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What Breed of Dog is Max from Secret Life of Pets? Famous Movie Character Facts

Written by: Jordyn Alger

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Jordyn Alger

What Breed of Dog is Max from Secret Life of Pets? Famous Movie Character Facts

If you live with little ones, or perhaps you’re simply a lover of pets, chances are you have heard of The Secret Life of Pets. It was a popular movie, ranking among the top 10 highest-grossing films in 2016. In fact, it was popular enough to merit a sequel a few years later, appropriately named The Secret Life of Pets 2.

The Secret Life of Pets is a 2016 animated movie produced by Illumination Entertainment that follows the adventures that our pets get into when we are not around. The story is led by the central character, a Jack Russell Terrier dog named Max.

Perhaps while watching the movie, you caught yourself wondering just what kind of breed of dog Max is, or what other dog breeds were featured in the film. If you would like to know the answer, keep reading!

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What Kind of Dog Breed Is Max?

Let’s cut to the chase: Max is a Jack Russell Terrier.

Jack Russell Terriers originated in England and date back to the 19th century.1 The breed was developed by a clergyman named John Russell, for whom the dog’s name was based. They were originally made to be hunting dogs since they have an aptitude for running and tracking. More specifically, they were designed to help with fox bolting; they chased prey (traditionally foxes) out of hiding so they could be hunted.

Max from Secret Life of Pets Illumination Entertainment Universal Studios
Image Credit: Characters by  Illumination Entertainment, Universal Studios.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.


What Do Jack Russell Terriers Look Like?

Comparing the cartoon character to a real-life Jack Russell Terrier brings to light many similarities. Jack Russell Terriers are smaller dogs with strong bodies. They are energetic and agile dogs and have powerful jaws. Their eyes are dark and small, yet they hold an acute sharpness.

As for their coat, it can be rough, smooth, or broken. However, the color of the fur is mostly white with spots of color. The spots can be black, tan, or brown.

What Kind of Personalities Do Jack Russell Terriers Have?

In general, Jack Russell Terriers are playful, energetic dogs. They bond well with families, children, and even strangers. Although they can be hesitant around unfamiliar dogs, they can adapt over time, as long as they have proper socialization and training. They are keenly intelligent and adept when it comes to being trained.

The dogs have a zest for exploration and excitement and are always searching for the next thrilling adventure. This desire for adventure can occasionally lead to a bit of trouble. Jack Russell Terriers are known for getting into mischief and make great companions for anyone who wants a laugh.

Jack Russell Terriers are not known for being well-suited to apartment living. In the movie, Max lives in an apartment with his owner, but due to the high-energy characteristics of Jack Russell Terriers, they are not suited for small, enclosed living spaces.

jack russell terrier on log
Image By: dezy, Shutterstock

Other Famous Jack Russell Terriers

Beyond Max, what are some other famous Jack Russell Terriers? In 1884, a Jack Russell Terrier named Nipper was the muse behind Francis Barraud’s painting, His Master’s Voice. In the painting, Nipper is seated beside a phonograph with his head tilted in curiosity as he looks into the phonograph’s horn. The painting became so popular that to this day, it is used as a logo for HMV in Europe.

In 1982, Bothy the Jack Russell Terrier was a part of the Transglobe Expedition. Due to the expedition, Bothy is championed as the first and last dot to travel to the North Pole and the South Pole. Dogs are no longer allowed to travel to the continent of Antarctica since there are concerns that dogs may pass along diseases to the seals that live there.

There are plenty of Jack Russell Terriers that are famous animal actors, too. Among them is Soccer, who played in a TV series known as Wishbone; Cosmo, who played in the movie Hotel for Dogs; and Uggie, who starred in several commercials.

divider-pawWhat Are the Other Breeds in The Secret Life of Pets?

So, now you may be wondering, what type of dogs are all his friends?

Dog Breeds in The Secret Life of Pets

These are the main dog breeds that are featured in the first film.

The Secret Life of Pets Characters Illumination Entertainment Universal Studios
Image By: Characters by  Illumination Entertainment, Universal Studios.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

Dog Breeds in The Secret Life of Pets 2

In addition to many of the breeds featured in the first film, these are the new breeds shown in the second.

  • Rooster: Welsh Sheepdog
  • Daisy: Shih Tzu

Where Can You Watch the Secret Life of Pets?

Unfortunately, The Secret Life of Pets is not currently available on many popular streaming services. However, it is still fairly easy to get a hold of. While there is nowhere to stream the movie, it is still available for rental or purchase through several digital platforms, including Apple, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, Microsoft, and Prime Video.

Or, if you are more interested in owning a digital copy, DVDs of the film are still available for purchase.




Jack Russell Terriers are a fascinating breed, and it is only natural that they would be the lead star in a fun-filled, animated film. We hope this article has answered all your canine-related inquiries. Next time that you watch The Secret Life of Pets, pay attention to Max and see what you can link back to Jack Russell Terriers!

Featured Image Credit: Characters by  Illumination Entertainment, Universal Studios.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

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