Old Yeller is a very famous novel, based on which the popular movie is produced too. Most people are not aware of the fact that two different breeds of dogs are used in the movie and the book. Old Yeller has an interesting story that is made with sheer dedication. It is extremely heart-warming to watch or read this story.
This dog is depicted to be the most loyal and ferocious when it comes to protecting his loved ones. One might have many questions about the dog in the Old Yeller. What kind of dog he is?
Well, there are two different breeds used in the book and the movie. In the book, it is said that the Old Yeller is a Black Mouth Cur. In the movie, the dog shown is a Labrador retriever and mastiff mix. The yellow Mastador is pretty well known for his performance in the movie, Old Yeller.
Here, in this blog, we are about to discuss the dog who played Old Yeller in the movie, his characteristics, his story, and training before the movie. Also, we are going to discuss the kind of dogs in the movie and book respectively along with a few facts about the same.
Spike and his characteristics
The dog which performed in the movie, Old Yeller, was a Labrador retriever and mastiff mix. His name was Spike. Lovable, brave, loyal, adorable, etc. are some of the adjectives one can use for Spike. His alignment was good. In the story, his only goal is to protect his loved ones and be helpful to them in every possible way. He was strong and fast, with powerful barks and howls. He liked hunting and stealing livestock. His appearance was slender and large.
The story behind the famous dog
When he was young, he used to live in Van Nuys Animal Shelter until Frank Weatherwax, the Hollywood canine coach, bought Spike from the shelter for three dollars. He came to know about Spike through a friend who saw the dog’s potential and asked him to check.
Rudd and Frank Weatherwax trained Spike very well. He was even trained to be nice to children and fellow dogs. He was a good-natured dog. When Frank’s wife was reading Old Yeller, it strongly reminded her of Spike. So, when Disney purchased the rights of Old Yeller, Frank got the Spike auditioned for the same.
They noticed that Spike was too much of a good boy to perform like fierce. Spike got into more training and after a few weeks, he was able to gnarl and bare his teeth in aggression to perform, also while being able to go back to his natural self.
They cast him once they observed the versatility of the dog actor. Spike turned out to be the perfect dog for the role and he got many more opportunities for his future. Spike got his way to a successful life and stardom.
Labrador retriever Mastiff mix
Shortly known as Mastadors, Labrador retriever mastiff mix are very sociable and friendly dogs. They are not aggressive until they sense a real threat around them. They are very intelligent and can be trained well if worked with patience. We could expect them to live for eight to fourteen years. They mostly live a healthy life if they are properly taken care of.
When it comes to temperament, they are very affectionate, human-friendly, and calm to make perfect fits for families. They are large-sized dogs with 100-200 lbs weight and 28-36 inches in height. Grooming them is easy and quick. They need weekly brushing for their short smooth coat.
Black mouth cur
Black mouth curs originated from South America and were used as cattle dogs and for hunting purposes. They are one of the territorial breeds. Some of the adjectives frequently used for them are kind, fearless, active, loyal, protective, and highly trainable. This breed can be overly protective of their owners and yet serious human aggression is generally not seen.
They weigh nearly between 40-95 pounds and usually get up to sixteen inches in height. They have barking and howling habits so they might not be good as apartment dogs. They are relentless and smart. Also, they are outgoing and energetic. They are extremely sensitive with a high potential of playfulness.
Facts about the ‘Old Yeller’
The film, which is based in Texas, was shot in California. The movie was presented on a double bill while it managed to capture attention from the audience. The wolf shown in the movie was a German Shepherd. The movie, especially the death of Old Yeller, had affected a lot of people. The book also had two sequels.
Old Yeller has a very sad ending and yet it is loved by millions because of the loving and protective nature of the dog. In this movie, the fights between the animals shown, are real. But they were trained for it so they were not fighting. The scenes were well-rehearsed and controlled. They were trained to play-fight and thus, although it was not animated, no animals were much harmed.
Large-sized dogs are mostly gentle and calm than small dogs. People have misconceptions about large dogs being unfit for a family. They are kind, understanding, and will always have your back. If you have a large-sized dog, you need to make sure that they are properly trained and are under proper supervision when exposed to younger children.
It is unbelievable how a dog can respond to given circumstances and show their loyalty towards their owner. Dogs are the most versatile and adorable creatures that exist on the earth. Most dogs can be trained and made suitable for your living.
It is known that dogs are man’s best friend and, in this movie, it is proven that it is true. Most dogs tend to develop a symbiotic relationship and their ready willingness to protect their owner is what sweeps humans by their feet.