Does Max the German Shepherd Meet a Tragic Fate in Dog?


The 2022 film Dog is an upcoming comedy-drama film directed by Reid Carolin and Channing Tatum, who also stars in the lead role. Based on Tatum’s own experience with a military service dog, the film follows an Army Ranger named Briggs (Tatum) who is tasked with driving Lulu, a Belgian Malinois dog who was the military service dog of Briggs’ fallen fellow Ranger, to her handler’s funeral.[1] What begins as an unwanted assignment soon becomes a meaningful journey for both Briggs and Lulu, as they help each other cope with trauma and find a new sense of purpose. Lulu the dog plays a central role in the film, with much of the story revolving around the relationship between Briggs and Lulu as they travel cross-country together.

About the Dog Channing Tatum Plays in the Movie

In the movie Dog, Channing Tatum plays an army ranger named Briggs who goes on a road trip with his military canine companion, a Belgian Malinois named Lulu. Lulu is portrayed by three different dogs in the film – Britta, Lana, and Zuza Although Lulu looks similar to a German Shepherd, she is actually a Belgian Malinois, which is a breed commonly used as military and police dogs.

The dogs who play Lulu were specially trained for the film by the company Birds & Animals Unlimited. While Britta was the main dog who portrayed Lulu, Lana and Zuza were used as doubles to capture different actions and behaviors. The three dogs went through extensive training to learn how to act on camera and respond to commands. According to reports, it took over a year to prepare the dogs for their role in the film.

By using multiple well-trained dogs to play Lulu, the filmmakers were able to capture a wide range of expressions and actions while also making sure the dogs were not overworked. Lulu’s role was pivotal to the story, so finding the right dogs to portray her character authentically was crucial.

the three dogs who played lulu the belgian malinois

Does the Dog Die in the Movie?

Many dog lovers will want to know whether Lulu the dog survives to the end of the movie. The good news is that no, the dog does not actually die in the movie Dog. While some early reports speculated that Lulu might pass away at the end, that turned out not to be the case. Channing Tatum, who co-directed the film and stars in it, made it clear in interviews that the movie would not show the dog dying. He stated, “Rest easy, dog lovers: The canine at the center of the movie Dog does not die.” So audiences can watch without worrying about the dog’s fate.

Without giving away full spoilers, the movie shows the dog Lulu going through dangerous military missions with Tatum’s character before they return home together. Their relationship and bond deepens throughout their shared experiences. While the movie portrays realistic situations and high stakes that soldiers and working dogs face, Lulu ultimately survives, much to the relief of animal lovers in the audience.

The Dog’s Role in the Key Scenes

The dog, played by a German Shepherd named Henry, features prominently in several major scenes that drive the plot and development of relationships in the film Dog. One of the first key scenes involves the initial meeting between Channing Tatum’s character Briggs and the dog Henry. Their hesitant first encounter quickly blossoms into a playful, energetic bonding moment that sets the tone for their growing partnership.

Later, during Briggs’ travels with Henry, there are various adventures and misadventures that require Briggs to rely on Henry’s superior canine senses and abilities.Henry repeatedly proves himself as a loyal companion who can track scents, sense danger, and navigate difficult terrain while out on the road. His skills are crucial in getting Briggs out of some dicey situations.

Some of the most emotional, heartwarming scenes involve quieter moments of connection between man and dog. There are tender scenes where Briggs confides in Henry, finding comfort and support as he works through internal turmoil. And Henry likewise depends on Briggs for affection and reassurance, resulting in scenes emphasizing the reciprocal nature of their bond.

While lighthearted and fun much of the time, Henry also faces peril, requiring Briggs to be there for him. Their sacrifices for each other only serve to deepen their loyal and loving friendship. Throughout his journey of self-discovery, Briggs comes to rely on Henry’s stalwart support, and Henry becomes the family Briggs didn’t know he needed.

The Relationship Between Channing Tatum’s Character and the Dog

In the film, Channing Tatum plays Army Ranger Briggs, who is paired with a military working dog named Lulu after his friend and Lulu’s former handler is killed in action. Initially, Briggs wants nothing to do with Lulu and sees her only as an unwanted burden. However, over the course of their journey together, Briggs and Lulu form a close emotional bond.

channing tatum's character hugging the dog lulu

As noted in the Wikipedia summary, Briggs is dealing with PTSD and survivors guilt from his time in the war. Through caring for Lulu, he begins to open up emotionally again. Lulu gives Briggs unconditional love and forces him to confront his trauma rather than run from it.

There are several key scenes that showcase the developing relationship between Briggs and Lulu. For example, when Lulu runs off early in their trip, Briggs panics and desperately tracks her down, revealing he already cares about her safety. Later, Briggs confides in Lulu about losing his friend and blames himself. The emotional high point comes when Briggs breaks down crying and hugs Lulu tight, finally accepting the grief and forgiveness he needs.

By the end of their adventure, the initially reluctant Briggs completely bonds with Lulu and sees her as his loyal companion. Their story represents the true friendship and therapeutic benefits that dogs can provide for people dealing with emotional trauma.

