My-Pet-Toys-And-Stuff: Do Show Dogs Influence our Pet Choices?


Everybody loves a movie about a courageous Dog. TV shows and contests about pets hold us captive. A Collie named Lassie was a must see for 19 years (1954 -1973) on Television and in movies. Rudd Weatherwax was trainer and owner of Pal, the first Lassie.

He eventually acquired the name and trademark. Pal and his descendants played Lassie for the whole 19 years.




The movie, 101 Dalmatians, inspired a lot of families to adopt one for a pet.

The 143rd Westminster Dog Show held dog lovers hostage in front of the TV set just a few weeks ago when “King” the wire-haired Fox Terrier from Brazil was selected as Best in Show.

Fox Terrier

But are movies, TV shows and Contests the best avenues to decide on a pet for our households? Do we get an accurate background of knowledge to make an educated decision on a particular animal?

The Valiant Collie

Lassie, the canine star of the long-running TV show of the same name, was played by several dogs. The first dog to portray the female star Lassie was actually a male, named Pal. Pal was an excellent actor, doing most of the stunts on the first take. Pal’s son, Pal Junior came next. Subsequent offspring of Pal; – Spook, Baby, Mire and Hey Hey played the heroine for the whole series.

The Collie is a beautiful dog with an open, bright-eyed facial expression and a long flowing coat. She is a gentle dog and is very good with children. The Collie is an- all-around exceptional dog for a family.

The breed originated in Scotland and Northern England and was used as a herd dog. The Collie is a strong, active, responsive dog, very intelligent, mild-mannered, and easy to train. Daily care includes lots of exercise and a daily brushing.

If you decided to get a Collie for the family pet based on the series, “Lassie” you would have probably made a good choice, considering temperament and ease of learning. But do not expect your collie to perform the gallant rescues that the TV Collie was specially trained to do.

101 Dalmatians, the movie

The movie was released in 1966 and immediately captured everybody’s heart. The story is pretty simple. The evil Cruella deVil is captivated by the dalmatian puppies and devises a way to get enough spotted puppies in order to make her a spotted fur coat. Of course the puppies owners thwart Cruella’s every move and she doesn’t get her coat and the puppies are saved.

Real puppies weren’t trained for this movie. Animatronics were used to create the puppy antics. Nevertheless, people fell in love with the adorable puppies and after the movie release, sales of Dalmatians shot up. Families were not prepared to handle adult Dalmatians and many were given up to pounds and shelters, which led to many of the dogs being euthanized.

Dalmatians, the Dog

The Dalmatian is a medium to large dog, reaching 48 to 55 pounds and has a life span of 13 to 16 years. The origin of the breed is unknown. The name comes from Dalmatia, now called Croatia, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea.

“Born to Run,” the Dalmatian started out as a coach dog- a hunting dog- a fire house dog and a circus performer. The Dalmatian can act from gallant to goofy. He is affectionate and good with kids, friendly with other dogs, but not a dog for apartment living.

Dalmatians shed and need daily grooming. They have a high energy level and daily exercise is a must. This is a dog that was bred to run for miles and miles. In the days of horse drawn carriages, the landed gentry had Dalmatians run alongside the coaches for miles, and perhaps more than once a day.

These dogs have an endless capacity for exercise. They are intelligent animals and need rigorous training. Their owners need training too, on how to manage them. Finally, there is a possibility of deafness that runs in the breed. These are beautiful dogs, but can be more difficult to care for than most families can manage.

143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

February 11 and 12, Dog lovers were glued to their TV sets waiting to see if their favorite breed would make “Best of Show” this season. Some were happy and no doubt, some were not so happy when the Best in Show, “King,” a wire- hair Fox Terrier won the title.

The Fox Terrier is a medium size dog.The male reaches 14 to 16 inches in height and will  weigh 15 to 20 pounds. Females will reach 13 to 15 inches in height and will weigh 13 to 18 pounds.

The coat is dense with twisted hairs. The hair grows thick and close together, so thick that when you try to part it, you cannot see the skin underneath. Wire hairs have an undercoat that is soft, smooth and short.

Fox Terriers are usually white with black and brown markings.The life span is around 15 years. Like most smaller dogs they present a bold, brave front. They are cheerful, lovable, enthusiastic and playful. They get along well with children and are devoted to family.They will get along with other dogs, if they have been properly socialized.

Terriers are intelligent and can be taught to do tricks. They do have a dominant streak and are very energetic – which means that they need lots of exercise, both mental and physical.

The dog’s owner must be 100 percent, all the time, firmly, his pack leader. Terriers need consistent rules to follow, with limits on what and what not to do. They are fine living in an apartment, as long as they have a vigorous walk or jog each day.

