Do They Kill The Dog In John Wick 4?

by Barbara

The “John Wick” franchise, starting in 2014, quickly became a beloved series among action film enthusiasts. One of the pivotal moments in the first film is the killing of John Wick’s dog, Daisy. This tragic event sets off the entire chain of revenge that drives the plot. As the series progresses, fans have grown attached to John’s subsequent canine companion, and the question on everyone’s mind for “John Wick 4” is: Do they kill the dog?

The Importance of Dogs in the John Wick Series

A Symbol of Love and Loss

In the first “John Wick” film, the dog represents a tangible connection to John’s late wife, Helen. Daisy was a final gift from Helen to John, meant to help him cope with her passing. The murder of Daisy is not just the killing of a pet; it’s a symbolic destruction of John’s last link to his peaceful, domestic life.


Catalyst for Revenge

Daisy’s death triggers John’s return to the assassin world. It showcases the depth of his grief and rage, emphasizing his complex character. The audience is drawn into John’s emotional journey, making the revenge narrative compelling and justifiable.


Continuing the Legacy

In “John Wick: Chapter 2,” John adopts a new dog, a pit bull with no name, highlighting his attempt to rebuild his life post-revenge. This dog symbolizes John’s resilience and the ongoing influence of Helen’s love on his life decisions. The dog’s presence continues to humanize John, adding depth to his character amidst the high-octane action sequences.


Recap of Dog-Related Events in the Previous Films

John Wick (2014)

The film begins with John mourning his wife, Helen. Helen’s last gift, a beagle puppy named Daisy, becomes John’s emotional anchor. When intruders led by Iosef Tarasov kill Daisy, it propels John back into the world of assassins, seeking vengeance against those who wronged him.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

John’s new dog, a pit bull, accompanies him throughout his journey but is never named, possibly to avoid a repeat of the emotional attachment and subsequent loss. This dog becomes a silent partner in John’s continued quest for survival and vengeance.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

In the third installment, dogs play an even larger role. Halle Berry’s character, Sofia, has two Belgian Malinois dogs trained for combat. These dogs participate in one of the film’s most memorable action sequences, showcasing their importance in the series’ narrative and action choreography.

Introduction to John Wick 4

Plot Overview

“John Wick 4” continues from where “Chapter 3” left off, with John on the run after being declared excommunicado by the High Table. The film explores John’s efforts to dismantle the High Table’s power structure, encountering new allies and adversaries along the way.

New and Returning Characters

The fourth film introduces new characters while bringing back familiar faces. Keanu Reeves reprises his role as John Wick, with returning cast members like Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King and Ian McShane as Winston. New additions include Donnie Yen, playing a blind assassin named Caine, and Bill Skarsgård as the Marquis de Gramont, a member of the High Table.

The Role of Dogs

Given the significant role dogs have played in the previous films, their presence and fate in “John Wick 4” is a focal point for fans. The new film does not shy away from this legacy, integrating dogs into the storyline and action scenes.

Detailed Analysis: Do They Kill The Dog in John Wick 4?

Speculations and Fan Theories

Before the film’s release, fans speculated extensively about the fate of John’s dog. Given the emotional impact of Daisy’s death in the first film, many fans hoped that the new dog would be spared to avoid rehashing the same trauma.

Director and Writer Statements

Chad Stahelski, the director of the series, and Derek Kolstad, the screenwriter, have addressed the importance of the dog in interviews. They emphasized that while the series is known for its intense action and violence, the emotional core, represented by John’s connection to his dogs, remains crucial.

The Actual Events in the Film

In “John Wick 4,” John’s dog plays a significant role but, fortunately, does not meet the same fate as Daisy. The filmmakers understood the audience’s attachment to John’s new dog and chose not to repeat the traumatic event. Instead, the dog remains a steadfast companion, symbolizing John’s enduring hope and connection to his past life.

Impact on the Audience

The decision to keep the dog alive resonates well with the audience, providing a sense of relief and continuity. This choice allows viewers to focus on John’s journey and the unfolding plot without the distraction of another deeply emotional loss.

