Movie about dogs 2017

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Animal action is extensive throughout the film consisting of, not only the three lead characters, but also a group of dogs at a baseball field, a pack of stray dogs who befriend the pets, two bulldogs who become a threat, several dogs captured by dognappers, a poodle, a puppy, a kitten and some fish. The role of Chance, the American Bulldog, was played by four dogs, Shadow by two different Golden Retrievers, and Sassy, the Himalayan, by seven different cats. Non-toxic makeup was applied to the animals in some cases to create the identity match. In general, the film was done in many sequences and each sequence in many cuts. Much of the action was simple A to B movement as a response to visual and voice commands with food as a reward. Extensive pre-production training was done to get all the various dogs who would be used in combination during filming accustomed to being together and being worked together. As the film opens, we see Chance chewing on a sneaker and telling us that it belongs to his pal, a young boy named Jamie Seaver, who rescued him (in the first film) from “the bad place”, his name for the pound. Chance is upset that his buddy, Jamie, seems uninterested in playing with him. In frustration, a hyperactive Chance chews Jamie’s sneaker, leaps after a butterfly in the yard, pesters the cat, chews a baseball, and steals a doughnut from the table. For all of this action, the dog was trained in pre-production and responded to verbal and visual commands with food rewards. In the scene where he chases and goes to chomp the butterfly, it flies away and Chance is left with dandelion seeds on his nose and appears to spit them out. For this scene, a fake butterfly controlled by a length of monofilament was used, as well as a prop dandelion that had gone to seed. Additional dandelion seeds were tossed at the dog’s nose and face making the dog respond as if he were spitting them out. Sassy is not amused by Chance nor his antics and runs up the stairs where she startles Mr. Seaver into tossing the laundry he is carrying. Chance ends up with underwear on his head and after shaking it free proceeds to chase Sassy into the yard. In the yard, on top of a small rise, is a child’s hide and seek tunnel where Sassy takes refuge. The incorrigible Chance pushes the tunnel down the incline just to create mischief and we see Sassy running inside as if in an exercise wheel. When the tunnel stops rolling, we see Sassy emerge and stagger around, dizzy from the ride. This scene was shot in cuts. For the chase shots, the dog and cat were very comfortable working together and had a long pre-training period. Chance was given voice commands to nudge the tunnel down the slope with food as a reward. For the segment where the cat is inside, the tunnel was rolled gently and the cat walked forward as it rolled. No cat was inside when the tunnel was rolling fast. When the cat emerges, it is from a slow rocking tunnel controlled by the trainer who also used an undetectable waistband on the cat made of monofilament, which he pulled gently, making it appear as if the cat was dizzy. Throughout the film, Sassy is seen licking her paws, sometimes as a haughty commentary on the superiority of cats. For this, fish oil was placed on the paws of the cat and naturally licked off. Chance follows Jamie to the baseball field where he encounters four other dogs who are sitting on the sidelines commenting on the game as if they were canine sportscasters. Chance disturbs things by running after a game ball and ends up grabbing the mitt off of the hand of one of the young players. For this scene, each dog was attended to by his own trainer who gave visual and voice commands to get the dogs to look in a particular direction and to stay on their marks. When Chance grabs at the mitt, he had been trained in pre-production to take the mitt into his mouth in response to a verbal command by his trainer. When Jamie and Chance return home, they find the family loading their sports vehicle to head for the airport and begin their vacation. The pets are loaded into the back of the sports-utility vehicle and we hear the pets discussing that they were given tranquilizers to remain calm. Chance is taking no chances and throws up the pill. For this scene, the trainer was out of camera range on the floor of the vehicle with the animals. The scene was shot in cuts and the dog given a command to yawn. The yawn was enhanced in post production by a sound effect and prop vomit which gave the impression that the dog disgorged the pill. No tranquilizers were actually given to the animals. At the airport, the pets are loaded into kennel carriers so that they will travel with the family by plane to Canada for vacation. The pets converse and we realize that Chance is worried that they are being sent to “the bad place” and separated from their family forever. As the carriers are traveling out to the plane on a moving baggage cart, Chance starts to rock his cage to escape. His carrier is knocked off the cart which is then hit by an oncoming cart and it breaks open. Sassy is able to unlock her carrier and, once free, she unlocks Shadow’s carrier as well. The three, determined to find the Seavers, set off through the airport, up and down luggage conveyors loaded with suitcases and boxes and finally out onto the airfield where they watch the plane that is bound for Canada take off over their heads. This very complicated sequence was shot in many cuts with both live and fake animals being used. The matching “stuffies” were used at some point during filming to depict all three animals. The dog portraying Chance was trained in pre-production to jump around inside the kennel, making it rock back and forth. The kennel itself was actually secured to the vehicle so that the dog could jostle it and have no chance of knocking it off onto the ground. When we see the carrier get knocked off the baggage cart and hit by the other vehicle, freeing Chance, it was a fake animal in the carrier. When Sassy opens the kennel carriers, the cat had been trained in pre-production to reach out of her own carrier and put her paws on Shadow’s kennel door. The doors were actually electronically opened by remote control. In some of the sequence, we see the lead animals and other dogs in carriers. These carriers were tied down to the vehicles so that they had no chance of falling off. Trainers were dressed as airport personnel, so were able to be near-by the moving baggage cart. The area in the airport where the filming was done was cleared and only film personnel and animal handlers were permitted to be on hand. Once free of their kennels, the animals rush back into the terminal to try and find the Seavers. They run in through an opening in the terminal building and find themselves on the luggage conveyors before finding their way to the waiting area where they last saw their family. They realize that the Seavers must already be on a plane, so they turn around and go back out to the airfield, risking another climb on the conveyors. For the scenes where the animals were seen on the luggage conveyors, there was a good deal of pre-production training. Early in the training, the speed of the conveyor was very slow. Over a lengthy training period, as the animals became more accustomed to the movement, the speed of the conveyor was gradually increased. Later the luggage and boxes were added as obstacles. Each animal was prepped individually and eventually together. Finding that their family is no longer in the airport terminal, the threesome run out onto the airfield and lie down on the runway hoping to stop the plane which takes off over their heads. Filmed in a series of cuts, we watch the animals as they sit on the airfield in direct alignment with the approaching plane and look up as the plane flies overhead. We then see Chance react by putting his paws over his eyes. At that same moment he “says” he wasn’t afraid, but a shot of his back end with a trickle of urine seeping onto the runway, reveals his true feelings. For this scene, the crew, director, photographer and humane representative went onto the field first and tested wind and noise conditions created by planes taking off. Over a pre-training period, rehearsal fly-overs were done to accustom the animals to the elements. To protect the animals, their ears were plugged with cotton batting and they were attended by their handlers who were always near-by. A tie-down line was stretched across the runway so the dogs could be attached to it for added protection. When the three are seen from a distance, the cat was a fake animal. For the close-ups of the animals looking up as the plane goes overhead, the animals were placed on a special platform and filmed from below. The dogs responded to a voice command and stayed on the platform which was only approximately three feet high. However, the cat was held from a short distance by the trainer who used a waistband on the animal which was then attached to a tie-down board on the platform. Whenever the cat was seen from behind or at a distance the fake cat was used. When the plane lifts off over their heads and we see Chance lying down, putting his paws over his eyes and the trickle of urine being released, the trainer had placed the paws over the eyes of the animal. Immediately, the dog removed his paws. Then, in the editing process, this shot was run in reverse, making it appear as if the dog was placing his own paws over his eyes. For the effect of urination, a small tube was comfortably placed under the dog and Gatorade was pumped through it from off camera. Airport personnel spot the animals out on the runway and chase them off the airfield. They escape over and under a chainlink fence. Shadow and Chance dig under the fence, although Chance gets his collar caught and almost doesn’t make it. Sassy climbs up and over the top, risking the barbed wire that crowns the fence. This scene was done in many cuts. The chainlink fence and barbed wire were made of plastic that would not harm the animals. The dogs had been taught to dig under the fence and did so by obeying voice commands with food as a reward. The cat responded to a buzzer command from her trainer who was positioned on a specially constructed ledge the height of the fence. A ramp was leaned against the fence making the actual climb for the cat less steep. Since they believe that their only hope of reuniting with the family is to find their way home, they set off into the city to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and find home. As the threesome ventures through the streets of San Francisco, they dodge tourists, root around in the garbage for snacks, take refuge from the rain in an old cardboard box, and explore Chinatown. Chance is also nearly hit by a truck. The scenes of the pets walking along streets in city traffic were done with controlled vehicles only, traveling at very slow speeds. The truck sequence was shot in cuts. The dog ran from one trainer at point A, the release point, to a second trainer at point B who was giving the animal both visual and verbal commands. The street was cleared of all other traffic and the moving truck was filmed from behind. It was never actually near the dog. While in