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What Kind of Dog Is Benji? Famous dogs Presented

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

benji the dog

Benji has been a household name since 1974, when the first movie of the series was released to the public. Created, produced, and directed by Joe Camp, the “Benji” series is the story of a stray dog that the townspeople fall in love with.1 Benji becomes a hero when he tries to save a couple of children who have been kidnapped by robbers.

Children and adults of all ages fell in love with Benji on the big screen, and they still can’t get enough, as evidenced by the popular “Benji” remake that debuted on Netflix in 2018. It isn’t clear what type of breed Benji is just by watching any of the many movies that the dog stars in. So, what kind of dog is Benji, anyway? We set out to answer this interesting question, and we can say that Benji is a mutt, a mixed-breed dog.

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By All Accounts, Benji Is a Mixed Breed “Mutt”!

The dog that played Benji in the original movie was adopted from an animal shelter in Burbank, California, so nobody really knows exactly what breed he was. His real name was Higgins, and he was generally thought of as a mixed breed that likely had terrier lineage. The dog that played Benji in Netflix’s 2018 film was also an adopted rescue dog that came from southern Missouri.

The bottom line is that Benji is a mixed-breed dog, and it’s not known exactly what breeds make up his DNA. But it’s a fun topic to debate with friends and family while watching one of the several movies, documentaries, and television series that have been released over the years.

Is Benji Based on a True Story?

Although Benji’s story is a heartwarming one that many would love to believe is true, the fact is that the story is fiction and is simply a creation of Joe Camp’s imagination. This isn’t to say that similar true stories are not out there ready and waiting to be discovered, though, as many dogs throughout the world do amazing things for their human companions.

Where You Can Get a Pet Dog Like Benji

Since the dog that played Benji was a mixed breed dog that came from a rescue organization, the first thing that you should do when looking to adopt a “Benji” of your own is visit your local humane society or rescue center. From there, it’s just a matter of finding a pooch that resembles the look and attitude of Benji. Once you find a dog that looks similar, take him on a walk to see how well you get along and whether he’s got the personality and temperament that you can see yourself living with throughout their lifetime. Remember, it is important to choose a dog that you think will best fit into your household, so don’t just base your decision on looks.

woman adopting a dog from shelter
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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Benji is a wonderful family movie and television franchise that all dog lovers should watch at least once. You may have seen at least one Benji move multiple times already! It’s a bit unfortunate that we don’t know the exact breed makeup of Benji, but really, the mystery just makes Benji even more interesting!

Featured Image Credit:  Characters by Joe Camp, Mulberry Square Productions.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Authored by

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens. She is an artist at heart and loves...Read more

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