Anywhere you find humans, you will find dogs. Dogs are everywhere. They are extraordinarily intriguing as they sense our feelings and guide our way, but are often misunderstood. There are several documentaries decoding every facet of dog. Grab a box of Kleenex and begin with these gems.
“A Pug’s Life: A Dogumentary”
Just seeing the wrinkly face and snub nose of a pug makes any dog lover giggle with joy. The ancient Chinese breed generally has a friendly demeanor, googly eyes and often a goofy personality. See them work and play in “A Pug’s Life: A Dogumentary.” Originally airing on PBS, you can now view this documentary on Netflix or stream online at snagfilms.com. “Men in Black” star Frank the pug is featured, along with delightful show dogs and fascinating Pug breeders.
“Beyond the Myth”
Pit bulls are often misunderstood. “Beyond the Myth” is an independent documentary about breed discrimination. With dozens of city-wide bans resulting from negative media coverage, families have been disrupted and innocent dogs have been killed. While speculation continues about the inherently vicious demeanor of pit bulls, the filmmaker takes a look at the media and public bias of banned breeds while offering real statistics and first-person accounts.
Can scientists prove what you have known all along — that dogs can read and respond to human emotions? We certainly treat them like a family member sharing our lives and even our beds. Often our dogs ARE the family. As dog-mentary, “Dogs Decoded” reveals, Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavior medicine at England’s University of Lincoln, uses science to decode the sixth sense they seem to have. All the more reason to feed your pet healthy animal food, bathe it regularly, and use a pet sitter when you are away for extended time periods.
“Through a Dog’s Eyes”
Kleenex time. Cuddle up with your pooch and watch these stories of friendship, hope and triumph as our furry four-legged friends become angels to those in need. Take a journey behind-the-scenes to learn what goes into creating a service dog and the process of matching them up to a person in need.
You’ll meet 6-year-old Aiden who was born with cerebral palsy and lives in a wheelchair, but has a never-ending optimism and a lust for life. Enter his new dog Nala. Watch their heart-warming journey together as Nala breaks down the barriers of the stigmas other children have created around this little boy. Check your direct.tv listings for time and channel of “Through a Dog’s Eyes.”
The film “Canine Confidential” has kind of a split personality. One minute it asks how far will we go for our pets? Watch a world of beautifully groomed and well-traveled Palm Beach-based pooches who wear Les Poochs perfume ($3000) and sleep in 18th-century style French rosewood doghouses ($25,000).
The next, the documentary explores the largest canine training center in the world—Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Thousands of military dogs in America come through this facility. Meet Paul Bunker who teaches canine handlers the changing rules of engagement. The goal is to manipulate a dog’s assets—speed, mobility and sense of smell. Sometimes the most trustworthy soldier is a dog. In a year of training, they learn to search for contraband and to save lives on the battlefield. One thing they don’t need training on is how to be a soldier’s best friend.
Vicky Kelly: Vicky is a part-time tech assistant for an animal hospital and a freelance writer for several blogs about pet care.