Chinatown, Sassy becomes fascinated by a tank of trout at a fish market, but gets shooed away by the shopkeeper. She picks up the scent and then spies the fish in a tank outside the vendor’s store. Sassy puts her paws up on the edge of the tank and appears to be hungrily watching the trout as they swim around. The shopkeeper sees her and picks up a broom to shoo her away. For this scene, the cat responded to buzzer commands given by her trainer, followed by food rewards. The cat was never frightened by the broom. As they continue trekking through the streets, Sassy spies a little boy on the stoop of his house holding a tiny kitten. Sassy is confident that she can charm the boy into giving her some food. Chance again gets rambunctious and decides to chime into the action. The boy sees the bulldog running up to the house and calls for his mom who comes to the door and shoos the strangers away as she ushers her son inside. For this scene, four kittens were used from the local S.P.C.A., cared for by the humane representative during filming and later adopted by individual crew members. Later, Sassy and Shadow return to this same neighborhood and find that this little boy’s house is on fire. Shadow daringly enters the burning building and rescues the little boy, while Sassy follows behind to rescue the kitten. This fire sequence was shot in cuts and two dogs and two cats were used in rotation during the filming. A special frame was built with safety firebars and stage smoke dispensed on the ground to create the fire atmosphere. The animals were removed from the area for the shots of the house seen burning at a distance. When you see the dog walking in the area of the fire, the flames and smoke were controlled. For added protection, his fur was covered with a fire retardant. The cat walked near the smoke, but never near the flames. For added protection, her fur was wetted down with water. Sassy is seen carrying the kitten in her mouth as she exits the building. This was a stuffed animal which the cat had been trained to carry in her mouth. The fake animal also had a small cloth tag attached to the back of it that had been coated with food, making it even more attractive to Sassy. Eventually, our heroes encounter two bulldogs named Pete and Ashcan, who start a fight with the pampered pets whom they see as intruders on their turf. Chance, at one point in the fight, grabs hold of Pete’s tail. As a fight ensues, a pack of strays, led by a dog named Riley, comes to the rescue of Sassy, Chance and Shadow. Chance runs off to distract one of the bullies and Riley sends a beautiful white dog named Delilah to find him. Delilah and Chance at first tussle, but once he knows she was sent by the friendly strays, it is love at second sight. All of the fight scenes were done by play fighting. The dogs had been prepped in pre-production. Each of the dogs had a trainer assigned to him and the scenes were shot in cuts so that the dogs could be individually cued by voice and hand commands. In the scene when Chance grabs Pete’s tail, the dog’s real tail was wrapped and hidden alongside his hind leg and a fake tail was attached to the dog. In part of the sequence, this prosthetic tail was merely held by a trainer who was positioned out of camera range. In the midst of the fighting, we see Sassy poised atop a large wooden cable spool, where she does her part by knocking over a flower pot onto the head of one of the dogs. This was shot in cuts. The cat was cued to touch the pot by responding to a buzzer command from her trainer. We then see a shot of it landing on the head of one of the bulldogs who turns and walks away from the spool. The pot, which was made of foam rubber, toppled off of the spool with little effort from the cat and lightly landed on the head of the dog. For the scene where Delilah gets the better of Chance, the dog had been trained to be submissive, roll over, and allow other dogs to sniff him. Later, when they kiss, babyfood had been placed on the faces of the dogs and they merely licked it off. Throughout the film, we encounter two bungling dog-nappers who travel around in, what the street dogs call, “The Blood-Red Van,” and collect animals for laboratory experimentation. Most of the time the strays are able to hide from the nappers. Eventually, the pets and their stray allies foil the nappers. The blood-red van pulls up to the warehouse on the pier where the strays hang out. At first, they try to capture Chance who is so busy looking in the garbage for food that he doesn’t see them. They lure him with a hamburger and finally get him into the van using a come-along. The other dogs and Sassy watch this from the warehouse windows and decide to save Chance. They ban together making a canine barrier to stop the van, scare the nappers, free the dogs in the van, chase the dog-nappers away and send the van rolling off the end of the pier. This complicated sequence was shot in cuts. Each dog had two trainers and responded to voice and hand commands. One trainer was positioned in front of each animal to give it commands, both for movement and to direct the animal’s focus, while a second trainer was positioned behind the animal. When the animals moved from point A to point B, it was the trainer behind who released the animal, while the other trainer used commands and food rewards to call his dog to his mark. When the seven dogs line up in the path of the van, the trainers were present and the van’s speed and movement was highly controlled. Each part of the sequence was shot in cuts and the animals were trained in pre-production to do the stunts, such as releasing the handbrake of the van to get it to roll off of the pier. When Sassy releases the door at the back of the van, the cat was responding to buzzer and hand commands from her trainer with food rewards. As the nappers run away, one is attacked by a dog and his pant leg torn. For this shot, the dog was trained in pre-production to respond to voice and hand commands and the trainer, wearing heavy leg padding, acted as a stunt double for the actor. A snarling look on the dog was created with the use of an elastic device attached to the top of the dog’s jaw. This caused no discomfort to the dog and was used for no more than ten seconds. Having saved Chance from the dognappers, the pets set off again to find the bridge and home. As they walk through the city, they are spotted by the two bullies, Pete and Ashcan. Pete climbs onto Ashcan’s back to get a better look over the fence. The scene was filmed in cuts and the dogs were trained in pre-production to do the stunt, using a platform for added support in some shots. The bottom dog was positioned under a platform the height of his back and filmed using a camera angle that made the platform imperceptible. The bullies follow the pets expecting to pick another fight with them. Chance gets the better of Pete by rolling him in a big industrial piece of tubing, similar to the child’s tunnel in the yard at home. The scene was shot in cuts and no dog was actually in the tubing when it rolled. Even though Riley had told the pets that he would not help them find their way home because he was distrustful of humans, he eventually leads the pets to the Golden Gate Bridge. In the flashback sequence when Riley explains how he came to be a stray and why he distrusts humans, we see him as a puppy being given to a child as a Christmas present. Days later, he is abandoned in the rain when the child becomes disinterested in him. For this scene, the puppy was placed by the trainer and actually two pups were used in rotation for the sequence. We watch the pets bid farewell to their friend, Riley, and cross the Golden Gate Bridge on the final leg of their journey. To make the animals secure on the bridge, the dogs were on leads, while the cat was outfitted with a monofilament waistband and lead. The leads were secured to three steel cables approximately 100 ft. long and anchored to the sidewalk. Trainers were close-by at all times. The area was scouted and swept for glass and debris prior to filming All this time, the Seavers have been worried about their pets and try desperately to find Chance, Shadow and Sassy through the proper channels. They cancel their vacation and fly home to San Francisco, but begin to give up hope. As they drive toward home, they have a near accident with a tractor trailer truck. Of course, what they don’t immediately realize is that it is the mischievous Chance who is the cause of the accident. The truck driver sees Chance sitting in the road staring at the river and longing for his love, Delilah. As the driver breaks, the car following him containing the Seavers, swerves to avoid a crash and the truck ends up traversing the road. Luckily, no one is hurt and Chance is found lying under the truck with his paws covering his eyes. Shadow and Sassy, who have watched this from the hillside above the road, run down the hill to check on Chance and are surprisingly reunited with their humans. For the accident, a very calm dog used to staying on his mark was used while the camera angle made it look as if the truck was much closer to the dog than it actually was. When the dog is seen under the truck at the end, the trainer placed the dog, put his paws over his eyes, and gave a verbal command to stay. Once at home, everyone is happy except for Chance who is heartbroken, missing Delilah. As the family and pets enjoy an afternoon at home, Delilah suddenly appears at the gate to their yard. Chance is so excited he leaps for joy. When the Seavers decide to then adopt her, Chance is so ecstatic that he knocks over the delivery man who happens to be arriving with a pizza and proceeds to gobble up the fallen food. For this scene, Chance was given verbal and hand commands and was actually a natural jumper. However, a crane was out of camera range where a trainer was placed above the dog holding a bunch of flowers for which the dog liked to jump. Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco is a Canadian production filmed primarily in Canada. The British Columbia S.P.C.A. monitored the animal action, except for two weeks during filming in the United States where the American Humane Association was on the set. American and Canadian trainers were used for all of the dog and cat action and American Humane Guidelines were followed during these extensive animal scenes. However, during pick up shots in Canada in the brief scene where Sassy is fascinated by the fish, six fish were brought onto the set. The containers in which they were transported were too small and unsuitable for their specie. Also, proper aeration and temperature control was not provided, all of which are violations of the AHA guidelines. Three fish died. Three more were brought in and these six managed to be kept alive by the crew just long enough for filming, but died shortly thereafter. No trainer was present. Normally, under these conditions a film would receive an “Unacceptable” rating. However, because of the extensive dog and cat action and the brevity of the scene in which the fish were used, American Humane has decided to make an exception in this case and give Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco a dual rating. The dog and cat action is rated “Acceptable.” Fish action is rated “Unacceptable.”

