Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Congratulations Westminster Winners of 2013!

The German Wirehaired Pointer, American Foxhound, Old English Sheepdog, Portuguese Water Dog, Bichon Frise, Smooth Fox Terrier, and Affenpinscher took first in their groups over the past two nights in Madison Square Garden. Congratulations to Banana Joe and Swagger for top honors.

Want to catch one of these stars through your rental list? You won’t find too many Affenpinschers, GWPs, or Porties appearing in your favorite films, but American Foxhounds, Bichons, and Smooths have graced a few big screens, while Old English Sheepdogs have made a sizable mark on Hollywood history from The Shaggy Dog (1959) to a small part in 101 Dalmatians (1996).

Here are some films to check out in honor of your favorite champions:

A German Wirehaired Pointer gets a moment in Dragonheart (1996), but don’t blink! You’ll miss him.

The Bichon Frise can be seen now and then in a film, but due to the wildly varied haircuts and brief scenes, it can be hard to tell if what you’re seeing is really a Bichon, or a Poodle, or … maybe just a plush toy?

Try catching a glimpse in Mad Dog and Glory (1993), Live Nude Girls (1995), and The Age of Innocence (1993).

The Smooth Fox Terrier has no hair to hide him, though a scene on the couch in A Single Man (2009) does make the two black-headed Smooths appear headless. At least they know that angle isn’t making them look fat.

Besides A Single Man, you can see a Smooth in the amazing It’s a Dogs Life (1955) (he’s in the dog show), in one scene toward the end of Grassroots (2012) (adorable!), and in a co-starring role in Charlie the Lonesome Cougar (1967).


Look for American Foxhounds in The Education of Little Tree (1997), Marnie (1964), Murder She Purred: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery (1998) (the lead dog is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, also a couple of German Shepherd Dogs), and The Voice of Bugle Ann (1936).

But the big winner in tonight’s lineup is the Old English Sheepdog. You can snag glimpses of him in such films as Cats and Dogs (2001) and Garfield (2004), but there’s no need to strain your eyes for this breed. He has many larger than life roles (literally in Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World (1973)) with no squinting necessary.


Check out The Shaggy Dog (1959), The Shaggy D.A. (1976), Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960), Mr. Superinvisible (1970), The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank (1978), and Undercover Angel (1999).

In 1987 Walt Disney added a TV special from the Wonderful World of Disney show to the Shaggy Dog series with The Return of the Shaggy Dog. Also—and well-worth the effort of finding them—two of the most memorable Old English film roles are immortalized in other Wonderful World of Disney TV movies: The 101 Problems of Hercules (1966), in which “Boomer” is a sheep herding hero along with his pals “Lady” and “Hercules” (a Border Collie and Kuvasz), and Three on the Run (1978) where an Old English fills a role you won’t see him take in any other film; wheel dog in a sled team.


If you know more films with these breeds, please leave a comment!

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