Game of Thrones Star Speaks Out About Dog Trend Inspired by the Show

By | August 28, 2017

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you will know who Tyrion Lannister is. You will also know what a dire wolf is. But did you know how this show is influencing an alarming trend for buying huskies, or dogs that resemble the dire wolves?

Husky breed of dog in FinlandThis is just the latest example of how popular culture can inspire something else, which then becomes unpopular! Since the show’s first series, the number of huskies appearing in animal shelters in the UK has increased diabolically. To quote the Mirror newspaper,  “Since the show premiered in 2011, animal rescue centers in the UK have reportedly seen a 700% increase in abandoned huskies”. There’s no reason to think a similar trend has been observed in other countries as well.


When we look at a stylized picture of a scene from Game of Thrones (by the way, I am a massive fan of the show), and if you buy into the whole story, it’s easy to see why dire wolves have got our attention. Larger than normal wolves, and highly protective of the one person they are bonded to, they come across as something very special and unique – not everyone gets to own one. So it’s easy to see why people across the world have been inspired to get their own version of one – namely a husky, or similar wolf-life breed of dog.

Direwolf in Game of Thrones scene

If you are already a dog owner yourself, you can maybe guess what comes next!

The dog breeds that most closely resemble wolves, also have some of the same characteristics. Whilst they may not howl and hunt prey, they thrive on lots of hard, physical exercise. In fact, without this they are likely to feel a degree of unhappiness.

Similar to packs of wolves roaming vast plains, huskies were bred to be part of a pack pulling sleds over many, many miles. If you take a dog like that, and plonk him/her in front of a TV after a 10-minute walk around the block, do you think they would be content?

Team of huskies pulling a sled

So the people who have been inspired to get their own dire wolf, end up realizing these breeds are not right for them, and then they end up in a shelter somewhere. The trend is also backed up by many of the shelters reporting that over a quarter of these incoming huskies are names after characters from Game of Thrones.

Where does Tyrion Lannister fit into this?

Peter Dinklage

Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones

Tyrion is a key character in Game of Thrones, and for me, he’s one of the most exciting, despite being a dwarf, and unloved by his father and most of his siblings, he is exceedingly clever. definitely ahs the wittiest dialogue in the show!

He is played by Peter Dinklage, who is now so concerned about this popularizing of huskies through the show, he has spoken out publicly. He said

“Please, to all of Game of Thrones’ many wonderful fans, we understand that due to the direwolves’ huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying huskies.

Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned – as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs.

“Please, please, if you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, always, adopt from a shelter.”

So not only is he asking people to think about dog ownership seriously, he is advocating for adopting from rescue shelters – a man after my own heart!


I have also written before about selecting a dog breed that is best suited to you and your circumstances. There is a great quiz included from Animal Planet – it’s quite short and really nails  down your suitability to a particular breed. Click here for Help to Choose the Right Breed of Dog

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2 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Star Speaks Out About Dog Trend Inspired by the Show

  1. Jair

    You have some amazing images here and a lot of quality information. I have been involved with dogs all my life and there are a few new tippets I picked up today just by visiting your site. I have an American Staffordshire Terrier that has myself, several vets and dog trainers puzzled and at a loss. She gets these hives on her jowls and chest. We have eliminated food allergies, toy allergies (Materials) environmental as we have even moved houses and cities, we eliminated cleaning products we use even our own hygienic supplies such as soaps, laundry detergent, shampoo, the only thing we have not eliminated is her best friend a tabby cat who is completely an indoor cat as the dander would be everywhere and near impossible to eliminate that. They have been together since day 1 but these hives only started appearing around her 1 year birthday so we don’t suspect the cat and when we contacted the veterinary university of Guelph, Canada, a very reputable school, they assured us it’s not the cat but it’s the only denominator I have to eliminate. When the hives come out, we just give her a good dose of Benedryl tablets and they are gone within 20 minutes. The last thing I have noticed start them is mosquito bites. If she gets a single mosquito bite the hives all come out and especially around the jowls and nose, regardless of where the bite is. Benedryl is our savior again with some homemade bug repellant that works great. A mixture of flat ale, blue mouthwash, and distilled water and it’s great for her coat. It’s something I picked up working in the Carribean. Have you ever heard of a case even remotely similar to this or would you have a guess? It doesn’t bother her until the mosquito bite as it makes it hard for her to breath from the swelling in the jowls and around the nose. I don’t want to be the only Bully owner that their Bully breed has to wear a plastic bubble. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi Jair,

      Wow, that’s an extensive case history you have their for your lovely pooch. I haven’t heard of any other cases like this, in the sense the owners have gone to such lengths to try and eliminate triggers that might set it off. It’s good you’ve established that mosquito bites seem to set it off, and your Caribbean remedy sounds great. The only other thing I can think of is whether there’s a sensitivity to a particular type of plant or grass species. This could be a common factor across different cities. I suspect it’s something outdoors that she’s coming into contact with, but it would be nigh on impossible to identify what it is. Is there anything on her walks that might get a reaction? Because of where it’s occurring it sounds like it’s something her head and neck area is touching, and I’m thinking it could be when she puts her head in a bush, shrub or grassy area. It could even be a reaction to a pesticide/herbicide that’s been sprayed onto a plant. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific than that, and you’ve maybe already considered all of this. I hope it eases off for her, and that it’s not happening too frequently.

      All the very best to you, Mara.

      Reply

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