Directed by Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin, ‘Dog’ is a buddy comedy movie that follows US Army Ranger Jackson Briggs as he embarks on a road trip along the Pacific Coast with a Belgian Malinois military dog named Lulu. Hoping to redeem himself in front of his superiors, Briggs is entrusted with taking Lulu from Washington DC to Arizona in time for her former handler’s funeral. The unlikely duo initially doesn’t get along with each other and end up having a series of misadventures.
However, with time, Lulu and Briggs form a beautiful bond and learn together to seek happiness by letting go of their past traumas. The movie is a treat for animal lovers and appeals to audiences of all ages. Its moving narrative and marvelous performances of the cast members have been well appreciated in particular. Lulu, the sweet four-legged protagonist, makes one wonder whether she is a real dog or CGI generated. If you, too, are curious to find out, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!
Is Lulu The Dog Real or CGI?
Lulu in ‘Dog’ is not one, but three real trained dog actors combined. In an interview, actor Channing Tatum, who plays Briggs and has also co-directed the movie, shared his observations on his canine co-actors and said, “They’re just extraordinary. I would watch the trainers with their dogs, specifically. They’re realizing and noticing things in the dog that I wasn’t even noticing. It’s more like this tether that they have with them, that they correct and stop the behavior before it even happens. They’re keeping the dogs focused which was really fascinating to watch.”
‘Dog’ is loosely based on Tatum’s relationship with his beloved late pet dog Lulu, after whom the protagonist is named. The actor was deeply attached to Lulu, a Pitbull Catahoula mix who died of cancer in December 2018. Tatum used to travel frequently with her, and their last road trip to Big Sur, California, inspired him to make the movie. In fact, he shared with USA Today that one of the scenes with the on-screen Lulu reminded him of his late companion. In that scene, the dog runs out on the road and attacks chickens. Tatum shared that his Lulu would do the same.
Tatum further added, “That was my dog through and through… She was a hunting dog and I don’t hunt, so she never really got to exercise that part of her instincts. And so (any animal) that wasn’t a dog or a horse she would try to murder.” Moreover, co-director Reid Carolin said that the actor’s experience being around dogs helped enhance his performance with his furry co-actor. However, the team also faced a fair share of challenges while filming with the three dogs.
During his February 2022 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Tatum divulged about being bitten a few times by the dogs on set. Although, he did praise the driven nature of the Belgian Malinois breed and said that with the help of several delicious treats, they were able to acquaint the canine trio with the filming setup. Thus, the lead actor or, rather, actors of ‘Dog’ are very much real. They brilliantly portray the beauty of human-animal relationships as well as the dynamic nature of pooches.
Read More: Where Was Dog (2022) Filmed?