Thematic Significance of the Dog’s Survival

Hope and Resilience

By ensuring the survival of John’s dog, the filmmakers highlight themes of hope and resilience. Despite the relentless violence and challenges John faces, his dog represents a constant, unyielding source of comfort and motivation.

Symbol of Continuity

The dog’s presence throughout the series acts as a thread of continuity, connecting John’s past to his present. It serves as a reminder of his humanity and the life he once led, grounding the narrative amidst the escalating chaos.

Emotional Anchor

For both John and the audience, the dog remains an emotional anchor. Its survival is a testament to John’s enduring spirit and the importance of maintaining connections to loved ones, even in the darkest times.

Action and Choreography Involving the Dog

Training and Preparation

The action sequences in “John Wick 4” involving the dog are meticulously choreographed. The filmmakers worked with professional trainers to ensure the dog’s performance was seamless and safe, enhancing the realism and impact of the scenes.

Integration into Combat

The dog is integrated into several combat scenes, showcasing its training and loyalty. These sequences are a blend of thrilling action and emotional depth, as the dog fights alongside John, emphasizing their bond.

Audience Reception

The inclusion of the dog in action scenes has been well-received by audiences. It adds a unique element to the already dynamic fight choreography, enhancing the film’s appeal and emotional impact.


Character Development Through the Dog

John Wick’s Evolution

Throughout the series, John’s relationship with his dogs reflects his personal evolution. Initially, Daisy’s death symbolizes his descent into vengeance. The new dog represents his attempt to rebuild and find purpose beyond revenge.

Contrast with Other Characters

John’s bond with his dog also contrasts with other characters in the film. For instance, while many assassins are depicted as ruthless and detached, John’s affection for his dog humanizes him, making his character more relatable and sympathetic.

Narrative Device

The dog serves as a narrative device to explore John’s inner world. Its survival in “John Wick 4” allows for deeper character exploration, showcasing John’s capacity for love, loyalty, and hope amidst the relentless violence.

The Cultural Impact of the John Wick Dogs

Iconic Status

The dogs in the “John Wick” series have achieved iconic status. They are not just pets but symbols of the franchise’s emotional depth. Daisy’s death in the first film is one of the most memorable and impactful moments in modern action cinema.

Merchandising and Fan Engagement

The popularity of the dogs has extended to merchandising and fan engagement. From plush toys to T-shirts, the dogs have become a significant part of the franchise’s identity, enhancing its cultural footprint.

Influence on Other Media

The success of the “John Wick” series has influenced other media. Films and TV shows often reference or parody the intense bond between John and his dogs, showcasing the widespread impact of this narrative element.


Emotional Core of the Series

The relationship between John and his dogs forms the emotional core of the “John Wick” series. It adds depth to the action-packed narrative, making the films more than just a series of fight scenes and shootouts.

A Symbol of Enduring Hope

The survival of John’s dog in “John Wick 4” symbolizes enduring hope and resilience. It underscores the theme that even in the darkest times, connections to loved ones can provide strength and motivation.

Future Prospects

As the franchise continues to evolve, the bond between John and his dog will likely remain a crucial element. It ensures that amidst the relentless action, the series retains its emotional grounding, continuing to captivate audiences worldwide.

Final Thoughts

In “John Wick 4,” the decision not to kill the dog is a deliberate choice that resonates deeply with the audience. It honors the emotional journey that began with Daisy’s tragic death and allows for the exploration of new themes and character development. The dog remains a symbol of John Wick’s humanity, love, and hope, ensuring that the series retains its unique blend of action and emotional depth.


Why is the dog so important in the John Wick series?

The dog symbolizes John’s connection to his late wife and represents his humanity amidst the violent world of assassins.

Does John Wick’s dog die in “John Wick 4”?

No, the dog survives, continuing to symbolize hope and resilience.

What role does the dog play in the action scenes of “John Wick 4”?

The dog is integrated into several combat scenes, showcasing its training and loyalty, adding a unique element to the film’s action choreography.

How have fans reacted to the survival of the dog in “John Wick 4”?

Fans have reacted positively, appreciating the continuity and emotional significance of the dog’s survival.

What does the dog represent in John Wick’s character arc?

The dog represents John’s enduring connection to his past life, his humanity, and his capacity for love and loyalty amidst chaos.

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