Wire Hair Terriers were originally bred to hunt, coming from a mix of Daschund, English Hound, Fox Hound and Beagle. Farmers used them to stalk and kill small prey.They are one of the oldest Terrier types, dating back to the 17th Century.

Up until 1984, all Fox Terriers were considered one breed, with two coat types: smooth and wire-hair. In 1985, the AKC recognized them as two distinct breeds.

Wire Hair terriers can make good family pets. They are willing companions for that morning jog and that evening constitutional. They do not shed,which makes them wonderful pets for allergy sufferers They need to be brushed once a day and only bathed when necessary.

Wrap Up

The human being likes a certain amount of drama in his/her life. An activity that makes the heart race a little, the breathing come faster. It can be personal activity or the senses triggered by something we see. Action movies can give us a rush of excitement. We love movies where animals are pitted against what seem to be impossible situations, prevail and live happily ever after.

But deciding on a pet based on the tricks the movie animal does is not the right way to go. Those animals are especially trained by professional animal handlers. You can’t expect your pet to perform like a movie star. Do your own research and select the pet that suits you and your family.

Thanks to: Dog Breed Info; Dog; Wikipedia;  Pet; Westminster Dog Show; Pixa-Bay for information on this Post.

11 thoughts on “My-Pet-Toys-And-Stuff: Do Show Dogs Influence our Pet Choices?”

  1. Hey Barbara!

    You are so right about people making too hasty decisions when picking dogs or even just deciding to get a pet. I hate that right around this time shelters are packed full with Christmas presents that became too much to handle.

    I had no idea dalmatians could run so much like you said! That is amazing. Do you know why they are associated with firehouses (I mean, in more than just Paw Patrol!).

    1. I am not sure why Dalmatians were associated with firehouses- I’m guessing that in earlier days firetrucks were pulled by horses and the dogs seemed to calm the horses, much as the dogs are always with the Clydesdales. Or maybe the dogs running with the horses may have encouraged the horses to keep running. Definitely some kind of connection between dog and horse.

  2. Great! What an interesting article.

    To be realistic the dog show or movie sometimes could have influence on our choice of pet. But deciding on a pet based on that fact is not just it, one should just choose pet according to your personal interest or what suit the family. Thanks for ths eye opening post

  3. Hi there. Great article. I never stopped to think about how movie and tv choices influence our choice in pets but it makes sense. We see a dog we like and decide we want one of our own without always considering or realising that each dog is different so ours won’t hit the same standard or the show dogs unless they are raised in a very similar way. You mentioned 3 show dogs here but I know there are others. Do you have a favourite show dog then?

    1. I have to admit that my favorite dog breed is a collie.  I actually had a toy collie when I was growing up. A toy is about half the size of a full size collie and a toy has less hair. Same sweet disposition though.

  4. Thanks for posting this article on my per toy and stuff. Many times many choice pet because they see it in the movie during unimaginable things. Like taking bullet for the owner in the movie or going on a hunt to kill animal and take it to his owner and so on like that.i can say must people I see from experience that do choice a pet base on what they see in a movie are females and children. And there are more to just choosing a dog base on the movie you watch.some of the things to look out for in choosing a pet is research breeds before choosing a pet, Get ready to sacrifice your time for the pet,training the pet on tough stuff.and so on

  5. Hi Barbara,Watching movies about pets especially dogs can be quite trilling. However, one thing I have come to realize is that these pets are exceptional, they are not our normal day to day pets. Before appearing on the screen or get involved in competitive dog shows, they must have undergone training so that they can compete favourably.If we allow their wonderful performance to influence our choice of pets, we might end up getting disappointed. Just like your description of Dalmatian, it has great quality with lots of exploit and even friendly, but the major point is that it is not good for apartment living, because it sheds a lot and need daily grooming.I believe one of the best criteria for choosing a pet is mostly the environment and the type of house one lives in, of course other consideration like being friendly to kids, etc should not be left out.

  6. Thanks for sharing this article. Every family in one way or the other have a love for one pet of their choice. I like dog as a pet and I always tend to like movies of animals doing some unbelievable things and tricks in it dogs especially. I agree that most of the tricks performed by animals are as a result of animatronics and may not be real in real life situations but creates a sense of attachment to the animal. As for me my pet is dog and my kids like it. Thanks for sharing

  7. My kids have been asking for a pet dog after watching Lassie. And yeah, you guessed right, they want a Collie or a Dalmatian. Now,  I understand that it was the movies inspiring or influencing them. Very interesting article. I’m not a pet lover, so I didn’t know that there were certain breed of dogs that aren’t advisable as pets. Now, I can also educate the kids just incase they and their dad decide to get a pet. They need to be prepared to care for it. 

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