We’ve all been there. We turn on a movie and instantly get a bit worried. An adorable family dog is in the first scene of a thriller or there is a special bond with a four-legged friend and child in a tear-jerker drama or a canine is a professional’s sidekick in a crime story, and you instantly want to know, “Is the dog going to die?”
Well, before you need to pull out the Kleenex box or start getting anxious about the rest of the movie, you can head over to the website, Does the Dog Die? to see if indeed your worst movie nightmare comes true.
Launched by John Whipple, the site has approximately 3,000 movies, books, TV shows and video games in its database where you can see if Fido lives. (For dog lovers, you may want to skip 3:10 to Yuma, Raising Arizona and Rambo.)
The site launched in 2011 after Whipple’s sister complained about movies where a dog died, wishing she knew beforehand.
“We were inspired to create Does the Dog Die? seven years ago after watching one too many movies where a dog was put into peril as a method to manipulate our feelings,” Whipple tells This Dog’s Life. “It got to the point that any movie with a dog in it was unwatchable due to the fear that something terrible might happen.”
Since then, Does the Dog Die? has evolved to include 57 “triggers” you can search, including “are there clowns,” “is someone hit by a car,” and “does a kid die.” There are also more unusual triggers, like “does a dragon die,” “are any teeth damaged” and “is there eye mutilation.” Many of these were suggested by readers. There are currently more than 6,000 movies, books, TV shows and video games in the database for these triggers.
The site works as a sort of community platform. People sign in to gain voting privileges. They can vote up or down on a movie and a trigger and readers can see the details. This sort of crowdsourcing strategy means not everyone is going to agree if the trigger actually happens in the movie. For instance, someone voted “no” when asked if a dog dies in A Dog’s Purpose (almost everyone disagreed), based on the fact, we are guessing, that the dog is reincarnated over and over again.
For visitors wanting to only know about certain triggers, the site allows those to be displayed at the the top of the page. There is the opportunity to add comments, letting users provide additional information about the scene or trigger. Does the Dog Die? also has an email newsletter for those wanting to stay up to date on what new movies, TV shows, books and video games are added to the database.
While the site is pretty rudimentary, the purpose is definitely strong: to allow people to watch a movie and not be surprised by anything that would make the experience unpleasant. Whipple says they are always looking for new triggers or suggestions for the site. You can them at firstname.lastname@example.org