Shaggy from 'The Shaggy Dog' Did Most of His Own Stunts

Posted by Christy Caplan
Screenshot from YouTube

The 'Shaggy Dog' was a real dog! There was no CGI or computer-generated imagery being used in films in 1959. Have you seen this film? Here's a summary in case you're unfamiliar with the classic.

According to Variety.com, 'The Shaggy Dog' is said to be the first live-action film by Walt Disney set in the present:

"Fred MacMurray plays the father of the two boys, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran. MacMurray himself is a mailman physically allergic to dogs. Young Kirk accidentally transforms himself into a large, shaggy sheepdog when he comes into possession of a spellcasting ring once owned by the Borgias."

This 'Shaggy Dog' film was the top motion picture of 1959.

What type of breed played 'The Shaggy Dog'?

In an interview on MousePlanet, we learn that Walt Disney Productions interviewed more than 20 Old English Sheepdogs for the title role in 'The Shaggy Dog.'

Iconic scene from the 1959 film?

One of the key scenes was Shaggy "driving" a Ford hot rod and in Disney Films' live-action comedy. Over a fews days of shooting, the dog was pushed around in a wheelbarrow over bumpy ground, steep grades, and tight circles to simulate him driving around. How smart!

The film was a box office hit in 1959, and it was based on the story The Hound of Florence by Felix Salten.

Which canine actor played 'Shaggy'? 

MousePlanet.com explains how Shaggy came to be:

"Born in Denver, Colo., "Shaggy" belonged to Mrs. Billye Anderson, a clerk for the California State Division of Highways in San Bernardino, who bought him for $500 when he was two months old. Sam, whose official name was Lillybrad's Sammy's Shadow, always behaved as something more than "just another dog" according to his owner. His father was Norval Pride King and his mother was Lillibrad Lindy Lou, so he came from prestigious breeding despite some publicity trying to make it seem that he was purchased from the pound."

What about the human cast?

  • Tommy Kirk as Wilby Daniels/The Shaggy Dog
  • Fred MacMurray as Wilson Daniels
  • Jean Hagen as Frida Daniels
  • Annette Funicello as Allison D'Allessio
  • Tim Considine as Buzz Miller
  • Kevin Corcoran as Montgomery 'Moochie' Daniels
  • Cecil Kellaway as Professor Plumcutt
  • Alexander Scourby as Dr. Mikhail Valasky
  • Roberta Shore as Francesca Andrassy
  • James Westerfield as Officer Hanson
  • Strother Martin as Thurm
  • Forrest Lewis as Officer Kelly
  • Ned Wever as Security Agent E.P. Hackett
  • Gordon Jones as Police Captain Scanlon
  • Jacques Aubuchon as Stefano
  • Paul Frees as Dr. J.W. Galvin, the psychiatrist (uncredited)
  • Sam as the shaggy dog

Did you love this movie as much as we did? Let us know what characteristics you love about this breed!

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Shaggy from 'The Shaggy Dog' Did Most of His Own Stunts