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The Dog Movie Effect (or why Husky movies make Husky owners cringe)

Before I start this rant I have a question for the dog owners reading this; why did you choose the breed you chose? What made you choose a Jack Russell over a Chihuahua? A Siberian over a Malamute? Pure curiosity is all.

Lets start this by saying I love Eight Below, it’s a heart-warming movie starring some beautiful dogs. But think about these movies: 101 Dalmatians, Eight Below, Snow Buddies, Homeward Bound and Air Bud. The main thing I come out of those movies thinking is ‘aw those dogs were so cool’, which is obviously the point. But think about this; how many kids watched Air Bud and came out bugging their parents for a Golden Retriever? The same goes for Homeward Bound and Golden Retrievers. The same for Huskies and Snow Dogs, Eight Below, etc etc etc.

These movies show idolised portrayals of the breeds that come after years of training. Something that a lot of people that get emotionally sucked into these movies don’t think about. Which once again is kinda the point.

This is the thing that scares Husky owners about movies like this; viewers are encouraged to bring a Husky into the home after seeing just how awesome they are in the movies. Responsible Husky owners are prepared for the troubles associated with Huskies, we know about the stubbornness, the independence, the shedding, and all of that joyous stuff. After doing the proper research we decided to put ourselves through this.

Impulse buys often lead to the same Huskies being returned to a kennel after they prove to be too much of a handful. As a friend said; it’s like watchin a space movie and wanting to be an astronaut, the problem is it isn’t easy to become one, but it can be too easy to buy a husky.

I know that this isn’t the studios fault. We can’t blame disney for bringing out a successful movie. But I have to ask how much responsibility should a studio take? They must know that the movie will make every kid and their babysitter want a Husky, so isn’t it socially conscious to also campaign the other direction? Could they not also make ads promoting research and consideration before rushing out to buy a new puppy? Maybe, maybe not.

In the end all I can say is if you are going to get a dog do the research about the breed first. Lassie was not born a superdog, she didn’t land on Earth as a puppy and she isn’t the last of the Kryptons. It takes years of work to get a dog to that point. In between puppy and Lassie were years of training. Please make an educated decision people.

7 thoughts on “The Dog Movie Effect (or why Husky movies make Husky owners cringe)

  1. Awesome post! YES we do need more responsible messages in movies, I originally wanted a Husky because of the way they looked and at the time I thought George Lucas had one (turns out it’s a Mal – I like Mals too), I did my research, learned about the shedding, the first 3 years, the digging, the DO-NOT-LEAVE-YOUR-SHOES-NEAR-THEM, the constant supervision, the enormous need for activity, and the independant personality. So, I guess you can say I was sort of ready for it – but really I’m glad I knew some stuff at least because I was able to keep my husky despite the frustration, and eventually got a rottweiler too.

  2. Our dogs we had before our huskies, were red heelers. Our red heeler we adopted from the RSPCA and she came up to us as soon as she saw us, so actually she chose us. Then when we brought her home, we found out she was already four months pregnant. We kept one of the pups, so we had two red heelers. I’ve always loved wolves because i’m a mystical person. Yet i hadn’t really seen huskies to know what they were like except for reading about them in a lot of books i read. My husband and son wanted to get a husky after our dogs passed on. We were going to get another dog from the RSPCA but saw a husky there waiting for his owners to get him. (He jumped the fence) They had no dogs there that chose us, so we looked in the paper and they had an add for huskie pups. My son wanted one of the black and white pups with the devil look. Yet unfortunately my husband and i fell in love with the grey and white male. Then six months later, we ended up gettting another one to keep Storm company and to play with. Our heelers we had before, were very easy trainable and never left our side or would run off, which i cannot say for the huskies. Our huskies failed miserably at obedience classes. Yet i must say one thing our huskies do is keep us fit, because we have to run with them for an hour everyday and we live in the hills.

    When i had to take my red heeler to the vets to put to sleep, on the way in the car she would grab my hand with her paw and place it on her head. Everytime i had to change gears she would again grab my hand and place it on her head. (She seemed to know) When we first saw Niki, who the breeder chose for us, she put out her paw for me to take. (Sorry I am a mystical person) and Niki is so much like our redheeler in temperament.

    1. Haha very good and very obvious point Alex. I don’t know why I never picked up on that. I must have been having a temporary memory short circuit at the time. Thanks.

  3. I sure see what is written here, I never recommend Siberians to anyone, as this is a breed that one must be prepared for and have the necessary background on the breed to keep one or more successfully. And I can attest to the word prepared, I made
    sure that I was ready before committing and still live the benefits of being ready. It’s priceless.

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