The Amazing Science Behind Pets That Find Their Way Home

A pity you can’t ask a dog for the shortest route home when you’re lost—or a cat or a seabird or a tortoise or a dung beetle, for that matter. Because if you could ask any of them how to get pretty much anywhere, odds are they’d know a lot more than you think.

Animal navigation has long been something of a black box for scientists. The mystery of how nonhumans—without benefit of maps, language or GPS—manage to find their way from place to place, often over very great distances, presented itself anew recently when a dog walked 11 miles from its new home to return to a former foster owner. The feat was especially remarkable because the dog had been taken to its new location by car and had to find its way back on foot—meaning it hadn’t had a chance to learn the route. Even more impressive was the 2013 tale of the geolocating cat that had been lost and found its way home after a journey of two months and 200 miles. So how do animals manage such prodigious—and precise—feats of travel?

The kind of natural map any animal follows depends largely on the species. As TIME has reported, seabirds are believed to steer mostly by the sun and the stars, since if the animals are ever going to get lost, it tends to happen when the skies are overcast. The same is true of the unglamorous dung beetle. While naturalists have not extensively tracked the species’ perambulations in the wild, they’ve studied them in—yes—planetariums. As long as the artificial Milky Way was in view, the beetle and its dung ball rolled right along. Throw the switch and change the stars, however, and the little critter was completely flummoxed.

Many more animals navigate via magnetism—orienting themselves along the north-south lines of Earth’s magnetic fields. In one study of baby sea sea turtles, which typically migrate east after hatching, changing the orientation of magnetic generators around a swimming pool changed the direction in which the hatchlings swam too. Pigeons were thought to navigate the same way, especially since they have cells in their beaks that are heavy in iron. Later studies, however, found that those cells were related to the immune system, not navigation.

Mammals—and particularly two of the species of mammals that humans love best: dogs and cats—have a range of ways to get around. Dogs, no surprise, are very big on scent, and that can take them a very long way.

“An eleven-mile distance is actually not terribly long for a dog,” says Bonnie Beaver, the executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and a professor at Texas A&M University. “If the dog had walked both from and back to his home he’d be following his own scent trail.” In this case, the dog was instead probably following an equally compelling smell: that of its owner, a type of navigation that is entirely possible over long distances as long as the wind is right.

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Dogs extend their scent range by moving among overlapping circles of familiar scents—much the way cell phone coverage relies on interconnected footprints from different cell towers. A dog that wanders out of its own immediate range might pick up the scent of, say, a familiar dog in the next circle. That might point it to a circle that contains a familiar person or tree or restaurant trash can, and so on.

Cats, like other animals, might rely more on magnetic fields—a faculty that could turn out to be quite common in mammals. “There are some studies that show that the ears of most mammals contain iron,” Beaver says. “That may cue them into the magnetic direction in the ground. There’s work showing that cattle, deer and voles tend to orient in a north-south direction.”

