Famous Dogs: Dug, Movie Dog with Service Dog Qualities

Famous Dogs: Dug from UpDid you see the movie, Up? Dug the dog character in Up (Disney Pixar), embodies the ideal temperament and qualities of a service dog or therapy dog:

  • Outgoing and friendly  to all people, including all adults and children.
  • Gentle and patient.
  • Confident and at ease in all situations.
  • Enjoy human contact.
  • Content to be petted and handled.
  • Tolerant of other dogs and all pets.

Many experts agree, service and therapy dogs are born with their essential temperament and then specific training gives them the skills for their role as therapy dogs or service dogs.

Dug, the famous movie dog, certainly shines in the area of temperament! He is outgoing and confident and curious. Even a giant bird was fascinating, not intimidating. And any dog who loves Russell (“My name is Dug. I have just met you–and I LOVE you!”) and tolerates Kevin (the giant, flightless bird) deserves our respect and affection.

If you don’t remember Dug from Up, click on the link to see a short clip introducing Dug (at YouTube):



We'd love to get your comments and feedback on this topic and post. To add your comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and "Leave a Reply" (type your thoughts into the text box).

About KateMagicDog

Teacher. Facilitator. Social media marketer. Champion of the small. Rose, hydrangea & organic veggie cultivator living in Pacific NW household ruled by tuxedo cat. (Currently living in the UK at RAF Lakenheath in a household ruled by a Lhaso Apso doggie.)


5 Responses to Famous Dogs: Dug, Movie Dog with Service Dog Qualities

  1. Laurie September 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m not sure I agree. I have met dogs who you could tell at 6 weeks would be unsuitable for most SD work. I’ve also met dogs who, like all animals, matured and became a dog I’d have been thrilled to have as a SD. I’ve also seen dogs who had just the qualities we look for in SDs only to have a trauma (attacked by another dog, etc) that forever shook them and made them unsuitable. Nature or nurture? I’d say both.

    • KateMagicDog September 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm #


      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’m not a service dog expert (but Dr. B is) and I’m glad you brought us your insights about whether it’s nature of nurture that makes a service dog (and that temperament may be present at birth or develop as the dog matures).

      To clarify: it seems that “good” temperament is the prerequisite before adding training for the specific skills a dog needs to be a service dog.

      Would you agree?


  2. Kathleen Kaska September 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    I’ve never heard of this moving, but I will watch it as soon as I can. Dug is precious. Thanks for the post and the YouTube video. It made my morning!

    • KateMagicDog September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      Up is a very sweet movie, Kathleen. I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Dr. B September 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Thanks for all the comments everyone! I’m eager to get my paws — er, hands, on the movie Kate told us about in our blog. It sounds delightful — and don’t we all just love movies with dogs? Of course, I’m only referring to happy films. The one exception to that would be Disney’s “101 Dalmatians.” Six months after that film came out, shelters across the country were filled with dalmatians who had been cute puppies but had quickly grown into the rambunctious, high-energy dogs they are meant to be. Horrible to know that so many of these innocent creatures were bred just to fill a desire instilled by a fantasy film — then, ultimately destroyed.

    By the way, I quite agree with our commenter, Laurie. Once guide dog schools introduced puppy temperament testing, the rate zoomed from a low of 12-15% dogs who made it all the way through training up to 80%. That is a difference that certainly acknowledges the importance of nature (vs nurture) in determining a puppy’s future as an assistance dog (whether guide, hearing or service). As Laurie also indicated, even the most promising dog could be subject to neglect, accidents or trauma that ultimately changes his ability to be a service dog.

    Once again, thanks everyone for your thoughts. They are much appreciated.

Leave a Reply