Tonight I sat with the three dogs (Leinie, Pepper and the Bouvier Reilly) and watched a classic movie from 1984.. Gremlins. At this point you may be asking why? Well, because it is a classic and it has a great dog in the cast! Also, Follow Me Dog Training LLC is training a Springer Spaniel named Gizmo and I’ve been thinking of the movie since we started working together.
Barney is an integral member of the Peltzer family. The family dog, the best buddy of Billy, and ok the neighbor wants to take him to the pound for destroying some Christmas decorations but still, he is a great dog! Then one day Billy’s father brings home Gizmo and the Peltzer family’s world changes, they realize they should have just stuck with the dog….life would have been easier.
“They might even replace the dog as the family pet.” This was said by Billy’s father when he sees that Gizmo has multiplied.
No way…never going to happen! Why…because Barney doesn’t turn evil when he eats after midnight, nor does he multiply when touched with water. Not to mention that Barney is a real dog in a movie filled mostly with puppets.
Barney’s real name is Mushroom. “Dante on the DVD commentary for “Gremlins” praises Mushroom as one of the best actors in the cast!” He was only in two films, Gremlins and the horror film Pumpkinhead as Gypsy.
This is what made him stand out in the movie for me:
- Check out the great off leash “heel” Mushroom performed, not just on a street with cars and other distractions, but on a set with hundreds of extras and film crew…now that is focus!
- Check out the use of a “place” command under Billy’s desk at the bank.
- Mushroom did multiple tricks such as untying a knot, jumping off a desk onto a person and doing a fake bite on an actor.
- He held multiple down stays with distractions.
- At the end of the movie he went out the front door and sat on the porch steps…right on mark!
- Most important for me though was that he is a dog in a horror film and he made it through the movie alive!!! Rumor has it that the script went through many versions and in a darker one, Barney was eaten by the evil Gremlins…I’m glad it was revised!
- Lets review some of the commands that Mushroom did with perfection: heel, place, down, sit, wait, leave it, jump, walk backwards, and multiple movie tricks! All those commands your dog could do as well with some training!
Barney went “on vacation” through a good portion of the movie so that Ruby Deagle would leave him alone after saying: “I’ll catch the beast myself. He’ll get what he deserves, a slow painful death. Maybe I’ll put him in my spin-drier on high heat. ” Never a good thing to do to any dog!!! Don’t worry the Gremlins didn’t like her much either and in true horror movie fashion took care of Barney’s nemesis. When he returned, he took back his rightful place as the family pet.
So Mr. Peltzer learned to not bring home any new pets…especially ones named after the devil. Billy learned to appreciate his loyal companion, Barney. Barney wasn’t eaten by Stripe (the head Gremlin). Billy got the girl in the end and everyone had a good Christmas!
I got to see some fine acting done by Mushroom, have a few laughs at the Gremlins watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the dogs slept through it all on their “places”.
You hopefully learned to keep an eye on any animal actors that might be in random movies that you watch. It takes alot of talent and skill to be a movie dog. The training needs to be fun and 100% distraction proof. There are alot of wonderful animal movies and dog actors out there….I might have to review another sometime.
Follow Me Dog Training LLC sets down rules of leadership for your interactions with your dog. Luckily none of those include keeping out of sunlight, not feeding after water and don’t give them any water. Your dog can be as well mannered as Barney, the character, and as talented as Mushroom, the dog,with good training and clear communication.
Contact Follow Me Dog Training LLC for a free evaluation with your dog! We’ll help your dog bring out their inner movie star!