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The sweet dog is taking Hollywood by storm

By Emily Zauzmer
Updated June 29, 2015 03:45 PM
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Jagger the German shepherd is ready for his close-up.

On the 86th-floor observatory of the Empire State Building, the camera-ready canine received the celebrity treatment. Overlooking an expansive view of New York City, Jagger – one of the five dogs who play the titular dog in the movie Max – posed like a professional as a gaggle of photographers snapped his picture.

“Who are you wearing?”

“Poochi,” he replied with a bark.

Okay, that exchange did not exactly happen. But I did have the chance to talk to Jagger’s trainer, who reported that the pleasant pup is a natural on a movie set.

“He is the most mellow of all the dogs we had,” praised Mark Forbes, the head animal trainer for Max. “He was great for a lot of the intimate scenes. We had a scene in the movie where he’s freaking out over fireworks … and [his owner] crawls into the cage to console him. And that was almost all Jagger … because it really worked out for his personality.”

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That’s not to say that the entire process of filming Max – whose human cast includes Thomas Hayden Church, Josh Wiggins and Lauren Graham – was a walk in the (dog) park. “It took us quite a while working with the actors for the dogs and the [humans] to be comfortable together,” Forbes shared. “But other than the occasional run after the squirrel in the forest or something like that, it was pretty good.”

Like so many budding stars, Jagger had an unlikely start on his path to success. Born in Mexico, Jagger, who was not suited to be a police dog, bided his time with a breeder in New Mexico before Hollywood came knocking. Up next in Jagger’s burgeoning career is a stint on the upcoming television show Angie Tribeca, created by Steve and Nancy Carell.

But does Jagger let his newfound fame go to his head? Forbes – whose many animal training credits include Back to the Future Part III, Marley & Me and Because of Winn-Dixie – swears that Jagger is the same humble hound he has always been.

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Every dog has its day, and this day belongs to Jagger.