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Movie Star Mutts: Our Favourite Famous Canine Film Stars

We’ve all heard the old saying, never work with children and animals. But here at CK9 Training we disagree. A well-trained dog can make the perfect actor, bounding around on the big-screen and creeping into our hearts. Here’s a list of some of our favourite canine film stars.


Beethoven – Beethoven

The eponymous star of the Beethoven movie series was a big deal back in the day. This cheeky St. Bernard snuck into the home of Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt and become part of the family in the John Hughes-penned movie. The film also featured David Duchovny and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in his film debut. But we think the only star of Beethoven was Beethoven.


Marley – Marley & Me

Sure, he may be a little terror, but this Labrador retriever has a pure heart of gold. The film, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, is based on an autobiography written by John Grogan titled Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog. Marley is energetic, constantly wants feeding, and destroys their property, but he’s so good-natured that they – and we – just can’t help falling in love with him anyway. And the real-life counterpart even made a cameo in baseball flick The Last Home Run.



Toto – The Wizard of Oz

Toto was one of the first movie dogs to really capture our hearts. He was the loyal cairn terrier who gladly got swept up in the tornado that spirited Judy Garland’s Dorothy to the magical land of Oz. The dog who played Toto, a bitch named Terry, was a major film star back in the day, appearing in an incredible 15 movies. Proving talent can be genetic, even her pup followed her into movie-making.



Einstein – Back to the Future

If asked to name a character from 80’s time-travelling hit Back to the Future, most people would say Marty McFly or Biff Tannen. But we’re of the opinion that Einstein, Doc Brown’s gorgeous Catalan sheepdog, steals the show. Not only does this trusting chap seem perfectly happy to be used in Doc’s DeLorean-based experiments, he was also the world’s first time-traveller. We think that’s pretty cool.



Lassie – Lassie Come Home

It wouldn’t be a movie list without the Queen of Collies herself, Lassie. When people think film dogs, what they’re really thinking of is Lassie dramatically saving lives and looking utterly glamorous. After her debut in 1943’s Lassie Come Home, collie registrations shot up by 40%. The original Lassie was played by a Rough Collie by the name of Pal, who after his six movie stint, let his pups take over the role in a further six films and multiple TV appearances. The latest film was released in 2006, proving we’re still very much in love with Lassie. And long may she reign.



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