my next batch of “Verve” food in a few days. Try it out, it’s worth it  and here’s the coupon code: PCK12THK.  If you don’t want to buy a big box get a trial size first. If you want to learn more about the food, please read our interview with Lucy from, The Honest Kitchen. Also, have a look at what Lucy’s customers have to say about the food. They offer four completely gluten-free, grain-free diets and all their products are guaranteed 100% wheat free. Thumbs up for Lucy and her team!

Categories
Advocacy and Activism Books and Movies Get informed and Educated Interviews on packpeople.com Lilly Recommends

New documentary: Street Dogs of South Central – Interview with filmmakers [Audio]

Are you aware of the stray dog problem in Los Angeles? No? Well, approximately 30,000 dogs live on the streets of L.A. – some surrendered by their irresponsible owners, some dumped on the street, others never had a home. It’s an ongoing challenge for animal welfare groups, rescues and animal control services to reduce the number of stray dogs in L.A. Once caught by animal control, many dogs (especially Pit Bull mixes) are euthanized by the thousands every year in the U.S.

Fortunately, many spay & neuter programs are working hard to reduce the number of newborn puppies. In the City of LA, mandatory spay/neuter is the law, supported by great low- and no-cost options, so spread the word!

Elsie and her puppies in South Central. For more pictures check our gallery or visit Dogs of South Central's Facebook fan page.

Bill Marin (Director) and Vince Ueber (Producer) have made a powerful documentary about stray dogs surviving on the streets of Los Angeles, a film called “Street Dogs of South Central” which helps shed light on the pet overpopulation problem. Narrated by Queen Latifah, this feature length documentary follows the story of Elsie—a mother struggling to raise her litter of puppies in a harsh urban environment. Every day, Elsie and her brood travel the streets of South Central in search of food and shelter. Their daily struggle for survival in the ghetto is brilliantly captured and emotionally revealed in this captivating film. STREET DOGS OF SOUTH CENTRAL captures the truly challenging conditions in which these canines live and reveals how the dogs adapt with their innate abilities.

We had the great pleasure of talking to Bill and Vince last weekend. Listen to our audio interview and share our blog post to raise awareness about our stray dogs, and this new important new documentary.

Street Dogs of South Los Angeles – Interview with the film makers by PackPeople NEW: We’ve made it easier to listen to our audio interviews! This audio is  24 minutes of highly interesting and educational content. Use the little flags in the blue bar in the SoundCloud Player to navigate through the questions and content. Get this interview as a Podcast here.

Bill and Vince recommend:

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog by Bruce Fogle

The Ecology of Stray Dogs: A Study of Free-Ranging Urban Animals by Alan M. Beck

To help the street dogs, please click here.

Facebook: Street Dogs of South Central

Website: http://www.streetdogsmovie.com

If you liked the interview please share it with your community or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for making an impact!

The movie is not yet available in stores or online.

To find out more about screenings and when and where to watch it, you can stay informed through their Facebook page. To help the street dogs, you can click on the ‘help’ section of their website. Here is the trailer:

More clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhDZzVCGAaY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reuyX14_rZU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZb7jYt9QwI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQgDoFAvYy0

We are humans, so if you see any typos please send us an e-mail to info@packpeople.com – Thank you!

[nggallery id=3]

Categories
Books and Movies Fun Stuff and Pet Companies Interviews on packpeople.com Lilly Recommends

Show Dog – Interview with author Josh Dean [Audio]

A Facebook post on packpeople’s fan page led me to this year’s American Kennel Club’s show results. Even though I’m not a huge fan of dog shows, I was interested to know more about the community. Breeders, proud handlers and overexcited owners get the ribbons with the highest rankings and strive to present the most beautiful and flawless dog on earth. Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred gives an excellent insight into this community, as accomplished writer Josh Dean follows ‘Jack,’ an Australian Shepherd, on his journey to the big leagues at Westminster.

I wanted to understand the hype around it, and that’s the reason we contacted Josh Dean for an interview. We had the great pleasure of hearing this excellent journalist and editor share about this first book of his, and why he decided to write about show dogs.

