The dog character is apparently a girl, and is a different pup than we’ve seen before. The only dog in the “John Wick: Chapter 4” trailers so far looks a whole lot like one of Sofia’s Malinois (pictured above), but it’s possibly a new dog that just looks similar. After all, I cannot imagine Sofia giving up one of her babies, no matter what. Just like when stunt performers practice with one another, they also have to practice with their canine co-stars, and the way Stahelski describes it sounds amazing:
“Well, the character of the dog is a her, but we had, let’s see, three females and two male dogs to comp all one dog together, depending on what the stunt, or the gag, or the acting bit was. This time we learned a lot from last time, but we wanted a little bit more out of this one in specialty stuff. We had the dog, I think it was just over five months, to work with cast and on stunts. It’s just when you’re bringing in the stunt teams, and we have different stunt teams on this one because it’s so much bigger, the dog is just like friends. You have to get to know your friends. So in order for the dog to be very playful, and safe, and have the confidence just like a human would, they have to spend time with each individual stunt guy.”
This meant that the stunt team had to work on rotation with the dogs, with a different stuntman playing for an hour at a time. They had five months together to train, get tackled, and play Frisbee with the dogs, bonding with them so that they were able to communicate properly in front of the camera.