The overall temperament of an animal—or, more broadly, of the species—can play a role in navigation too. A dog that travels a great distance to get home is likely trying to return to its owner, since the dog-human bond is a powerful one. A cat that travels the same distance is—sorry cat owners—probably just tying to return to its territory.

No matter how well animals navigate, scientists caution against an observation bias that may make them seem better than they are. A dog or cat that finds its way halfway across the state makes news; the uncounted others that stay lost do not. What’s more, some cases of remarkable returns may turn out to be matters of mistaken identity, unless there’s a positive way to identify an animal like an implanted microchip that some owners use along with a collar.

“You hear these stories about a three-legged black cat that came home and jumped into its favorite chair,” says Beaver. “But it’s real hard to be sure because they’ve been gone a long time and they look scruffy. And heck, that chair would be a comfortable one for any cat.”

Still, we shouldn’t dismiss all the stories out of hand. That cat that traveled 200 miles in 2013? It did have an implanted microchip. So kudos to at least one kitty—and probably a whole lot more.

Write to Jeffrey Kluger at [email protected]

Who’s A Good Girl? Your Dog, Who Understands More Than You Might Think

When your dog looks like she’s listening to you, she really is. Ray Montgomery/Flickr hide caption

toggle caption Ray Montgomery/Flickr

When your dog looks like she’s listening to you, she really is.

Ray Montgomery/Flickr

There are enormous implications in a report this week from a team of Hungarian scientists who say that dogs can understand words.

Not just the tone in which we may tell them, “Aww, good boy! Good little girl!” Scientists at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest wrote in the Science journal that the 13 family dogs they studied use the same parts of their brain as humans to process language. They probably understand words.

This is not just a cute li’l pet story. It might lead to rethinking the whole relationship we have with the dogs in our lives.

It means we should no longer speak doggie baby talk, like “Otay, snookie-woofums, time for walkie-poo.”

Instead, people will have to tell their dogs, “Good morning. In a moment, I’ll take you outside to evacuate your bowels and bladder. In the meantime, I’ve left food with beef, rice, and shards of carrots in your bowl that contains about 800 calories, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, sodium selenite and 1.5% crude fiber. I’ve put the Times op-ed page next to your bowl. I think you’ll love Frank Bruni. But there’s a column next to it you might want to poop on.”

This research means we should probably speak in soft tones when talking near our dogs about delicate topics like spaying and neutering. Perhaps it’s wisest just to whisper: “You know … I think we have to take Olly in for that … thing … the vet does … You know…”

Maybe it’s best come come up with a euphemism in front of your dog. Like, “extreme grooming.”

This research that finds dogs understand words means that if you leave Morning Edition on for your dog while you go off to work, by the time you come home your dog will be better informed than you. Imagine living with a smart-aleck dog who can correct you about the fine points of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, or gets the answers to the Weekend Sunday Puzzle before you do.

Instead of leaving on music — light jazz, or Vivaldi — as company for your dog when you go out at night, your dog might prefer to listen to an audiobook of Noam Chomsky reading Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order.

And if dogs understand language, how can we look into their soft, limpid eyes and woolly snouts to confide our deepest anxieties and darkest secrets if we know our dogs take in each and every word and just think, “I’d rather scratch myself than hear all this again!”

When my dog died, I didn’t understand why it felt like a human had died. Then I read the research.

I picked the dog I wanted in the same way I picked a favorite Pokémon. I looked in the classified section next to the automotive ads and found a breed named “Peekapoo,” which was close enough to “Pikachu.”

No one ever tells you that begging for a dog as an 11-year-old could affect you deeply as an adult. They just make you promise to clean up after the animal.

But when Rainbow was 10, my parents moved abroad, and she came to live with me in New York. At first, she couldn’t figure out how to pee on concrete; she cried a lot, so I cried a lot. Eventually we learned how to communicate, even as she lost her vision, her hearing, her continence.

Last week, I had to put her down.

No one ever tells you that when your dog is dying, it feels like a human is dying. At first, I tried to suppress the grief. But so many other dog owners said things like, “It felt like a family member had died.” As a data person, all I could see was a growing sample size.

So instead of mourning — or maybe this was my mourning — I sat next to Rainbow during her final days, and I read research papers and books about humans’ relationship with dogs.

As it turns out, we really are two species with an odd, symbiotic relationship.

It turns out there’s a reason it feels like a human has died.

This is how dogs helped us become who we are today

The relationship began as early as 33,000 years ago. Scholars think we probably hunted together and lingered around each other, because wolves were a lot like humans — both social creatures, willing to work together to accomplish tasks.

Some go as far as to say that this alliance is what helped humans survive, while the Neanderthals didn’t.

When humans migrated to Europe, we had to compete with large carnivores and Neanderthals for big game, like elk and bison. Some scholars believe that humans came out on top because we partnered with wolves. The wolves chased the large animals until they were tired out, and since it was dangerous for them to get too close to a larger animal, humans used sharp weapons go in for the final kill.

Then they split the meat.

In short, this partnership helped created the modern dog — and the modern human.

This is how dogs went from partner to worker to friend

About 320 years ago, an English farmer had a dog named Quon. He was probably a working dog, like most dogs of that time. So when the animal outlived his usefulness, the farmer wrote in his journal, “My dog Quon was killed and baked for his grease, of which he yielded 11lb.”

It’s gruesome, but it illustrates just how new the idea of a pet is. Only 500 years ago did we started using the word “pet” to describe a dependent, nonworking animal, and even then it wasn’t used to describe dogs. Rather, it described orphan lambs that had to be raised by hand.

But the Western world started warming to the idea of companion animals. Keith Thomas, in his influential book Man and the Natural World, argues that we eventually let animals into our homes, we gave them names, and we never, ever ate them.

It got to the point that about 200 years ago, the modern pet industry began to develop; there was an explosion of pet shops, pet supplies, pet food, and even children’s books about pets.

About 100 years ago, purebred dogs started becoming popular, and more vets began specializing in small species because they were no longer stigmatized for choosing to care for companion animals.

Now, in the present day, 60 percent of Americans own a pet.

This evolution may be tied to the way we started to think about defenseless humans, like children, the elderly, the chronically ill, and the poor. Historian Katherine Grier writes, “It’s connected to changing ideas about human nature, emotional life, individual responsibility, and our society’s obligations to all kinds of dependent others, including people.”

But with dogs, that relationship has clearly taken a deeper turn than, say, our relationship with the elderly neighbor down the street.

These were very recently working animals, but now half of all pet owners feel their pet is as much a part of the family as any other person in their household. A third let their pets sleep on the bed.

A few years ago, researchers asked dog owners about a hypothetical scenario: If there were a runaway bus speeding toward a person and your dog, which one would you save? About 40 percent said they would save their dog over a foreign tourist.

