As loving companions and friends to humanity, dogs were inevitably bound to find their way into the entertainment world. From Lassie to Toto, canines have been capturing hearts on the television screen practically since its inception.
Dogs acting on the big screen generally have to be very well trained and good with people, though sometimes multiple dogs with different skill sets will be used to play the same role. For example, in the film Air Bud, three dogs actually played Bud: one was used for beauty shots, a calm dog was used for working with human actors, and an energetic dog played the role during high-action basketball scenes. In Marley and Me, starring Owen Wilson, 18 different dogs were used to depict Marley throughout the stages of his life.
The American Humane Association has guidelines in place to prevent against animal abuse on set. In general, if you’re thinking about sending your dog into the acting world, make sure he/she is comfortable and has plenty of food/water/love on set, as these environments could be lengthy and stressful!
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