A look into the selling of certain dog breeds and the effect that film culture has on sales has revealed the extent to which our favourite canine movie stars influence the breeds we buy.
Lassie is possibly the most famous film dog of all, and when the original blockbuster, ‘Lassie Come Home’ came out in 1943, the sales of collie dogs rose by 40 percent over the two following years, according to a new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Having an even greater impact, Disney’s ‘The Shaggy Dog’ was found to be followed by an increase in sheepdog sales of 100 percent when it came out in 1953.
Unfortunately, this pressure on breeders to breed more pups to sell is not good news for the dogs. The higher sales were linked to a higher number on inherited diseases, especially when the popularity booms suddenly, such as when a film influences our choices.
In addition, the study found that the influence dog films have on our choices has declined over the years. In the early 20th century, there were very few films starring dogs being released, and so it is thought that each one that did had a greater impact. Now, we see dogs starring in all manner of movies, and so the effect is thought to be diminished by the abundance of canine stars.
Despite this, it is thought that the effect has such a large impact as to, in some cases, lead to sale increases of over 800,000 dogs above the projected sales of specific breeds over a decade following a film release. This huge number truly shows how much we love it when dogs are the stars of the show.