This is why dogs are like humans — or (sometimes) better!

In order to understand our current relationships with dogs, we have to understand our relationships with other humans.

It all goes back to this thing called “attachment theory,” which posits that humans have a biological tendency to form attachments for survival reasons. At first this is usually with mothers, but later it can be with friends and romantic partners.

Now scholars are seeing this type of attachment with pets, specifically dogs.

In 2000, researchers found that dogs offered more support than humans in three ways:

  1. Providing a reliable and lasting relationship
  2. Being a better receiver of care
  3. Being a better source of companionship

In 2008, researchers found that pets offer a unique type of relationship, cushioning the “uncertainty of more complex relationships with humans.”

And it’s the socially vulnerable who have a higher level of attachment to their pets — the never married, divorced, widowed, remarried, and those without kids. One study even shows dogs and cats often take the place of departed children.

The symbiotic relationship has evolved; we don’t hunt together anymore, but we still help each other survive.

And this is why we owe them more

A few years ago, researchers at Emory University taught dogs to go inside MRI machines and stay still. This let them figure out that humans and dogs have very similar structure and function in a part of the brain called the “caudate nucleus.” It’s the portion that helps us anticipate things we enjoy, like bacon and being with friends.

The researchers said this might suggest “dogs have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child.” It’s the line of research that helps us justify giving more legal and cultural protection to dogs and other animals.

There were several times my dog was treated well for a dog but poorly for a human. People keep telling me that I took good care of her — that she had a good life — but I think about the number of times I left her home alone for long periods of time. I know it was torturous for a social animal like her. Just because other people said it was okay didn’t make her crying any less devastating.

As I sat next to Rainbow, researching this piece, I started to feel an immense amount of guilt. When she developed cataracts and couldn’t see, I opted not to get them removed because she was already older and it was quite expensive. But she lived another four years.

When she no longer wanted to go outside, I set up a bunch of pee pads in my kitchen. There were many days I would come home from work to find her covered in her own excrement. And then I’d have to bathe her, and she would cry because she hated it.

But just when I thought, “This is it,” she would have several good days. She would curl up at my feet and insist on a massage.

Many times in the past few months, I Googled, “When do you know it’s time to put your dog down.” I did it in incognito mode, as if that somehow protected her from knowing what was coming. Eventually I started Googling, “What it’s like to put your dog down.” Then, after one especially bad day, I knew it was time.

I sat next to her, and I touched her skinny, frail body. I cried. But just like every other time my life crumbled at the edges, she was there — reliable, loving, humble, a friend.

The reason it felt like a human died is because, in so many ways, dogs are like us. They spend much of their life caring for us, and letting us care for them. Their life arc is our life arc, from suburb to city, from hardship to bliss. I didn’t know how to say goodbye. But in the moment, there was only one thing I actually wanted to say to Rainbow, my white dog: Thank you.

ARNO Partners with Rescue Dogs Movie

ARNO partners with “Rescue Dogs”
Busted Buggy Entertainment’s first-of-its-kind family film actually stars real rescue animals

Busted Buggy Entertainment is embarking on a unique release plan for its family film “Rescue Dogs,” which is slated to bound into theaters next spring. The company is teaming up with 20 animal rescues to host animal adoption events during opening weekend, it was announced Friday by Busted Buggy founder Courtney Daniels.

“Rescue Dogs” is a first-of-its-kind family movie that actually stars real rescue dogs (and a rescue cat and a rescue hamster) as the lead characters.

Audiences will be treated to Live Adoption events outside of theaters in hopes of raising both money and awareness, and adopting out a number of rescue animals.

Among the renowned rescues partnering with “Rescue Dogs” is Second Chance Rescue of New York City. “We here at Second Chance Rescue NYC are so excited to be a part of ‘Rescue Dogs!’ The plight of homeless animals in America is daunting. We are so thrilled that ‘Rescue Dogs’ will bring such great awareness to this important cause,” the organization said in a statement.

Some of the other animal rescues currently planning to join “Rescue Dogs” are as follows:

Barks of Love Animal Rescue (Orange County)
Emerald City Pet Rescue (Seattle)
ARNO (New Orleans)
Arizona Animal Welfare League (Phoenix)
Austin Pets Alive (Austin)
Animal Welfare League (Chicago)
Family Dog Rescue (San Francisco)
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue (Atlanta)
Family Dogs New Life (Portland)
Rescue Rovers (Salt Lake City)

“We are so excited to partner with these extraordinary rescue organizations across the nation,” said Daniels. “The amount of time these organizations put into saving animals lives is amazing and we could not be happier to help them in their efforts.”

Busted Buggy is still looking to partner with charities throughout the United States for the release of “Rescue Dogs.” If your animal rescue would be a good fit, please contact Taylor Brooks, VP of Marketing for BBE, at [email protected]

Also Read: Shout! Factory to Distribute Animated Film ‘Snowtime!’ in U.S.

“Rescue Dogs” is the story of Tracy and his rescue dog Charger who have to foil the plans of an evil businessman who wants to knock over their beach restaurant in order to build his golf course. With help from his brother, Tracy tries to pay the bills, manage the kitchen (where Charger helps cook) and still find time to fall in love with a beautiful dancer named Bridget. Through a comedy of errors and mishaps, the humans find that they themselves can be rescued by their very own rescue animals.

The film was written by Jordan Rawlins and MJ Anderson, and co-directed by Anderson and Haik Katsikian.

Busted Buggy Entertainment is a film and television production company founded by actress Courtney Daniels. “Rescue Dogs” is the third feature film BBE has produced and is especially close to Daniels’ heart, as she is the proud parent of 7 rescue animals. Busted Buggy Entertainment’s second film, “The Girl in the Book” starring Emily VanCamp, hits theaters on Dec. 11.

See more here: http://www.thewrap.com/rescue-dogs-movie-enlists-20-animal-rescues-for-adoption-events-on-opening-weekend/

Monte’s rags-to-riches story began at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, a municipal high-kill shelter in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

On April 26, 2018 he and a group of other dogs were rescued from there by HALO, which stand for Helping Animals Live On.

Shelter notes taken when he arrived in Arizona said he “gives kisses, loves attention, he knows how to sit, and walks well on a leash.”

Ms Allen said other dogs from the shelter had been in advertisements, but never anything as high profile as a Disney film. She said it was unknown what breed Monte is.

“He’s a terrier mix of some sort. He’s a shelter mutt. That’s what makes this extra cool. He really represents how great shelter dogs are. They are super friendly and can be outgoing.

“He’s unique. If he needs a stunt double it’s not going to be easy to find a dog that looks like him.”

Monte has been adopted by Mark Forbes, an animal trainer working on the Disney film.

He sends the shelter pictures of Monte in California where, between filming and publicity appearances, he lives an ordinary life going for walks.

