Dog breeders love when a new dog movie comes out. They make sure their brood bitches are breeding so they have a nice supply of the new “in demand” dog breed, whatever breed the latest hit movie highlighted. It happened with “101 Dalmatians” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and no doubt is already happening already with the recent Christmas release of “Marley & Me.”
Then you have TV shows like “Frasier” which created a demand for Jack Russell terriers.
Now, dalmations, chihuahuas, labs and Jack Russells are all wonderful breeds of dogs, but none of them are for just anyone. People watch these movies and show and see trained dogs doing what they are supposed to be doing, cute dogs and puppies but the screen image seldom portrays real life, even the rambunctious lab in “Marley.”
Shelters always see in influx of surrendered dogs of the latest must-have breed after the novelty wears off and people, who didn’t take the time to really find out about the breeds, see what they really have, sometimes high energy, high maintenance dogs that require time, training, walking, feeding, cleaing up after and destruction prevention.
So far “Marley & Me” has made over $106.5 million dollars, well on its way to being one of the top grossing dog movies of all times and already some shelters are already reporting people coming in looking for cute little lab puppies, saying they saw the movie and fell in love with the dog. Labs, already the most popular breed in the US are getting a major popularity boost, as if they need one.
As wonderful as they are, Labrador retrievers are high energy dogs that really need attention and training. You would think that people seeing “Marley” would think “oh no” but of course everyone thinks they their dog would never be like that. Sadly, many of these labs that people will be clamoring for will just just like that and many of them will wound up in shelters and rescues after a few months.
Admittedly, Twentieth Century Fox, the distributor of “Marley & Me,” is doing its part by providing a link on its Web site to the American Humane Society to help potential buyers explore the needs for a dog like a Labrador.
They even provide a link to Facebook on their Web site that allows people to adopt a virtual “Marley” so they can have the joys of pet ownership without the mess or expense.
I seriously doubt that any reputable breeder is going to be sending many, if any lab puppies to new homes right now knowing the interest generated by a movie. Truly reputable breeders want to make sure their puppies are going to good, solid, forever homes and that dogs are not gotten on a whim.
Puppy millers, on the other hand, are just waiting to rake in the profits. They’ve got their litters of cute little lab puppies all ready to hand off to unsuspecting new potential owners. Who cares if the puppies are actually old enough to be removed from their overbred and abused mothers, who cares if they are genetically defective, infected with parasites or have any other problems or diseases, all they care about is filling their pockets.
Don’t get carried away by well trained and cute ‘movie’ dogs. You will never have one of those. If you really want a dog, take the time to research what breed is best for you then go to the shelters and rescues and adopt. Save a life!! Stay out of the pet stores and off the internet!