Show Dog – Interview with author Josh Dean by PackPeople NEW: We’ve made it even easier to listen to our audio interviews! This audio is 31.16 minutes of highly interesting and educational content. Use the little flags in the blue bar in the SoundCloud Player to navigate through the questions and content. Get this interview as a Podcast here.

Qualify to win a copy of ‘Show Dog’ here. You can’t wait? Buy it here: Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred

About the interviewee: Josh Dean is a magazine writer and veteran editor at various known magazines. He currently does not own a dog of his own (we hope he’ll change this soon:) and lives with his wife and son in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He is a member of the US elephant member team and obsessed with international soccer.

Josh’s recommendations:

Books:
The Wolf in the Parlor: The Eternal Connection between Humans and Dogs

Animal books by Jeffrey Moussaieff – This is our pick:
The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving: How Dogs Have Captured Our Hearts for Thousands of Years

Websites:

Dogster – www.dogster.com

NBC Universal’s site www.petside.com

For more information check the http://showdogthebook.com

Twitter: @joshdean66

Facebook: Josh Dean

Facebook: Jack the Show Dog 

If you liked the interview please share it with your community or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for making an impact!

[nggallery id=1]

Categories
Books and Movies Lilly Recommends Ringo Bingo's Raffle

Win a copy of 'Soldier Dogs' – Ringo's Raffle

Our March Giveaway is looking for a new owner! Fresh from the press and ready for release on Thursday, March 15, Soldier Dogs – The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes by Maria Goodavage is definitely a must read for every dog lover. These stories of soldier dogs contributing to military efforts, and the special bonds that develop between them and their handlers, truly celebrate the heroism, loyalty and sacrifices of these amazing dogs.

We had the great pleasures of reviewing Maria’s book in advance and interviewing her last week. Join our raffle by entering through as many or as few of the methods below (Rafflecopter). You can also “Like” this article on our Facebook page, or tweet about it from this page, to enter the raffle. Cute little Ringo will pick the winner at the end of the month. This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only and ends at 12:01am Pacific on Friday, March 30, 2012. Good luck!

Categories
Books and Movies Lilly Recommends Product Reviews

Book Review: Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage

Book: Soldier Dogs

Author: Maria Goodavage

Publisher: DUTTON, Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

PackPeople review: “The cover looks awesome” said one of our friendly, dog-loving boys at the front desk while I was unwrapping Maria’s new book a few weeks ago. I agreed, the hardcover layout is great. Let’s see how the book is:

You don’t have to be a dog lover to enjoy the 293 pages of this book. Goodavage’s newly-released book uncovers how military working dogs are procured and trained to become field-specialized, while she enlightens readers toward the training and work of a military dog and as well as their history and related scientific studies. A terrific balance of heart warming stories and interesting facts, Soldier Dogs addresses  these dogs’ heroic accomplishments, the special bond between handlers and dogs, a military dog’s life after retirement – all while impartially addressing the conflicting ethics of employing canines in battle.

The book is subdivided into 4 parts: I. Dogs in Harm’s way; II. Nature, Nurture, and Training; III. The Dog Trainer and The Scientists; IV. Dogs and their soldiers.

“Military working dogs are amazing in every respect, and even more so when you realize that they risk their lives and save yours, all so they can have a ball.” – Air Force Staff Sergeant Christine Campos/Dog Handler

Maria’s writing style is accessible and human – we definitely recommend it as a must-read.

Check out Maria’s audio interview with Rufino and learn about her background, the book and more here. You can also win a copy of Soldier Dogs by entering Ringo’s Raffle. Have fun!

You also might enjoy our Pets for Patriots interview.

Categories
Articles Books and Movies Breeds Lilly Recommends

Which breed makes the best movie dogs? – The most famous movie dogs in history

Which breed is the best for a movie? Is there such a thing? I would say NO. If we think back and just follow the movie industry we can see that many dogs, of many different breeds, have successful careers in movies and television. It all depends on the dog.