Ms Allen said: “It’s special when these things happen. It helps show the world that shelter animals are wonderful and people can find their next best friend there.

Movies With Animals: Top 75 Family Films

Hollywood has several hot niche categories that every year see a lot of action in the Box Office. One of those categories would certainly be movies that either star animals or have cast animals in a featured role. These animal movies have always been a sure fire hit for family viewing, so we have compiled a list of 75 of the all time greatest family films featuring animals. This is sure to be a list that “animal lovers” will delight in.

75. Snow Buddies (2008)

Rated- G Stars- James Belushi, Jimmy Bennett

74. We Bought A Zoo (2011)

Rated- PG Stars- Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church

73. Marmaduke (2010)

Rated- PG Stars- Owen Wilson, Judy Greer, Lee Pace

72. Moby Dick (1956)

Rated- Approved Stars- Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, Leo Genn

71. Doogal (2006)

Rated- G Stars- Jon Stewart, Judi Dench, Daniel Tay

70. Hotel For Dogs (2009)

Rated- PG Stars- Emma Roberts. Jake T. Austin, Lisa Kudrow

69. Oliver and Company (1988)

Rated- G Stars- Joseph Lawrence, Billy Joel, Cheech Marin

68. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

Rated- G Stars- Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, Don Alder

67. Chimpanzee (2012)

Rated- G Stars- Tim Allen

66. Open Season (2006)

Rated- PG Stars- Ashton Kutcher, Martin Lawrence, Debra Messing

65. Balto

Rated- G Stars- Kevin Bacon, Bob Hoskins, Bridget Fonda

64. Racing Stripes (2005)

Rated- PG Stars- Frankie Muniz, David Spade, Snoop Dogg

63. Over the Hedge (2006)

Rated- PG Stars- Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell

62. Surf’s Up (2007)

Rated- PG Stars- Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder

61. War Horse (2011)

Rated- PG-13 Stars- Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis

60. Cats and Dogs (2001)

Rated- PG Stars- Alec Baldwin, Tobey Maguire, Jeff Goldblum

59. An American Tale: Fievel Goes West (1991)

Rated- G Stars- James Stewart, John Cleese, Amy Irving

58. Bolt (2008)

Rated- PG Stars- John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman

57. Shark Tale (2004)

Rated- PG Stars- Will Smith, Robert DeNiro, Renee Zellweger

56. Tarzan (1999)

Rated- G Stars- Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Brian Blessed

55. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)

Rated- PG Stars- Drew Barrymore, George Lopez, Piper Perabo

54. Mighty Joe Young (1998)

Rated- PG Stars- Bill Paxton, Charlize Theron, Rade Serbedzija

53. Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)

Rated- PG Stars- Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson

52. Young Black Stallion (2003)

Rated- G Stars- Biana Tamimi, Richard Romanus

51. Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Rated- Approved Stars- Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee

50. Ed (1996)

Rated- PG Stars- Matt LeBlanc, Jayne Brook, Gene Ross

49. Dr. DoLittle (1998)

Rated- PG-13 Stars- Eddie Murphy, Peter Boyle, Ossie Davis

48. Firehouse Dog (2007)

Rated- PG Stars- Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Bree Turner

47. Happy Feet (2006)

Rated- PG Stars- Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman

46. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Rated- G Stars- Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White

45. March of the Penguins (2005)

Rated- G Stars- Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer

44. Barnyard (2006)

Rated- PG Stars- Kevin James. Courteney Cox, Danny Glover

43. The Wild (2006)

Rated- G Stars- Keifer Sutherland, James Belushi, Eddie Izzard

42. White Fang (1991)

Rated- PG Stars- Ethan Hawke, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Seymour Cassel

41. Where The Wild Things Are (2009)

Rated- PG Stars- Max Records, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker

40. The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1986)

Rated- G Stars- Kyoko Koizumi, Dudley Moore

39. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

Rated- G Stars- Richard Gere, Joan Allen

38. Marley and Me (2008)

Rated- PG Stars- Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Eric Dane

37. Stuart Little (1999)

Rated- PG Stars- Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie

36. Free Willy (1993)

Rated- PG Stars- Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, Michael Madsen

35. Snow Dogs (2002)

Rated- PG Stars- Cuba Gooding Jr., James Coburn, Sisqo

34. Babe (1995)

Rated- G Stars- James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, Christine Cavanaugh

33. Old Yeller (1957)

Rated- Approved Stars- Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Tommy Kirk

32. The Little Mermaid (1989)

Rated- G Stars- Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Rene Auberjonois

31. Brother Bear (2003)

Rated- G Stars- Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis

30. Underdog (2007)

Rated- PG Stars- James Belushi, Peter Dinklage, Jason Lee, Amy Adams

29. The Bee Movie (2007)

Rated- PG Stars- Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick

28. Charlotte’s Web (2006)

Rated- G Stars- Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey

27. Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story (2005)

Rated- PG Stars- Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell, Oded Fehr

26. Bambi (1942)

Rated- Approved Stars- Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey

25. The Aristocats (1970)

Rated- G Stars- Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway

24. Air Bud (1997)

Rated- G Stars- Michael Jeter, Kevin Zegers, Wendy Makkena

23. Homeward Bound 2: Lost In San Francisco (1996)

Rated- G Stars- Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, Ralph Waite

22. Chicken Little (2005)

Rated- G Stars- Zach Braff, Joan Cusack, Garry Marshall

21. Robin Hood (1973)

Rated- G Stars- Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Roger Miller

20. Rio (2011)

Rated- PG Stars- Jesse Eisenberger, Anne Hathaway, Goerge Lopez

19. Ratatouille (2007)

Rated- G Stars- Patton Oswalt, Brad Garrett, Lou Romano

18. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Rated- G Stars- Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey

17. Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Rated- PG Stars- Jack Black, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie

16. Dolphin Tale (2011)

Rated- PG Stars- Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr.

15. King Kong (2005)

Rated- PG-13 Stars- Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody

14. Flipper (1996)

Rated- PG Stars- Paul Hogan, Elijah Wood, Jonathan Banks

13. Ice Age (2002)

Rated- PG Stars- Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Ray Romano

12. Iron Will (1994)

Rated- PG Stars- Mackenzie Astin, Kevin Spacey, David Ogden Stiers

11. Madagascar (2005)

Rated- PG Stars- Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett-Smith

“The Truth” (Proverbs 12:10) No one should be cruel to animals. And this tells us that in the eyes of God the person that takes care to love, and fill all needs of their pets are rewarded and looked upon as righteous and good. Those that are cruel and abuse their animals will not.

