The new popular movie franchise on the block is John Wick, and even more popular are the John Wick dogs!
What breeds are the John Wick dogs? In the first movie, John Wick has a Beagle, but in the next two movies, John Wick has a Pitbull.
Much more interesting is how they found and trained all these dogs in real life. There are also some funny stories from the set you won’t want to miss, so keep reading for a deeper look at the John Wick dogs.
If you want to watch the video version of this article, here is our video!
John Wick Dogs Explained
What Kind Of Dog Did John Wick Have In The First Movie?
In the first movie, John wick had a Beagle which he lost within the first half of the movie, but before the movie ends he takes a calm Pitbull out of a shelter and walks away with him.
The dog who played Daisy is a male dog named Andy! From the first day on set, everyone loved him and wanted to cuddle and play with him.
That includes Omer Barnea who had the unfortunate role of killing Daisy at the beginning of the movie which led to the return of John Wick.
Omer Barnea felt so bad about it he even cuddled the dog between takes, according to an interview with Kim Krafsky who worked as an Animal Trainer on the first John Wick film.
The filmmakers knew they wanted a Beagle because of their distinctive eyes and adorable appearance, so Kim Krafsky was tasked with the duty of finding just the right animal.
Eventually, they came upon Andy who encaptured everything they wanted for the on-screen canine star of John Wick 1.
He was adorable, small (he wasn’t even 8 weeks when they purchased him), and incredibly outgoing, which helped him get along with everyone fantastically.
Andy had to go through some training, as all movie dogs must, but sometimes they still had to use a little creative thinking to get him to do as they needed.
The funniest example is, in the first movie, Keanu Reeves is laying in bed and Andy hops up to wake him up by licking his face.
To get Andy to lick Keanu’s face, they spread bacon grease on his cheek. It was safe to say it wasn’t hard to get a young puppy to lick his face then!
In total it was about 3 weeks to film all of Andy’s scenes, but he did get to see the cast once again at a few red carpets when the first movie was releasing.
Shockingly, Andy wasn’t going to be in the first movie at all!
One of the studios behind the film wanted the scene where John Wick’s dog died to be removed from the movie because they thought it would be too much for the audience to handle.
Instead, they wanted to focus on the John Wick character himself and his status as the most legendary hitman.
With the continued effort from the directors, they were able to convince the studio this scene was essential to building the John Wick character and his motives.
Later on in the film, we see John Wick get a new dog. We get to see him for the final few minutes of the movie, but it was the happy ending the movie needed.
We will talk more about the canine star of the next two movies in the section below.
If you want to see the reverse parody of John Wick then watch this hilarious youtube video titled “Dog Wick”.
What Kind Of Dog Did John Wick Have In The Second And Third Movies?
At the end of the first movie, John Wick gets a Pitbull from a shelter, which is the dog he has in the second and third movies.
John Wick’s dog doesn’t have a name yet. He instead refers to him as “boy”.
This dog has been played by a couple of canine actors. Most recently in John Wick Parabellum, we see “Cha Cha” a female Pitbull playing the part of John Wick’s dog.
While on the set of the latest film, Cha Cha did get into an altercation with one of the horses. Fortunately, neither animal got hurt and the scuffle was likely caused by the built-up stress and tension of the dog while filming.
On a much sweeter note, they used a similar trick to the first film to get that scene from the Continental when the Pitbull licks Keanu’s face to welcome him back.
Although not officially said, if you look closely in this scene you can see some kind of peanut butter was placed on Keanu’s cheek to get Cha Cha to enthusiastically shower him with love.
The Pitbull in the first and second films is Burton, the Male Pitbull who was lovingly referred to as Bubba by Keanu Reeves.
When not on-screen, Keanu Reeves would hang out with Burton to bond with him, as he claims it helps make the co-working experience better in this interview.
Keanu Reeves also said that he would feed him, sit with him, and hang out with him, so they could get familiar with each other.
Burton was a rescue dog and was chosen since he had an empathetic look that the audience could sympathize with.
The two main factors singled out by Director Chad Stahelski were the way he wobbled when he walked and his big sad eyes.
I know I sympathized with this dog, I was rooting for him the whole way!
What Kind Of Dogs Did Halle Berry Have In The Third Movie?
Halle Berry had two Belgian Malinois in John Wick 3 Para Bellum that were acted by 5 different dogs.
This technique was used so that no dog would get too worn out since most of their scenes are highly fatiguing. All the moves you saw the Belgian Malinois pull off in the third movie were all real, no dogs were CGIed in.
The only CGI used was on the bite markers that would get attached to people, so the dogs knew who and what to bite on them. The dogs were specifically trained to bite the green markers and nothing else, this also led to a no wearing green on set policy.
Training the dogs took months and was a duty taken on by Halle Berry, in addition to the training she had to do for the rest of the movie.
This was to get the dogs to obey her commands on-screen, so they didn’t have to rely on another dog trainer to hide off-screen and try to guide the dogs.
Each of the five dogs was described as having unique personalities that would dictate what duty they would take on.
Some were more serious, some were goofier, and some were more athletic. They would keep swapping out the dogs based on what they needed them to do.
They knew they wanted the Belgian Malinois breed, as they are very intelligent, athletic dogs that are perfect for the work they were used for in this movie.
To choose the dogs, they held auditions and found five dogs that were perfect from all around the United States and brought them to Los Angelas.
Here is the full interview with Chad Stahelski talking about how they found, trained, and got these beautiful dogs to be fantastic performers.
Even with 5 months of training, dogs will still follow their primal instincts in chasing cats!
In an interview with Halle Berry, she talked about how the dogs would take off mid-scene sometimes to chase after a cat.
This was a big problem when filming the scenes where John Wick and Sofia were in Morroco because there were lots of stray cats roaming around the set.
Halle Berry’s character aka Sofia hasn’t yet said the names of the John Wick 3 dogs in a movie, but we may eventually get to learn what they have named them.
Belgian Malinois looks a lot like a German Shepherd and it even shares some traits like high intelligence, however, these two dogs are completely separate breeds.
Belgian Malinois are not known to be nearly as good with children, but they are known to always be looking for more activity.
If you want to see a full comparison of these two breeds, check out our article on German Shepherds vs Belgian Malinois.
That’s all the John Wick dogs there are right now, but I hope they will add new dogs to the mix in the future as this will likely be a long-running franchise.
They have quite a few adorable canines on the set with some amazing training to match! What impressed me the most is the Belgian Malinois in the third John Wick movie.
Watching on-screen you can see how impressive these dogs are, but to learn the months of training and how Halle Berry became their trainer is amazing.
There is one last video you need to see before you go and it includes more dogs and more Keanu Reeves.
Check out the BuzzFeed interview with Keanu Reeves where he answers questions as he plays with dogs. Enjoy!