Dunder became the most famous German Shepherd Dog (GSD) in the world after a YouTube video of his rapid growth from puppy to dog hit the Internet. Dunder’s pet parent, Byron Louie, took a photo daily of his dog for a year and then time lapsed his aging to 40 second. Louie uploaded the film onto YouTube at 11:00pm and when he awake at 5:00am he had 500 views. Before Dunder knew it his video made the news and was being tweeted by celebrities.Now the Bay Area dog is enjoying his popularity and his fame is reminiscent of Rin Tin Tin’s heyday. Both Byron and Dunder took some time to speak to Tails about their surprise celebrity.
Byron, what made you decide on a GSD?
When I was born, my parents already had a 5 year old GSD mix. Her name was Nikki. She was a really smart dog that would watch over me. When I was a baby she wasn’t allowed to go into my bedroom, so at night she would sleep right outside my bedroom door, as if to protect me through the night. Even as a young child I would go for walks with her alone and she would stay by my side. I thought she was the most beautiful dog in the world. She died when I was 9 and to this day, I can recall that as being one of the saddest days of my life. So I guess, it’s the loyalty, intelligence, beauty, and unconditional love that really attracts me to the breed.
How did you train Dunder to be a friendly GSD?
I socialized Dunder from day one. I would introduce him to different people, kids and dogs of all sizes. I took him to parks, shopping malls, etc. That all really helped, but honestly, i think it was in him already. He loves attention and aims to please.
Did you create the viral video for fun or did you hope it would make him a pet star?
My business partner at Remedie Studio and I were talking a few days before Dunder arrived and we thought that it would be cool to make a video by taking a photo a day. I had no idea that it would blow up like it did. I posted it around 11pm and when I woke up it had 500 views. I thought that was great, Little did I know that number would keep multiplying.
What do you know about his bloodlines and when you bought him did he pick you or did the breeder match him with you?
I didn’t know much about his blood lines. I knew that he was of West German Show Lines and that his parents were award winners, trained in schutzhund and all of that. But I wasn’t really interested in that. I just wanted a dog that I could have fun with and do things such as hike, jog, and relax with. I didn’t get to meet him before, but I saw pictures of him and his 6 brothers. While they were all handsome dogs, something about Dunder’s face won me over. The breeder told me that he was that one she was going to recommend as well, but warned me that he had more energy that the rest…and yes he does have a lot of energy!
Dunder, any interesting Pet Projects coming up?
We don’t have anything planned just yet, but I’m sure there will be some soon.
Describe your typical day?
There is never a day that doesn’t start with either a walk or a trip to the park. You would think that an hour long trip to the park would tire me out, but no. I can and will play all day. To me, the world is a giant dog run where everyone has a toy for me.
Do you get fan mail, if so … what kind?
Yes. The fan mail is delivered as posts on my Facebook fan page. People drop in and say hi, post pictures of their dogs, and basically just say tell me that they are big fans.
Are you aspiring to be another Rin Tin Tin?
That would be great. But I am quite a character on my own.
What are your favorite places to run?
Any park that is open and has lots of grass.
Have you met other GSDs?
Yup! I play really well with other friendly GSDs. I have a few GSD friends that I see often.
Do you consider yourself a dog whose personality is true to his breed?
Yes. I am a very intelligent and loyal dog that loves to work. I am friendly, but can protect the house when feeling endangered. Although I do like to lay on people’s laps.
If you met Captain von Stephanitz, who created GSDs, what tricks would you show him?
I would definitely show him how I can put my toys away, close doors and cabinets, and most of all a trick that is called “baby”. This is when you sit down on the ground and spread out your arms and once you say “baby” I walk over and lay in your lap. I’ve been doing that since I was only a few months old.
How do you feel about the fact that the first GSD, the prototype whom all legitimate GSDs are descended from, was 1/8 wolf and the great-grandson of a wolf from the Stuttgart Zoo in Germany? Do you have an inner pup in you that yearns to howl and run with wolves?
I think that is awesome! But no, I don’t have much inner wolf.
Since you are a GSD, do you have German fans as well as American?
I do! But I have fans from all over the world. I’ve even been on a TV show in Japan.
For more on Dunder please visit him on his Facebook page.
Jackie Morrison is an arts journalist in California. Bylines under Jackie Morrison (JackieMO) or Film Fatale who wrote a Meryl Streep Bio for Hyperink, now selling on Amazon.