10. Flicka (2006)

Rated- PG Stars- Alison Lohman, Tim McGraw, Maria Bello

9. Yogi Bear (2010)

Rated- PG Stars- Dan Akroyd, Justin Timberlake, Ana Faris

8. The Lion King (1994)

Rated- G Stars- Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones

7. Shaggy Dog (2006)

Rated- PG Stars- Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Craig Kilborn

6. Finding Nemo (2003)

Rated- G Stars- Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould

5. Beethoven (1992)

Rated- PG Stars- Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones

4. Secretariat (2010)

Rated- PG Stars- Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Margo Marindale

3. Life of Pi (2012)

Rated- PG Stars- Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain

2. Eight Below (2006)

Rated- PG Stars- Paul Walker, Jason Biggs, Bruce Greenwood

1. Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron (2002)

Rated- G Stars- Matt Damon, James Cromwell, Daniel Studi

Conclusion

As you can see in this master catalogue of movies with animals that this is a very deep reaching sub-section of the Hollywood market. There are a few movies in our list that were given a PG-13 rating, and we have marked those with red highlights for your family awareness. Any of these movies would be great picks for “family movie night” especially if your family is filled with animal lovers. Please share with us at F&E if we missed any of your favorite movies with animals in the comment section below and tell us if this article was helpful to you. God bless, Jesus is King!

If you are a family movie lover, check out our big list of the 101 Best Family Movies of All Time

21 Movies On Netflix Animal Lovers Will Adore

I am of the general opinion that animals are better than people. Animals don’t have any agenda, they don’t exhibit malice, they just try to live their lives and go about their business. And in the case of pets, they are capable of the most loyal love a human is ever likely to encounter. And I’m hardly the only person who feels this way. There are a ton of animal lovers out there, and sometimes the need strikes among them to watch some animal-based entertainment. Thankfully, Netflix is full of movies for animal lovers.

This shouldn’t be too surprising, given that the streaming service has an enormous library filled with all sorts of types of movies. The types of animal films you’ll see basically fall into one of two categories: Children/family movies, and documentaries. In the former category, you’ll find timeless classics based on beloved books, as well as newer, more lighthearted comedy fare. And of course, a few inspiring tales sprinkled in here and there. As far as documentaries go, some of them depict rarely seen animals in their natural habitats, while others focus more on the people who are trying to make the world a better place by helping our furry and feathered friends. So take a look at these 21 movies for animal lovers on Netflix.

1. Where the Red Fern Grows

There are a lot of “boy and his dog” style movies, but none (except for maybe Old Yeller) are more tear-inducing than this classic.

2. Charlotte’s Web

Paramount Movies on YouTube

This live action retelling of the beloved children’s book about a pig and a talented spider features a star-studded cast including Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, and Dakota Fanning.

3. My Side Of The Mountain

Paramount Movies on YouTube

What kid didn’t want to run away to the woods and live with the animals? This kid actually does it, in another classic novel adaptation.

4. The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Paramount Movies on YouTube

In a story too big for the Nickelodeon show, the Thornberrys let loose.

5. Flicka: Country Pride

20th Century Fox on YouTube

The third installment in the Flicka series, about a wild mustang and a girl who must tame it.

6. A Cat In Paris

Movieclips Trailers on YouTube

Who says movies about animals can’t be artsy?

7. Paulie

Paramount Movies on YouTube

Do you want to hear the life story of a wisecracking talking parrot? Of course you do.

8. The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story

retro VHS trailers on YouTube

While this live action 1998 Disney film didn’t receive the fanfare of this year’s The Jungle Book, it’s still a charming adventure.

9. Second Chances

FishFlix.com on YouTube

A young disabled girl finds a kindred spirit in a crippled horse. Locate your tissues before streaming.

10. Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 & 3

The original installment of this Disney franchise is absent from Netflix, but you can still watch a bunch of adorable dogs acting ridiculous in these two sequels.

11. Dolphin Tale

Movieclips Trailers on YouTube

Based on a true story, this drama tells the incredible tale of a dolphin who receives an artificial tail.

12. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

SonyPicturesDVD on YouTube

Another true story, this one is sure to get the waterworks going. Hachi the dog would meet his owner at the train station every day after work, but one day his owner didn’t show up — he had died. Undeterred, Hachi continued to wait for his owner’s arrival every day for the next ten years.

13. How to Train Your Dragon 2

DreamWorksTV on YouTube

OK, so dragons aren’t real animals, but the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is as real as any pet/owner relationship.

14. Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La

PBS on YouTube

This documentary gives a rare look at China’s elusive and almost mystical snub-nosed monkeys.

15. Give Me Shelter

Virgil Films and Entertainment on YouTube

This one is tough to watch, but if you’re an animal lover you should familiarize yourself with the problems with pet stores and animal shelters in order to help fix them.

16. Pelican Dreams

Cinedigm on YouTube

You will never look at pelicans the same way after watching this humanizing documentary about the sea-faring birds.

17. Wings Of Life

Disneynature puts out some incredible documentaries, including this look at the importance of pollinators; narrated by Meryl Streep.

18. The Crimson Wing

Disney UK on YouTube

Another Disneynature effort, about a community of flamingos on the edge of the world.

19. Pandas: The Journey Home

National Geographic on YouTube

Everybody loves pandas, but this National Geographic documentary will actually help you to better understand them.

20. The Champions

PremiereDigitalServ on YouTube

This heartbreaking, inspiring tale follows the pit bulls who were rescued from Michael Vick’s fighting ring and given a second chance at life.

21. Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem

PBS on YouTube

Honey badger may not care, but you’ll definitely care about this informative look at these amazing animals.

Netflix has so many great options for the animal lover, so curl up with your fur baby and start streaming!

Images: Warner Bros. Pictures/Summit Entertainment

SHOW DOGS: A Strong Contender For Worst Film Of The Year

Show Dogs is the latest film in the ‘Talking Animal Comedy’ genre. This one is directed by Raja Gosnell, the man behind Beverly Hills Chihuahua and The Smurfs movie. Will Arnett plays Frank and Ludacris his canine sidekick, two FBI agents who infiltrate a world-famous dog show to track down the illegal poacher of a panda which was imported to the US illegally. Natasha Lyonne of Orange is the New Black fame stars as Mattie, an FBI dogs expert. Those three names will be an integral part of this review.

source: Global Road Entertainment

I’m going to cut to the chase and say that the film isn’t any good, and there are so many reasons why. The first is that this is a comedy film in which there are no funny jokes. Writers Max Botkin and Mark Hyman are the kind of people who believe a dabbing dog and a man being bitten on the behind are the height of comedy. I find it hard to believe that I don’t find Show Dogs funny because I’m not the target audience. I saw this in a screening with at least twenty other people, which mostly consisted of children under the age of ten. None of them were laughing either.

They have also tried to include some self-referential ‘adult jokes’ into the mix, including a moment in which a dog looks at the camera and says, ‘nobody makes Talking Dog Movies any more.’ If nothing else, Show Dogs serves as pretty damning proof as to why they don’t. It’s also worth mentioning that the film included a scene which has now been omitted from the theatrical version in which Frank’s partner, Max (Ludacris), has to go to his ‘happy place’ when one of the judges touches his testicles against his will. It was the view of a lot of people that the joke normalised child grooming. That’s the territory we’re in here.

