Film: The Love Parade
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Performers: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane, Lillian Roth, Jiggs the Dog
Breed(s) featured: Boston Terrier* (see edit, below), French Poodle
Production Information: Paramount, 1929 (USA)
Ernst Lubitsch made sure to spread the love in his first talking picture about a flamboyant Count Renard who is suckered into marriage with Queen Louise of Sylvania. In typical Lubitsch fashion, the film constantly trips you up with cleverly scripted sexual innuendos and outrageous action. I thought it notable that, for his first talkie, Lubitsch even gave some “singing” lines to the dog. As Count Renard bids adieu to his old stomping grounds in “Paris, Stay the Same,” his servant and his dog both get a chance to express their regards, as well.
There’s a clip to the dog’s “singing” part here (embedding disabled by uploader). Silly, perhaps, but remember in the age of early talkies, such a gag must have been a pure delight to witness!
A couple online databases of dubious authority name the canine as “Jiggs the Dog,” but the credits didn’t confirm this and I haven’t seen any of the other films in which Jiggs supposedly appears. No indication of what kind of dog he was, either. He seems to be a brindle Boston Terrier, leaning more towards the “bulldog” side of the spectrum with a more pronounced muzzle and looking a bit larger than the Bostons we meet nowadays.
Edit 18 December 2011: I located a reference to Jiggs the Dog that says he is simply a talented mutt that came out of Rennie Renfro’s Hollywood kennel (see Gertrude Orr, Dog Stars of Hollywood [Akron: Saalfield Publishing, 1936], no page number). Based on available pictures, I’m still not sure that he’s the same dog, but I am more convinced that this may be so. Instead of a Boston, perhaps we should call him a “Hollywood Terrier” instead?