Canine A-listers: The Most Popular (Four-legged) Stars of Film and Television

As any proud owner will tell you, every dog is a little superstar. But when it comes to the big and small screen, some dogs have more star power than others. And there’s one particular pooch that’s dominating the entertainment industry right now.

Find out who the top dog is with Protect My Paws’ breakdown of the most filmed dog breeds in film and television history.

The most filmed dog breed

When it comes to grabbing some screen time, the German Shepherd is the leader of the pack. This loyal pooch has 562 screen credits to its name. It’s starred in action-comedies like K-9 and several big-screen blockbusters, including sci-fi horror I Am Legend.

There are several reasons for the German Shepherd’s successful screen career, and it’s not all about this breed’s handsome features. These naturally obedient pups are super-smart, meaning they’re much easier to handle onset.

German Shepherds are also police and military dogs, and our love of action-adventure movies provides plenty of parts for them to play. And this is one dog that doesn’t care about being type-cast. They’ll play the same role over again for nothing more than a tasty treat and a scratch behind the ear.

The Shepherd’s bravery in the line of duty has led to many moves based on real-life exploits. There’s the 2017 movie Rex; it tells the incredible story of a German Shepherd injured by a roadside bomb while serving alongside his human handler in the Iraq War.

The supporting cast

The iconic Bulldog might not be the ‘prettiest’ pup in the dog park, but there’s no denying it has a face made for the big and small screen. So it should come as no surprise to hear that these little chunks are the second most filmed dog breed. They have an impressive 284 TV and film credits.

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The cute Poodle (209 credits) and fearless-looking Doberman (207 credits) took third and fourth place. The top 5 is completed by a little dog with a very big attitude –  the Chihuahua. These tiny tough guys have starred in 167 shows and movies.

Some of the other spotlight-grabbing breeds include the Great Dane, the Dalmation, and the Golden Retriever. The Saint Bernard also makes an appearance. You might remember this gentle giant from the 1992 family comedy Beethoven.

The golden age of canine a-listers

The German Shepherd has run the canine acting scene since the 1960s. Before that, the Bulldog was the Alpha dog of the 1950s and 1940s.

And the 1930s belong to an unlikely star – the Daschund. Otherwise known as the Sausage Dog, it starred in more films and shows than any other type of dog during the decade.

But the award goes to…

German Shepherds might be the biggest box office draw. But as far as the critics are concerned, the real star of the show is the Border Collie. The world’s smartest dog is head of the pack when considering the average rating of shows and films.

It’s appeared in critically acclaimed movies like The Lobster and several family favorites with high IMDb ratings, including the 1995 smash-hit Babe.

The two-legged actors get the fame, the fortune, and the golden statues. But where would they really be without a helping paw from their furry co-stars?

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