King Frederick of Prussia coined the phrase “a dog is a man’s best friend” in 1789. He expressed that the only absolute best friend that he can possess in this selfish world, is his dog. It is the one who will not betray or deny him. The human-dog relationship evolved when ancient wolves discovered they could scavenge the leftovers from human kills for more reward and far less risk than hunting themselves. Their descendants became more reliant on human benefactors with each generation, and we accepted them into our service.
Let’s have a look at some movies in which a dog has appeared as one of the main characters:
1. Rough Collie: Lassie
Lassie is an American television series that follows the adventures of Lassie, a female Rough Collie dog, and her human and animal pals. Producer Robert Maxwell and animal trainer Rudd Weatherwax created the show, which aired from September 12, 1954, through March 25, 1973.
Lassie garnered positive reviews upon its premiere and won two Emmy Awards in its first two years. Jan Clayton and June Lockhart received Emmy nominations. During the show’s run, merchandise included novels, a Halloween costume, apparel, toys, and other products. Campbell’s Soup, the show’s long-term sponsor, provided two rewards (a ring and a pocketbook) to fans in the thousands. In August 1963, a multi-part episode was turned into the feature film Lassie’s Great Adventure, which was released.
2. Saint Bernard: Beethoven
The gentle giant smashed box office records in 1992, launching a string of sequels that lasted nearly a decade. The original Beethoven revolves around the antics of a Saint Bernard who infiltrates the Newton family’s house — and hearts. Prepare to drool if you’re thinking about bringing a Saint Bernard into your home. She makes up for her slobber with her sweet personality. Saint Bernard, who was originally used by monks to rescue stranded tourists in the Swiss Alps, is a protective and gentle dog with a heart as huge as her massive bulk. Saint Bernard is a large working dog breed native to the Western Alps of Italy and Switzerland. They were first raised for rescue efforts by the hospice on the Italian-Swiss border, the Great St Bernard Pass.
3. Cairn Terrier: The Wizard of Oz
In 1939, a little girl named Dorothy made history by saying to a dog, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” More than seven decades later, tiny girls dressed for Halloween in braids and blue checkered skirts still tote wicker baskets with stuffed animal Toto’s. The Cairn Terrier, a tough, independent small dog bred in Scotland to hunt vermin, is still famous thanks to the film; earlier this year, a congressman proposed making the Cairn the official state dog of Kansas.
The Cairn Terrier is a terrier breed that originated in the Scottish Highlands and is regarded as one of the country’s first working dogs. The breed was named Cairn because its purpose was to hunt and chase game between the cairns in the Scottish Highlands.
4. German Shepherd: Finding Rin Tin Tin
At the close of World War I, American soldier Lee Duncan brought a young German Shepherd puppy home from France; he taught Rin Tin Tin some tricks and decided the dog could be a cinema star. Rin Tin Tin sparked a decades-long international obsession with the breed through feature-length and short films, as well as a radio series. During WWII, the German Shepherd was designated as the Army’s official mascot. However, mass-production puppy mills took advantage of the increasing popularity of this intelligent, protective breed and created a genetic catastrophe. Nonetheless, because of Rin Tin Tin, the breed has become one of America’s most known family pets. The German Shepherd has appeared in 562 films and television shows, more than any other dog. Notable appearances include the K-9 series, and I Am Legend.
5. Dalmatian: 101 Dalmatians
Speaking of identifiable breeds, these dogs’ renowned spots made them a deadly target for Cruella De Vil, one of Disney’s most famous villains. The 1961 Disney picture and the spotted puppies who, thankfully, did not wind up as a fur coat won over audiences all over the world. But you wouldn’t want 101 of these dogs; trained to sprint alongside carriages and horseback riders, the athletic Dalmatian has an insatiable drive to run. So don’t expect him to sit around and watch Disney movies with you all day. In its early days, it was utilized as a carriage dog as well as a hunting dog. This breed’s origins can be traced back to modern-day Croatia and its historical area of Dalmatia.
6. Golden Retriever: Air Bud
Plenty of Golden Retrievers have graced the big and small screens, from Homeward Bound to Full House, but no one plays the game like Air Bud’s Buddy. “There’s no law that says a dog can’t play basketball,” a referee proclaims after Buddy dazzles the crowd with his basketball skills. You may not be able to train your own Golden Retriever to slam dunk, but this breed is nonetheless eager to please. He’s a loving family dog who is simple to teach, and if you’re looking for a jogging or running partner, these dogs are a fantastic match. Get to know all about golden retrievers’ care and characteristics to fully enjoy fun activities with them but keep in mind that their growth plates are still growing throughout the puppy years.
7. Jack Russell Terrier: The Mask
Stanley Ipkiss’ dog’s name is Milo. He has a small head and is a brown and white Jack Russell Terrier with a chain collar. While wearing the unusual mask, his collar changes to a spiked collar, then back to a chain collar, and his head grows huge and green-headed. Max, the dog, plays him, and he, like his master, wears the mask. He is loyal to his master and cares about him, although he was initially terrified of Stanley’s alter-ego The Mask due to his zany behavior and antics, though he does become loyal to him as well, which his owner’s alter-ego transmits to him at times if he is in a circumstance that necessitates it.
8. Beagle: Shiloh
Dale Rosenbloom produced and directed the 1996 American family drama film Shiloh. It premiered at the Heartland Film Festival in 1996, but it didn’t see theaters until April 25, 1997. An injured Beagle puppy flees his harsh owner, Judd Travers, and encounters a young man named Marty Preston. The puppy follows the boy home but is not permitted to accompany him. Shiloh is Marty’s name for him. Ray Preston, Marty’s conservative father, will not allow Marty to keep Shiloh because he belongs to Judd Travers. Judd is a cruel old man who hunts with his hounds. Shiloh was the most abused member of the group. Marty reluctantly returns Shiloh to Judd, but after another mistreatment, the dog returns to Marty.
9. Labrador Retriever: Old Yeller
The 1957 American drama picture Old Yeller was directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney. Tommy Kirk, Dorothy McGuire, Kevin Corcoran, and Fess Parker star in it. It tells the story of a little kid and a stray dog in post-Civil War Texas. The film is based on Fred Gipson’s 1956 novel of the same name. Gipson also co-wrote the script with William Tunberg. The film’s success prompted a 1963 sequel, Savage Sam, which was based on Gipson’s 1962 novel. The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. along with the German Shepherd and many others.
Further, the Library of Congress chose the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 2019 because it is “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.” When Disney+ opened on November 12, 2019, the film was accessible to stream.