HISTORY OF PETS
Pets have entertained us throughout history. The advent of the camera brought fond
memories of our pets right into our homes, in picture frames adorning our shelves and
walls. In the early 1900’s, the motion picture industry began, everyone was enchanted,
and our man’s best friend found a place as well.
As early as 1905, movies featured animals. Around that time, a young man named Larry
Trimble had a beautiful Collie named Jean. Young Larry loved the idea of motion
pictures and started coming around the production lots. A producer at Vita Graph,
named Alfred E. Smith, needed a dog in a movie he was doing and noticed young Larry
with Jean. Alfred discussed with Larry what was needed, and training with Jean began.
Jean was the First Dog in Movies!! As things worked out, young Trimble, after training
Jean, trained a wolf named “Lady Silver” to appear with the magnificent German
Shepard “Strongheart”, the greatest dog star ever, in the 1921 epic movie, “The Silent
In 1924, the movie “Darwin Was Right,” by William Fox, cast dogs, monkeys, apes,
chickens and birds. In this film, the most rare of the animal films, Fox attempted to show
that animals have expressions and exhibit emotions. For instance, we all remember
Petey, the little black and white dog with a painted eyebrow and black ring around his
eye, in “Our Gang” with the Little Rascals, who was taught to look scared or guilty when
he was in trouble. Some dogs are taught to look scary, like the large St. Bernard used in
Stephen King’s “Cujo”.
It wasn’t long before dogs began training for all sorts of stunt performances. Many a
viewer’s favorite was Rin Tin Tin. In the 1970’s ”Rin Tin Tin Rescues,” He was taught to
jump through windows, breaking out the glass. At first, he was trained to jump through a
plain open window, then through a window with clear plastic strips of paper. Eventually,
Rin Tin Tin would jump and break out the window made of sugar candy!!! By the end of
his career, he made 22 movies.
We all remember Lassie, one of the all-time TV Dogs. Lassie, supposed to be female,
was played by a male dog named Pal, because males are larger. Pal was owned and
trained by Rudd Weamereuax. The 7th grandson of the original dog played the last
episode of Lassie. Lassie was the first dog named to the American Humane Society’s
Hall of Fame.
How about cute little Benji? The first Benji, part Cocker Spaniel/Poodle/Schnauzer was
named “Higgins.” He was owned, trained, and handled by Frank Inn. Higgins was 13
years old when he booked the movie Benji. And when he was not making movies, he
often earned $10,000 for personal appearances.
Many other great classics include Charlie Chaplin’s “A Dog’s Life” featuring Brownie, a
dog and a horse named Queenie; “The Wizard of Oz,” with that cute little Cairin Terrier
“Toto;” and “Call of the Wild,” featuring Clark Gable, Loretta Yound and a St. Bernard
named “Buck.” If you like big dogs, consider Beasley, a French Mastiff in “Turner and
Hooch,” or the Old English Sheepdog Chiffon who played in Walt Disney’s “Shaggy Dog”
and was trained by William R. Koehler. There is also “Bear” the Saint Bernard and
“Dreyfuss” the Golden Retriever on “Empty Nest.”
Today we see many dogs on TV Shows, Commercials and Film. Wessley, a Brussels
Griffon plays “Rags” on ABC’s “Spin City.” Jade, a Chihuahua, appears with Reese
Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde 1 and 2”. HBO’s “Sex and the City” had their own
famous dogs, Pete and Lucy, who also appeared in NBC’s “Law and Order.” And we
can’t forget Moose, a Jack Russel Terrier, who portrayed “Eddie” in the TV Comedy
Many other kinds of animals are also used in movies. One example is the famous movie
“Babe.” About 800 little critters performed in this movie. Because pigs grow rapidly, one
hundred white Yorkshire piglets, all female, played Babe. For 10 weeks, a team of 17
handlers played with, bottle fed, and trained sets of 6 piglets. Every batch of “Babes”
could work only 3 weeks before growing too big for the part. Every morning during the
filming of both “Babe” and “Babe: Pig in the City,” the makeup crew washed the 6
piglets, dyed their eyelashes black, and glued their distinctive cluster toupees in place.
The remaining piglets were stand-ins and stunt pigs.
It is simple to see how our favorite pets have achieved stardom. The fact is that now,
more than ever, pets are enjoying the accolades of showbiz. How often have you
watched a dog in a TV Show, film, or commercial and thought, “My dog can do that!” Or
have you seen a magazine with a print ad of a dog just as cute as yours? Do your
friends often say “your dog is so cute, he should be in the movies"? These things
happen to all of us, and your pet and you can live this dream together.
We will help you brand your dog by establishing your pet’s professional identity, his or
her look, personality, and specific talents. Branding is like profiling or identifying.
Branding is a shared, continuing adventure, like training. As your pet grows and learns
certain new traits, behavior develops. Branding focuses on your pet’s strengths and
weaknesses, what he enjoys and what the two of you are capable of accomplishing.
Branding allows you to “cast” for a role tailor-made by the two of you.
Le PAWS will help you. We are the 1st to offer the chance for the public to put their own
dog to work in the entertainment industry. You are welcome to join us, to participate in
an age-old industry now open to you. Do not wait for business to come to you, Le PAWS
will find it for you. Dogs do not work for the money, instead they want to please you, their
Alpha Pack Leader. If they know what you want, they will do it to please you. We may
train our pets, but our pets teach us, and the best teachers are the ones who inspire and
encourage us. You must pamper your pet, practice and reward your pet, and polish it!
Then, together, you can have fun working on a production set.
Here at Le PAWS, we are the Lee Strasburg of the dog world. We can take an average
Norma Jean dog and change her into a Marilyn Monroe. You will become your dog's
stage mother/father, handler, agent, publicist, casting director, manager, lawyer, trainer,
tutor, babysitter and on set nurse. You need to learn the 3 A’s, Adjust, Assimilate, and
Act by using the 2 M’s, Managing and Marketing.