The Significance of the Dog in the Story

The German Shepherd dog named Lulu plays an integral role in the overall narrative of Dog. She is not just a background character or a prop, but has a meaningful relationship with the lead character played by Channing Tatum. According to this article, the story was inspired by Channing Tatum’s own road trip with his dog Lulu shortly before she passed away. Much of the film explores the deep bond between man and dog.

In many ways, Lulu is a co-lead alongside Channing Tatum. Their friendship provides the emotional core of the movie. Key scenes showcase Lulu protecting and comforting Tatum’s character after traumatic events. As described in this analysis, Tatum chooses to call the dog “Dog” rather than her real name for much of the film, emphasizing their closeness and the idea that she embodies the archetypal spirit of a dog. Their relationship evolves over their journey together.

Without the presence of the loyal dog companion, the story would lose its heart. Lulu adds layers of meaning and emotional resonance at pivotal moments. Her role cannot be separated from the central themes of grief, loss, and the redemptive power of animals. Ultimately, the narrative hinges on the beautiful, intangible connection between man and his best friend.

Critical Reception of the Dog’s Performance

the german shepherd dog from the film shepherd
The German Shepherd dog’s performance in Shepherd received widespread praise from critics. Reviewers were impressed by how expressive and lifelike the dog actors were in conveying complex emotions like grief, fear and devotion.

According to a review on, “The real star is the beautiful Shepherd dog named Kaleb who plays the title role. The filmmakers comment that Kaleb needed no special effects or tricks to show human-like expressions. He emotes remarkably well all on his own.” The dog trainers worked closely with Kaleb to elicit nuanced reactions for key scenes (

IMDb reviewers also praised the authentic and moving performance of the lead dog actor. One review stated, “The dogs, especially the title shepherd, are amazing actors. The lead boy and the Nazi antagonist give fine performances, but Kaleb frequently upstages them as he registers sorrow, fear, love, and hope with astonishing skill” (

Overall, critics agreed that the emotional range and uncanny expressiveness displayed by the German Shepherd dog made his performance a standout in the film. The dog actor brought heart and believability to an already moving story.

Audience Reaction to the Dog Character

The internet went wild for the German Shepherd who starred alongside Channing Tatum in the movie Dog. Dogs have long been fan favorites in movies, but the lead performance in Dog sparked an outpouring of love and memes on social media.

On Twitter, fans raved about the Dog’s charming screen presence and rapport with Tatum’s character (@DogTheFilm). Popular dog accounts like Thoughts of Dog (@dog_feelings) and Dog Reaction Memes (@dogrxnmemes) amplified the Dog love with funny tweets and memes. The film’s official account even joined in sharing behind-the-scenes shots of the photogenic Dog having fun on set.

Beyond Twitter, fans on Reddit and YouTube made compilation videos highlighting the Dog’s best moments and analyzing his believable performance. Reviewers praised the Dog for outshining his co-star Tatum with an expressive face and endearing personality that carried the buddy comedy. It’s clear this talented canine has won over audiences and sparked joy online.

The Legacy of the Dog Actor

The German Shepherd dog who played the role of Lulu in Dog has left behind an impressive legacy as a canine actor. Though Lulu is a relative newcomer compared to more established dog stars like Rin Tin Tin or Lassie, she has already demonstrated exceptional talent and screen presence.

Lulu was discovered by animal trainers and brought out to Hollywood just a couple years ago. According to trainer Bonnie Judd in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, they knew right away Lulu had star quality. “She’s smart, she’s focused and she loves to work,” Judd said.

For her breakout role in Dog, Lulu had to carry a significant portion of the film. She appears in almost every scene alongside lead actor Channing Tatum. The role demanded she convey a range of emotions and behave naturally on camera. By all accounts, she nailed it. Reviews for the film praised her performance, some even suggesting she upstaged her human co-star.

Though Dog is her first major credit, it likely won’t be her last. The film’s director Reid Carolin says the plan is for Lulu to appear in the Magic Mike sequel. It’s clear her trainers and handlers see a promising career ahead as well. “I think she’s gonna be a star,” Judd remarked.

lulu the dog star posing for the camera

With her evident talent and charisma, Lulu seems poised to follow in the pawprints of legendary dog actors like Rin Tin Tin and Benji. If Dog is any indication, she has the potential to be a canine icon in her own right. Her memorable turn in the film already cements her place in dog acting history. For this rising star, it’s likely just the beginning.


In summary, the German Shepherd dog that Channing Tatum’s character befriends in Dog has become an iconic movie animal. While the dog encounters some perilous situations throughout the film, he ultimately survives and completes his bomb-sniffing mission. The relationship between Channing Tatum’s character and the dog is one of the most poignant aspects of the movie. Their bond drives the plot and adds heartwarming moments. The dog provides both comic relief as well as dramatic emotional support. His performance was praised by critics and helped make Dog a box office success. The German Shepherd went on to have a lasting legacy as one of the most beloved dog characters in recent film history.

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