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Ending of Dog (2022) Explained

The ending of Dog (2022) shows Jackson Briggs deciding to keep Lulu, symbolizing his acceptance of his past and a new beginning.

Dog (2022) is a comedy-drama that follows Jackson Briggs, an Army Ranger, and Lulu, a Belgian Malinois, on a road trip to a funeral. The film explores themes of trauma, healing, and the bond between humans and animals.

Briggs’ Journey

Jackson Briggs starts as a man struggling with his military past. He has head trauma and can’t get a security job. After his friend Riley Rodriguez dies, Briggs must take Riley’s dog, Lulu, to Arizona for the funeral. At first, Briggs and Lulu don’t get along. But as they travel, they start to bond. This journey changes Briggs. He begins to open up emotionally, something he couldn’t do before. Lulu helps him face his fears and vulnerabilities. By the end, Briggs decides to keep Lulu instead of letting the military euthanize her. This choice shows his growth and willingness to move forward (Screen Rant).

Lulu’s Symbolism

Lulu represents healing and moving forward. At first, she is aggressive and hard to manage. But as Briggs learns to understand her, she becomes calmer. This change mirrors Briggs’ own emotional journey. Lulu is no longer just a military dog; she becomes a companion who helps Briggs rediscover love and connection. This transformation is a key part of the film’s message (Variety).

The Final Decision

The climax of the film is when Briggs decides to keep Lulu. This decision is full of meaning. It shows that Briggs is ready to accept his past and embrace a new future. He even writes a poem about Lulu, something he couldn’t have done at the start of the film. This act highlights the deep impact Lulu has had on him (DMT).

Themes and Real-World Implications

Trauma and Healing

Dog dives deep into the theme of trauma and healing. Both Briggs and Lulu are shown as wounded warriors. The film doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities faced by veterans, like PTSD and the struggle to fit back into civilian life. The bond between Briggs and Lulu suggests that healing is possible through connection and understanding (Roger Ebert).

Animals in Therapy

The film also shows how animals can help people heal. Lulu makes Briggs step outside his own pain to care for her. This relationship helps both of them heal. The film’s portrayal of this dynamic shows the real-world benefits of animal-assisted therapy for veterans and others dealing with emotional wounds (MSB Reviews).

Military Service and Its Aftermath

Dog gives a nuanced look at the impact of military service on both humans and animals. The film doesn’t romanticize the experience. Instead, it shows the real challenges faced by those who serve. This includes the often-overlooked plight of military dogs, who can also suffer from PTSD. Addressing these issues adds depth to the film and highlights the importance of acknowledging the needs of veterans (Variety).

Critical Reception

Dog received positive reviews from critics. They praised Channing Tatum’s direction and performance. The film was also a box office success, making $85 million worldwide on a $15 million budget. Critics liked the heartwarming story and the chemistry between Tatum and the dog playing Lulu. Some said the plot was predictable, but the film’s emotional depth resonated with audiences (Wikipedia).


The ending of Dog (2022) is a powerful conclusion to a film about trauma, healing, and the bond between humans and animals. Briggs’ decision to keep Lulu shows his acceptance of his past and his readiness for a new future. The film’s portrayal of the therapeutic role of animals and the challenges faced by veterans adds depth to its story. Overall, Dog is a heartwarming and thought-provoking film that offers a poignant look at the long road to healing after war.


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