Dogs of the Wild

✯ Hero of the Northwest ✯

Since the first major Hollywood movies casting dogs in the starring roles, like Baree, Son of Kazan (1918) and The Silent Call (1921), the dog of the wilderness concept became ubiquitous with dog movies and canine movie stars. Strongheart, Rin-Tin-Tin, Peter the Great, and nearly all of the early German Shepherd Dog stars played at least one wolfdog, dog raised by wolves, or dog serving man in the Northwest—such as sled dogs, prospectors dogs, or crime-fighting partners of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

This adventure genre, with its brave, almost supernatural archetype hero dogs, and rugged human male leads, was so popular from the 1920s through the 1950s, it deserves its own page. Many of the stars were German Shepherds, many were based on James Oliver Curwood or Jack London novels, but variations on stories and dogs kept stories interesting enough to keep coming back for more.

Luckily, many of these old films are beginning to find DVD or digital release for the first time ever and can be enjoyed by a new generation of reel dog enthusiasts.

There is even a novel, Shadow of the North, which takes a satirical look at the films and lives of these dogs and trainers in Hollywood during the 1930s:

✯ The Movies ✯