Goodness Greatness! "Marmaduke" Shines Spotlight on Large Breeds
One of three Great Danes cast to play "Marmaduke" stands on set with a few of the 50-plus breeds of dogs used in the film. (Photo Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Films)
America's favorite Great Dane is back, winning hearts in the film "Marmaduke," now in theaters nationwide. And the oversized pet is also spotlighting the benefits of owning a large-breed dog.
Animal organizations tend to fear the impact that a major motion picture might have on the public outcry for that breed. But Jone Bouman of the American Humane TV & Film Unit says that her group is careful to educate potential owners.
"We very much want the public to grow into an understanding and to be educated about choosing the right dog," said Bouman, whose department advocates for animal safety on more than 1,000 television and movie productions annually. "These are creatures that have their own needs and you can't base your choice on a movie character, you need to base it on your own research."
But Bouman says the film might bring a silver lining to adoption centers.
"Big dogs are not adopted as readily as smaller dogs in a shelter," said Bouman of the positive effect that "Marmaduke" might have on public awareness. "There are wonderful, funny, delightful large dogs that need homes. Just make sure your home is suitable and your lifestyle is suitable for a large dog."
Dave Miller, President of the Great Dane Club of America, agreed with Bouman.
“Everything is bigger when you own a Great Dane," Miller said. "They eat a lot of food and take up a lot of space in your home and car. We recommend that families meet several full grown adult Great Danes to make sure they understand how large this breed really is.”
The movie, distributed by Twentieth Century Fox, follows the story of Marmaduke, a loveable, accident-prone Great Dane whose family moves from a small town in Kansas to the big city of Los Angeles.
The comic-strip character turned motion-picture star was played by three different Great Danes. "No one dog did too much," remarked Bouman.
But Marmaduke was hardly alone on set. "At least 50 different breeds of dogs were used in the shoot, from teacup chihuahuas all the way up to Marmaduke, who tips the scales at around 150 pounds," said Bouman, who was on set in Vancouver at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. "The dogs were all happy, happy dogs! They literally spent a couple months playing in the park — talk about a good movie gig!"
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5 years ago
Pffffffttttt...this movie won't promote big dog awareness anymore than any of the other movies over the years have promoted awareness for the particular dog breed that they featured. As long as there are people out there that indulge in impulse buying dogs as if they were accessories there won't be awareness of any kind.
All the puppy mills and backyard breeders see movies like this as an opportunity to make money.Case in point, a coworker recently saw some backyard breeder selling Great Dane puppies in the local Walmart parking lot.
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