Dog Days

Follows a group of interconnected singles in Los Angeles brought together by their love of dogs.

  • Starring: Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens
  • Director(s): Ken Marino
  • Producer(s): Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Monroe, Pete Shilaimon    
  • Screenwriter(s): Elissa Matsueda, Erica Oyama
  • Distributor: LD Entertainment
  • Animal Coordinator: Animals For Hollywood, Studio Animal Services
  • Release Date: Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Featured Animal Action

Throughout the film, the main characters have pet dogs, seen performing such mild action as sitting/standing/lying, being held or petted, and walking/running on or off leash. For all these scenes, trainers used hand signals and verbal commands to cue the mild action, which the trained dogs were accustomed to performing. The barking/growling was also a trained behavior.

In the scene where the dog looks in the window and barks, pawing at the glass, the trainer placed the dog in the hall facing the window. The trainer stood outside the door behind camera where the dog could see him. On action, he used verbal and hand cues to get barks from the dog. Spontaneous actions from the dog included standing on his hind limbs and pawing at the window he was looking out.

In the scene where the actress walks in the house and we see a dog run down the hall with a bra in his mouth, prior to shooting the scene the trainer placed the bra in the dog’s mouth and rehearsed the scene. Another trainer stood behind the camera using verbal cues to insure that the dog walked slowly toward camera with the bra.

In the scene where the actress finds a dog in a garbage bin, picks him up and brings him back into the store, this scene was shot in sections. First the actress behaves as if she sees a dog in the bin, they cut camera. Then the trainer placed the dog the bin and handed her to the actor who lifted the dog from the ground as if picking her up from behind the dumpster.

In the scene where the girl brings the dog to the vet’s office, where the vet places the dog on the table, the pathway to set was cleared of obstructions and hazards. No hospitalized animals were present in the areas where talent or extra animals were being filmed. Hospital disinfected prior to entry today.


In the scene where the kid loses control of his dog who runs across the street and almost gets hit by a car, the pathway was set free of hazards prior to shooting and obstructions and a stuntman actually drove the car. The trainer brought the dog to the closed off street and positioned the dog to one side of the street. A mark was placed in the center of the road and a picture car was in the roadway about 200 feet back with the stunt coordinator driving. One trainer was positioned across the street from the dog and another stood across the street. On action, the car drove up the street toward the camera and stopped abruptly and simultaneously Mark released the dog who trotted to his mark in the center of the road. Then the trainer cued the dog to stay on his mark. After arriving at the mark, the trainer ran out of the frame and called the dog who followed him. The vehicle never got closer than 50 feet from the dog.

In the scene where the man opens a box and a dog walks out then the dog sticks his face in paper bag the dog was brought to the set by the trainer where a large box was positioned. Prior to action, the trainer placed the dog in the box where the dog could sit upright and closed the lid. The trainer stepped away out of frame and on action the actor opened the lid and the dog was called by the trainer out of frame. In the same scene the trainer placed the dog near camera out of frame and on action sent the dog to the living room where food wrappers with treats were placed. The dog ate some treats and nosed the wrappers. In the next shot the trainer placed a fast food bag that was open at the bottom on dog Tucker’s head. Because the bag was open at the bottom the dog could see where he was walking.

In the scenes where the pug walks down the LA streets in different locations, prior to shooting the scenes, the trainers picked up any glass on the streets before the dog walked the perimeter. On action the trainer used a clicker to get the dog to his marker.

When we see the actor washes a dog in a tub, prior to shooting the scene, the trainers wet the dog with warm water and applied some dog shampoo to start a lather, then stepped out of frame nearby. On action the actress gave the dog a bath, lathering and rinsing the dog. Total bathing took 10 minutes.

In the scenes where we see the dogs in a dog rescue standing in individual cages, the cages were inspected and cleaned prior to shooting the scene. The trainers placed plenty of food and water before shooting the scene as well.

In the scene when the woman comes home and sees a dog on the ground with his arms and legs in the air supposed to be sick, the trainer brought the dog to the set. The trainer then told the dog to lay down on the floor with his head down. On action the trainer gets the dog to roll on his back and maintain the position for 15-30 seconds using hand gestures and verbal cues. The same action was used in the back of the actor’s van when the dog was being rushed to the vet’s office. The van was never moving during this scene.