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Dog Experts Say Researching Breeds and Finding a Responsible Breeder Puts Your Pet in a Leading Role in Your Family

New York, NY — In anticipation of the April 4, 2007 release of the family comedy Firehouse Dog, the American Kennel Club® reminds moviegoers about the importance of making careful, educated decisions when considering adding a dog to their home.

Distributed by 20th Century Fox, Firehouse Dog is a family comedy about the world’s most famous—and Hollywood’s most pampered—pooch, “Rex,” who is separated from his owner and ends up as the mascot of a hapless fire station.  There, he helps a 12-year-old boy and his father, a veteran fire chief, turn the station into the city’s finest.

The AKC® joins the Irish Terrier Club of America in reiterating the message that potential puppy owners should carefully research a breed when buying a dog and should buy only from a reputable source.  To this end, the AKC worked with 20th Century Fox and the Irish Terrier Club of America to create a public service announcement to remind people about the importance of making educated decisions when deciding to add a dog to their home. To view the Firehouse Dog PSA, visit the AKC website at: Coporate Advertising

Additionally, people should be aware that movie dogs are highly trained animals; the stunts they perform on screen are not the kind of tricks dog owners should expect of their own canine companions.

“People who see the film may think about owning an Irish Terrier,” said Lisa Peterson, AKC spokesperson. “Irish Terriers have a hearty spirit and need plenty of exercise—they probably wouldn’t be a good match for people who have a more sedate lifestyle. With 155 AKC recognized breeds to choose from, people need to do their research and select a dog that will fit well with their family.”

A few facts to think about if you are considering an Irish Terrier:

  • As puppies, Irish Terriers need a lot of socialization and training to support their upbeat Irish spirit, and to become loving, well-mannered family companions.
  • Irish Terriers have a beautiful, dense and hard coat which requires time-consuming hand stripping at least twice a year.
  • They are smart and often independent, sometimes leading them into mischief.  Proper training, patience and a sense of humor are a must!
  • Irish Terriers do best with a fenced yard for proper exercise and to keep them safe. When going for a walk, they should always be on a leash.
  • Be aware that this is a rare breed; therefore it may not be easy to acquire.  Always start your search with the Irish Terrier Club of America to find a responsible breeder.  A responsible breeder should be available to assist owners throughout the life of the dog.

“This breed won the hearts of our cast and crew,” said the film’s director Todd Holland.

“Working with dogs in movies requires intense training and trust between the animal and trainer. I have a great admiration for the bond between dogs and people—it’s a bond that’s forged by choosing the right breed and putting in the love and the time to earn their trust and train them well.  Once you do that, you’ve got a friend for life.  I really hope that Firehouse Dog reinforces the value of respecting dogs as well as being a responsible dog owner.”

“It’s not surprising that the Irish Terrier was chosen to play a canine hero in the movie,” said Mike Kowalczuk, President of the Irish Terrier Club of America.  “This breed has long been recognized for its courage and spirit– in World War I, Irish Terriers were dispatched to carry messages back and forth between troops on the front lines.   Children who show respect and kindness to their Irish Terrier will never have a better playmate.  They will provide years of loyal companionship to people who decide that this is the right breed for them.”

To learn more about Irish Terriers, the American Kennel Club and responsible dog ownership, visit or the Irish Terrier Club of America at