We’re located in Los Angeles, the heart of the entertainment industry… and I’ve met a lot of dog and cat owners dreaming of their pets working in show business. They train, groom and go to castings, pay a lot of money for agencies and trainers just to get their foot (paw?) in the door. Many are persistent and drag their dogs from one casting to another. Once I met a guy at the dog park who told me about his beautiful Doberman — and how he attends 4 castings or auditions a month to make his dog a famous movie star. He really wants his dog in showbiz – Good luck, buddy!

We know a famous yellow Labrador often used in ads and movies. He was trained at a very young age, lives with a forever foster family, and just like a human actor, is listed with an agency and is always waiting for the call. And where do these dogs in movies come from? Hhmm, that’s another topic we’re going to write about soon!

Let’s see if there is any specific dog bred for likely stardom. We took a look at the different breeds in the movies we know and can remember:

– The first dog in a movie I remember is loyal Lassie – a Collie – the star of the all-time classic dog movie Lassie Come Home (1943) and the beloved series of Lassie films.

– Rin Tin Tin (also Rin-tin-tin) was legendary in films of the 20’s and 30’s, with a successor going on to big success on television in the 50’s. The TV program lasted 166 episodes on ABC from 1954 until 1959, following the adventures of young Rusty and his German Shepherd.

Old Yeller (1957) is an classic as well – the story of a boy who adopts a Mountain Cur Dog that wandered onto the family’s ranch.

Benji (1974) is another one – the shaggy-haired mutt who becomes a canine hero by helping rescue two kidnapped children.

– When it comes to cop and dog movies I remember Turner and Hootch (1989) which is one of my favorites… our dog Samson was a Dogue de Bordeaux and I know that the breed got pretty popular after the movie.

– Another huge hit was Beethoven – the adventures of a big (and slobbery!) St. Bernard.

Eight Below is a really entertaining movie as well – six Siberian Huskies and two Malamutes are unfortunately left behind at a research station by a sled dog trainer who was forced to evacuate because of a big storm.

– I’ve heard about My Dog Skip but haven’t had the chance to watch it. It’s the story about a boy who lives in Mississippi with his Fox Terrier puppy. It’s a sentimental movie which portrays the special relationship between dogs and humans.

– I liked Hercules in the Sandlot, about a huge English Mastiff, a fantastic giant dog. Actually… I just loved seeing this dog and didn’t care about the story so much:)

– Have you seen Buddy, the Golden Retriever in Air Bud? This dog is a multi-sport phenomenon.

Milo and Otis is a very sweet movie as well – A red cat and his best friend, a Pug. Milo and Otis is like the most wonderful storybook read by an English man showing you the illustrations the entire time. It took 4 years to film.

101 Dalmatians. Guess which breed was involved? 🙂

– I also liked Babe, the pig with the two Border Collies

The Awful Truth features Wire Fox Terrier – I haven’t seen this one. This is Rufino’s favorite [The dog’s adorable – and Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are superb in this marriage comedy – Hi everybody! – Rufino]

– A Komondor was the canine actor in Backdraft

– You can see a Brussels Griffon in As Good as it Gets

– In one of the Harry Potter films you can see a Neapolitan Mastiff named Fan

– Roly, a white/creme Standard Poodle was in the TV series Eastenders

– Jack Russell Terriers have given impressive performances this past year, in the recent films The Artist and Beginners

I love this dog watching a romantic canine couple, co cute.

When it comes to animated movies, there are so many that I can’t list them all. Some I have watched are All Dogs Go To Heaven, 101 Dalmatians, The Fox and the Hound, Lady and the Tramp, All Dogs Christmas Carol, Garfield (I know this is not a dog, but his friend is one:), The Adventures of Tintin, the list goes on and on…

Which one is your personal favorite? I don’t know if I really have a favorite. I just love to see dogs on screen. So, bottom line: There is NO specific breed I could find which is in particular the best for movies.

All dogs are stars and I’m sure your own dog is always your personal super star!