Duke is a fictional character in the film, The Secret Life Of Pets. He is one of the main characters in the film alongside another character named Max. In the film, Duke is a dog who is adopted by a friendly dog-lover named Katie. He then meets Katie’s first adopted dog, Max, with who he then starts a heated rivalry that causes them to be separated from Katie. The film was released mid- 2016 to great critical and commercial success, grossing over $875.5 million US worldwide. So what kind of dog is Duke from Secret Life of Pets?
In the film, Duke is depicted as a large brown dog with a thick brown coat of fur. While it is never specified what breed Duke is in the film, it is generally believed that Duke is a brown Newfoundland mix. Others have also pointed to his thick fur coat as being similar to those of an Old English Sheepdog, with the big catch that Old English Sheepdogs do not have a brown coat of fur.
Newfoundland dogs are a large breed of working dogs originating from Newfoundland, Canada. Originally bred by fishermen, they were used to pull fishnets as well as haul carts and other such heavy equipment. Newfoundland dogs also have a reputation for being highly courageous, with many stories detailing their heroic acts. Now in the modern age, Newfoundland dogs are beloved the world over for their friendly nature and patience for children.
Newfoundlands are large dogs, with males reaching up to 150 lbs (70+ kg) in weight and 28 inches (71 cm) in height. In terms of temperament, Newfoundlands are deceptively soft and friendly, a juxtaposition to their size. They are also easy to train and very trustworthy. In fact, many believe that the breed’s size is the only true flaw when it comes to caring for this gentle giant.
When one thinks of a shaggy dog breed, most likely one is envisioning the Old English Sheepdog. Originating from England, they were born as a result of cross-breeding several early herding breeds. Some of its believed ancestors are the Bearded Collie and the Smithfield Collie. Referred to early on as a “Shepherd’s Dog”, the breed became hugely popular at dog shows due to its distinct appearance and high intelligence.
Male Old English Sheepdogs can grow up to 24 inches (61 cm) in height and up to 101 lbs (40 kg) in weight. Their relatively large size is matched by their agility and adventurous nature. They also have many qualities that make them an ideal household pet, mainly kindliness and intelligence.
Early on in the film, Duke is portrayed as being aloof and self-centered. Duke shows little regard for Max, despite the latter being adopted much earlier than him. Duke’s disdain for Max eventually reached a threshold when Duke drags Max far away from their home. Now both lost and having no clue how to get back home, both Max and Duke are forced to work together to return home before their owner Katie returns. As the film progresses, Duke begins to show a more friendly and caring side to his personality, opening himself and his struggles to Max. By the end of the film, both Duke and Max reconcile and become friends as Katie returns home.
Duke’s story in the movie has endeared to many film-goers around the world. His transformation from a sloppy and selfish dog to a caring and courageous friend has caused many to fall in love with the gentle giant that is Duke.