What Breed of Dog Played Cujo in the Movie?

What Breed of Dog Played Cujo in the Movie?

What Breed of Dog Played Cujo in the Movie?


Cujo, a horror novel written by Stephen King, was adapted into a movie in 1983. The story revolves around a friendly Saint Bernard dog named Cujo, who becomes a vicious killer due to a series of unfortunate events. In the film, Cujo terrorizes a mother and her young son as they become trapped in their vehicle while Cujo relentlessly attacks. Many viewers wonder what breed of dog was chosen to portray Cujo in the movie.

The Saint Bernard Breed

The breed of dog chosen to play Cujo in the movie was a Saint Bernard. Saint Bernards are known for their large size, friendly temperament, and are often associated with mountain rescues due to their history in the Swiss Alps. These dogs have a distinctive appearance with their muscular build, large head, and droopy jowls. In the movie, the friendly and lovable Saint Bernard was transformed into a terrifying and ferocious beast through the use of special effects and trained animal actors.

Training and Preparation

To prepare the Saint Bernard for its role as Cujo, extensive training was required. Professional animal trainers worked closely with the dog to ensure it could perform the necessary actions and behaviors. This included teaching the dog to snarl, growl, and lunge at the appropriate times. Additionally, the dog had to be trained to act aggressively towards the actors without causing any harm. The trainers used positive reinforcement techniques to train the dog, rewarding it with treats and praise for performing desired actions.

The Transformation on Screen

Through the use of special effects and post-production editing, the friendly Saint Bernard was transformed into the terrifying Cujo seen on screen. Makeup artists applied prosthetics and created realistic wounds to make the dog appear more ferocious. Additionally, editing techniques were used to enhance the dog’s size and make its movements more intimidating. This combination of practical effects and post-production magic brought the character of Cujo to life.

Impact and Legacy

Cujo is considered one of the most iconic horror movie dogs and has left a lasting impact on popular culture. The combination of a lovable breed like the Saint Bernard being transformed into a bloodthirsty monster created a memorable and terrifying antagonist. The movie showcased the potential for even the friendliest of dogs to become dangerous under certain circumstances, adding an extra layer of fear for dog owners everywhere.


In the movie adaptation of Cujo, a Saint Bernard was chosen to play the titular character. Through extensive training and the use of special effects, the friendly and lovable breed was transformed into a terrifying and ferocious killer. The portrayal of Cujo in the movie has left a lasting impact on audiences and solidified the Saint Bernard’s place in horror movie history.


1. What breed of dog played Cujo in the movie?

The breed of dog that played Cujo in the movie was a St. Bernard.

2. How was the St. Bernard dog selected for the role?

The St. Bernard dog was selected for the role based on its appearance, size, and ability to be trained.

3. Did the St. Bernard dog undergo any special training for the movie?

Yes, the St. Bernard dog underwent extensive training to portray the aggressive and intimidating behavior required for the role of Cujo.

4. Were there multiple St. Bernards used to portray Cujo in the movie?

Yes, there were several St. Bernards used to portray Cujo in different scenes of the movie.

5. How long did it take to train the St. Bernards for the movie?

The training process for the St. Bernards took several months to ensure they could perform their roles effectively.

6. Were there any safety precautions taken while filming with the St. Bernards?

Yes, during the filming process, careful measures were taken to ensure the safety of both the actors and the dogs involved in the scenes.

7. Did the St. Bernards enjoy playing the role of Cujo?

While the St. Bernards were professionally trained and well-cared for, it is important to remember that their portrayal of Cujo was based on trained behaviors and not their natural disposition or personality.

8. How did the filmmakers create the illusion of a menacing and aggressive dog in the movie?

Through expertly trained behaviors and the use of special effects, the filmmakers were able to create the illusion of a menacing and aggressive dog like Cujo.

9. Were there any challenges faced by the trainers while working with the St. Bernards?

Working with any animal in a movie comes with its challenges, but the trainers were experienced and skillful in handling the St. Bernards throughout the production process.

10. Did the St. Bernards continue to act in other movies or shows after playing Cujo?

It is common for well-trained animals in the movie industry to continue working in other films or shows, so it is possible that the St. Bernards who played Cujo had further acting opportunities.