The Nationwide Online Premiere of
Dog's Best Friend

  • Documentary
  • 1h 18m

A canine rehabilitation centre is tenderly profiled in Kiwi director Eryn Wilson’s affectionate documentary Dog’s Best Friend. Run by ex-soldier Jacob Leezak, the Canine Behaviour Expert Dog Psychology Centre is located on a property in outer Sydney that houses no fewer than 30 dogs at a time – all either abandoned, set to be euthanised or brought in by clients unable to handle their pet’s aggressive side. While Jacob will often allude to the media stigmatisation of particular breeds (the film even opens with some sobering euthanisation stats), Wilson wisely never centres the story on that debate. Instead, he focuses on the bond between man and dog, observing Jacob’s tailored process of rehabilitating misunderstood canines and the traumatic backgrounds that brought both him and his fiancée Jennah to this line of work. Over a span of months, we get to watch the couple lovingly work with a range of pooches, with encounters that range from heated to heartwarming (try not to melt as one pup reaches new levels of Zen during a massage session). Without ever succumbing to soapboxing, this sweet and unassuming portrait is essential viewing for dog-lovers and dog-haters alike.
one dollar from every purchase goes to Paw Justice Official Selection - Sydney Indie 2018, Selection - NZIFF 2018, Official Selection - Bend Film 2017


Jacob Leezak, Jennah Leezak


Eryn Wilson


Gareth Wallis


Eryn Wilson


James Boddy


James Brown

Paw Justice

Review of Dog's Best Friend

by Graeme Tuckett, Dominion Post

If there's one thing I've learnt for sure from my experience of film festivals it's this: whatever swooping feats of narrative and technique might impress you on the night, it's the documentaries – always modestly made – that burn in your memory in the months and years after. And this year, after gorging myself on the program, it's Dog's Best Friend that I'm telling anyone who will listen they have to seek out and watch. Eryn Wilson's film is the definition of a labour of love.

On the rural outskirts of Sydney, ex-soldier Jacob Leezak runs his Canine Behaviour Expert Dog Psychology Centre. Leezak comes from a tough background, and he mines his own experience of recovery and applied compassion to heal and make well the dogs that are delivered to his door. There are never less than thirty or so guests at the property, all in various stages of learning to exist happily around people and other dogs.

The old dictum, 'People don't have a dog problem. It's dogs that have a people problem' is never better proven than it is here. Leezak's approach isn't to 'train' the dogs, or to make them 'obedient' – you'll sense his unspoken contempt for most 'trainers' – but simply to make the dog happy and calm within its own skin. From there, everything else can follow. It's a profoundly simple approach that works miracles.

Next to Leezak his partner and soon-to-be-wife Jennah is a walking testament to the ability of all of us to heal even after the most unimaginable cruelty has been done. Leezak never states, nor needs to, what is blatant and implicit within his work and this film. But every audience this film gets will understand. Dog's Best Friend is a gem of a film. It is also the single most memorable and admirable film I have seen in the last few months. Whether you love dogs or people, or both, please see it.

Watch at The Hollywood Avondale or in your Living Room.

Join us in watching the the highly acclaimed Dog’s Best Friend. You can attend a screening at The Hollywood Avondale or watch the New Zealand Video On Demand Premiere from the comfort of your home.

The film will become available for viewing on demand as the curtains come up in cinemas.

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