Do you ever watch a film or TV show with a dog and think ‘I want one’. The wonderful thing about films and TV shows in which the dog is the main feature is that they portray just how cute and intelligent dogs are. Unfortunately, some viewers cannot differentiate the adoration for the character from the reality of what these dogs can be like. In this case, when people see these dogs, they have a tendency to rush out and buy that specific dog breed without doing any research into the particular breed or behaviour.
With the new film “Dog” hitting the big screen in February 2022, many dog experts fear that this will happen on the back of the film’s release. The movie starring Channing Tatum tells a story about how an army veteran, Briggs (Tatum) must bring Lulu, a dog who served in Afghanistan to his handler’s funeral. The dog in this film is a Belgian Malinois. These dogs are highly intelligent dogs, who are at their best when at work. The working dog is used for herding and working with the law to help in the detection of guns and in some cases bombs, hence why it was the perfect breed to cast in this film.
According to experts, these dogs are highly demanding and require an experienced owner. As a result of this, these experts fear that if this movie is successful, there will be a surge in interest for this particular dog and breeders will be unable to breed fast enough to cater for the demand. Vinnie Somma, dog trainer, and owner of Say It Once Dog Training spoke with News Today in the USA after the release of the movie saying that these dogs can become dangerous if they are not given the mental and physical stimulus required.
“This breed has a huge financial responsibility. The amount of training and cost for that training is something people need to think about. They are not bred to be standard house pets.”
Somma continued to talk about how even experienced dog owners should think twice about getting a Belgian Malinois. The way they are portrayed in films like “Dog” does not depict how they will be as a pet. Lulu, the dog in the movie is played by three different Belgian Malinois,’ all of which have undergone extensive training for the role and they will not be that obedient when an individual takes one home.
The release of this film is causing experts to fear that history will repeat itself. With films like 101 Dalmatians and Marley and Me, there has been a pattern of people purchasing dogs seen in movies without doing their research on the breed.
Although the film is one to tug at the heart strings and does indicate just how gentle these dogs can be when trained, it does not send the message that these dogs are suitable for every home. While gentle and loving when given the right training, people need to be mindful of the type of dog they are getting and ensure that the breed they choose is one suitable for all.
Have you ever been influenced to buy a dog or pet from something you have seen on the big screen? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.