Christmas Advert Sparks Interest in Boxer Dogs
This year the eagerly anticipated John Lewis Christmas advertisement featured a boxer dog. The commercial tells the story of a dog who can’t wait to bounce on a trampoline after watching the local wildlife have a go. The star of the show is Buster and his performance has caused a huge rise in online searches and enquiries about the breed.
The Real Buster
In real life, Buster is actually called Biff and lives with two other boxers. He has been with his owners since he was just 8 weeks old. He had never appeared in a film before and his owners hadn’t intended for him to become a star of stage and screen. However, Biff caught the attention of the production team at his training club when they visited it in search of a handsome pooch to play the part of Buster.
Biff eventually beat 11 other shortlisted dogs to land the role and then spent two weeks with trainers preparing for his big moment. The most important trick he had to learn was to look up and down as if he was watching something bounce on the trampoline. Biff didn’t have to learn to bounce himself as that portion of the film was produced using CGI. As it turns out, he probably could have managed the bouncing very well as another boxer has demonstrated.
One boxer, a pooch named Buzz, was hilariously filmed by his owners whilst he was watching the commercial and copying the bouncing Buster.
Boxers in Demand
On the day following the advert’s release, the Kennel Club’s Find A Puppy website received a 160% increase in searches for Boxers. In the five days following the advert’s first appearance online and on the TV, searches for boxers raised eyebrows, rising from 469 on November 9 to 1220 on November 10. The searches then peaked at an incredible 1511 on November 13.
But the charity is warning that dogs should be chosen carefully and not in response to a retailer’s Christmas commercial.
A rescue charity, The Southern Boxer Rescue Service also voiced concerns. They fear that they could be inundated with abandoned dogs after people lose interest in their new pet. They have experienced this phenomenon before following a Colman’s Mustard advert which featured a boxer called George. A few months later, the charity had to take in several boxers called George!
The breed has a tendency to drool and to make a mess when they eat and this could lead unsuspecting new owners to regret their choice of pet. The commercial does portray the boxer’s playful nature and endearing looks but the reality of coping with these dogs is about much more than a cute face. They are very bouncy, have a tendency not to look where they are going and often blunder into people and things. They need a lot of exercise and stimulation. Potential owners should be aware of the issues, especially if they have children.