Belgian Malinois Lulu Spoiler Alert!
If you fell in love with Lulu in the movie DOG, spoiler alert, Lulu is played by three different Belgian Malinois.
DOG was released in theaters on February 18, 2022, and had a successful opening weekend in ticket sales and positive reviews.
DOG, a film starring Channing Tatum and directed by Tatum and Reid Carolin, is about a troubled army dog named Lulu and the army ranger in charge of transporting her to the funeral of her previous handler.
However, you would be mistaken if you thought Tatum’s co-star Lulu was played by one dog.
Three different canines played Lulu. Britta, Lana 5, and Zuza are the names of three Belgian Malinois dogs who resemble German Shepherds, are actually Belgian Malinois, a breed well-suited to police and military duties.
The Malinois trio was obtained from an Amsterdam kennel that trains canines for military service. How their current owners adopted the three Malinois is as touching as the film itself.
Belgian Malinois are a high-energy breed, so each dog was assigned to a trainer. None of the trainers planned on keeping the dogs permanently after the movie finished filming.
When the Covid pandemic struck, filming was paused for nine months, giving Tatum and the trainers plenty of time to prepare each dog for the film. As a result of this intense bonding experience, all three trainers decided to adopt the dogs they worked with, much like the movie’s narrative.
Britta, who now lives with her trainer in Hamilton, Montana, is the dog who appears the most in the film.
Britta appears in 80% of the film and is described by co-producer Carolin as calm with a really expressive face.
Then there’s Lana 5, who now lives with her trainer in Charleston, South Carolina. She portrays the version of Lulu, who enjoys belly massages and being carried around on Tatum’s shoulders.
Zuza, the third dog, resides in Los Angeles with her trainer. Zuza was called upon to play Lulu in the aggressive scenes of the movie. However, Carolin says she’s not a scary girl, just goofy and high-energy.
The dogs’ bond with their trainers and their relationship with Tatum benefited from the production halt.
Carolin states, “I think we would have had a much harder time shooting the movie. We would have probably been over in time and had issues with our schedule, or just the scenes wouldn’t be working very well if he didn’t take the time to get to know the dogs. They were very comfortable with him, so we could leave them alone in a car, and he’d be doing his thing, and eventually, stuff will start to work.”
Lulu’s character in the film undergoes a change that incorporates several personality aspects, which is why three canines played her.
“Different dogs do different things. They have different personalities. So when shooting a movie that requires this much nuance in a dog’s performance, you don’t want to ask a dog to go outside of its natural temperament for a couple of reasons. One, it’s just not good for time and being on a movie set and all the practical reasons, and two, it’s not good for the dog,” Carolin said.
Experts Worry the Belgian Malinois’ Popularity Will Surge Because of the Movie DOG
The movie DOG portrays the unbreakable bond between a handler and a working dog. However, a Belgian Malinois is not recommended for the average pet owner.
Belgian Malinois are known for their agility, high drive, high anxiety, and need for lots of physical and mental stimulation. A lot of time and training needs to be dedicated to keep this breed happy and thriving.
In the coming months, experts fear shelters will see an increase in Belgian Malinois.
Experts and trainers recommend people do a lot of research on this high-energy breed before bringing one home, only to discover a Malinois is a lot more dog than they can handle.
So if you think you want a Belgian Malinois like Lulu, you need to realize that each of the three girls playing Lulu has thousands of hours of training under their collars. A cute Malinois puppy doesn’t come already trained.
Now, watch or re-watch DOG and see if you can tell the Lulu’s apart.
To read more about the movie click here.