The Stars Of Show Dogs

The cast of Show Dogs includes a few very big names, most notably Will Arnett. That’s common for these kinds of films. 2016’s Nine Lives included Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Garner. Jamie Lee Curtis is a member of the cast on Beverley Hills Chihuahua. Nine Lives had a budget of $30 million and took a box office return of $57.8 million. Show Dogs had a budget of $5.5 million and took in $13.4 million during its opening weekend.

My point is that a film like this will always have a smaller budget than its box office return because they’re a business move above all else. I have no proof of this, but I’m sure a large amount of that budget is used on hiring household names that will attract paying audiences.

source: Global Road Entertainment

As for the acting in the film, it’s functional, but you do get the sense that everyone involved is going through the motions. It seems as if Arnett knew the material wasn’t funny, and in a lot of scenes he looks embarrassed to be there. Ludacris and Natasha Lyonne come off a little better, but there won’t be any Oscars talk for this film.

All of the supporting characters are like stock characters from the least funny pantomime of all time, one of whom is the one of the most annoying black market traders ever committed to screen. The writing in those scenes is so colourless and uninteresting, it’s impossible to forgive the fact that they were shoehorned in to advance the plot.

The Plot Of Show Dogs

It’s very hard to tell when this film is breaking its own rules. The concept is that the humans can talk amongst themselves, as can the animals, but neither species can understand each other. However, there appear to be times in which the human characters understand why the dogs do certain things, and other times when they don’t. It’s hard to tell whether the human characters were supposed to understand these things instinctively, or if the writers simply forgot the things they’d previously included in the script.

source: Global Road Entertainment

It’s never entirely explained why dogs work for the FBI, either. Are there a lot of dog shows that need infiltrating? Do other animals work for the force? How do the dogs know what their assignments are if they can’t communicate with the human staff at the FBI? These are questions which are never answered, and in a world in which there are plenty of high quality children’s films (practically the entirety of the Disney back catalogue, or even mediocre animated comedies like Storks), why would anyone settle for a film as lazy as this?

All of this is done with pretty much no verve. Show Dogs isn’t an ugly-looking film, it’s just an unbelievably bland one. In terms of the cinematography, there’s such a lack of creativity that it’s hard to remember most of the scenes in the film. The entire thing, from the script to the soundtrack, is an exercise in lazy production and the ninety-minute run time feels like a much longer one. For reference, Blade Runner 2049 is almost three hours long, and never boring. After twenty minutes of Show Dogs, I was ready to leave.

Show Dogs: Conclusion

At the end of the day, Show Dogs is a film nobody is going to remember two days after leaving the cinema, let alone two years. With a barely comprehensible plot and mind-numbing jokes, it’s a film which feels like a labour to sit through despite its fairly short run-time. I’m sure this will be one of the worst films of the year. Somewhere in hell, there’s a cinema showing nothing but Show Dogs on repeat for eternity, and believe me, there’s never been a better reason not to sin.

Have you seen Show Dogs? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

Show Dogs was released on the 25th of May in the UK and the 18th of May in the US.

Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.
Affiliate disclosure: Our articles contain affiliate links. If you choose to buy something through any of these links, we may earn referral fees, without any extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Show Dogs Parent Guide

Fish out of water scenarios are a frequent source of comedy in movies. In Show Dogs, the fish is a dog. Max (voiced by Ludacris), a gruff and aggressive member of the NYPD canine unit, goes undercover as a contestant at the fictional Canini dog show in Las Vegas. He is paired with Frank (Will Arnett), a clueless human FBI agent, whose first meeting with Max involves jurisdictional disputes, reckless driving, and a bite on the buttocks. Over the course of the film, Max and Frank learn to work together in a common cause.

Max and Frank’s case is guaranteed to tug at the viewer’s heartstrings. Li Ling, a baby panda, has been kidnapped by animal thieves. The two detectives are assigned to find Li Ling and return her to the zoo and her mother’s care. While investigating the panda’s abduction, the duo learns there is an illicit global market for exotic animals and the winner of the Canini show will likely be the next target.

Succeeding in the case requires a major attitude shift on Max’s part. Originally contemptuous of show dogs, Max reluctantly pretends to be one. But as he becomes increasingly concerned about the fate of the stolen animals, Max starts to work harder at the role and develops a growing respect for the competitors. He even accepts help from pug Sprinkles (voiced by Gabriel Iglesias) and disgraced champion papillon Philippe (voiced by Stanley Tucci). He also finally learns to cooperate with Frank. As they all pull together, Max realizes that “Everything works out a whole lot better when you can learn to trust people who see the world in a different way.”

Respect for diversity and the need to worktogether are the best messages in the film. However, parents need to be aware that this movie raises the topic of sexual consent, in both positive and negative ways.

The first of these issues arises when a man they are investigating wants to have his dog bred with Max against his wishes. Correctly interpreting Max’s feelings, Frank refuses, even though it costs him an opportunity to get closer to the suspect. When he wonders why Frank would reject such an offer, Frank insists that everyone, even dogs, is entitled to choose who they love.

The second message is alarming for parents and is inexcusable in a children’s movie. As part of the finale, each animal receives a thorough examination, including genital palpation. Max has already had a bikini wax treatment, which has only increased his resistance to having his backside touched. Whenever Frank tries to practice the exam and gets close to Max’s posterior, Max bites or gets angry. This is played for laughs. Philippe insists it is a necessary part of being a competitor and tells Max to be calm and “go to your happy place”. During the final event when the judge comes, hand extended towards Max’s testicles, the dog “goes to his happy place”. He dissociates from the event and imagines a montage of kibble and fire hydrants which concludes with a bromantic dance scene with Frank. When Max comes back to himself, loud music with the lyrics “I’m sexy and I know it” is playing.

Parents who have taught their children that they have the right to control their bodies and say “No” to unwanted touching will be very disturbed by this scene. Although Max is a dog, he is portrayed with human feelings and viewers are encouraged to identify with him. Any scene that suggests characters should “go to their happy place” and dissociate themselves from their bodies during an episode of unwanted physical contact is unacceptable. This movie will be particularly troubling for those who are survivors of any type of sexual assault.

Show Dogs is best summed up by a line in the film. When Philippe agrees to help Max train for the dog show, he says, “I cannot polish the turd but perhaps we can roll it in glitter”. Even Hollywood glitter can’t disguise the rotten messages this moviegives vulnerable viewers.

Directed by Raja Gosnell. Starring Alan Cumming, Stanley Tucci, Natasha Lyonne . Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release May 18, 2018. Updated August 20, 2018

About author

Kirsten Hawkes

Kirsten Hawkes has a BA in Political Science and English and has worked in international development and medical education and marketing. Kirsten enjoys reading, watching movies, and debating politics with her husband and sometimes unwilling children.