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Bringing Home Hollywood: Do These Famous Animals Make Good Pets?

Phoebe Weatherall
June 19, 2012

We all love Hollywood. The celebrities, the outfits, the drama. But what about those animal stars? From Timmy's Lassie to Dorothy's Toto, many of our favorite movies showcase dogs with winning personalities. But when the cameras stop rolling, do these canines live up to their on-screen counterparts? The following lists the real kid-friendliness of some of the most famous showbiz pups.

Lassie: We all want a dog like Lassie. Fiercely loyal and always saving the day. Dog enthusiasts can rejoice that her famous demeanor isn't unique to T.V. Collies are popular family pets because they're both kid-friendly and easy to train. But don't expect Lassie to beg for kisses. Collies love their owners but don't demand affection.

Buddy: Swoosh! The Air Bud series made Buddy, an athletic Golden Retriever, into a household name. Although most Golden Retrievers can't play varsity basketball, they promise to be likeable pets. In fact, their sweet nature and playfulness have earned them the title of most kid-friendly breed.

Pongo & Perdita: Seeing spots? Disney's 101 Dalmatians brought the breed from the firehouse and into theaters. Although favored as pets by Roger and Anita (the on-screen couple who met dog-walking), Dalmatians aren't a popular breed. They're neither kid-friendly nor easily housebroken.

Toto:  Whether in Kansas or somewhere over the rainbow, Toto faithfully stays by Dorothy's side. Their walk down the Yellow Brick Road has made the Cairn Terrier a world-class star. But few are as smitten as Dorothy. Many prospective dog owners groan the breed's too yappy.

Scooby-Doo: "Scooby-Dooby-Doo!" The animated Great Dane made famous by the crime-fighting television series is known for his impressive size and knack for solving mysteries. While the breed's strength and build appeal to some prospective dog owners, others consider its size a deterrent. In the same way, the Great Dane's demeanor is well-suited to a family looking for a watchdog but discouraging to one with small children, who risk being knocked over or trampled.

Chance & Shadow: Fans of Homeward Bound have come to expect tears as they watch the movie's furry trio narrowly escape disaster along their journey. Of the three stars, two are dogs (sorry, Sassy!); there's Chance the American Bulldog and Shadow the Golden Retriever. Like Chance, the American Bulldog may look threatening but is a gentle breed, especially given a strict training regimen. For more information on the Golden Retriever, refer to the notes on Air Bud.

Lady & Tramp: Pass the spaghetti! The love story of Hollywood's most iconic canine couple, Lady and the Tramp certainly didn't hurt the Cocker Spaniel's popularity. In fact, today it's one of the breeds most often registered as pets. Cocker Spaniels crave affection from their owners but may snap at children. Tramp, on the other hand, is a mutt. Families interested in adopting a mix should investigate the reputations of all of the dog's breeds.   

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