“Dogs” Documentary Rhetorical Analysis

Updated April 21, 2022

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“Dogs” Documentary Rhetorical Analysis essay

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Dogs, service dogs in particular, are amazing creatures and they help many people every day. They are unique in their sense of alertness, and they can be trained in very specific ways. “DOGS,” a documentary series on NETFLIX highlights what miracles dogs really are using ethos, logos, and pathos. The television series shows what an important role they can play in human’s lives and all sorts of different jobs dogs can have, it really brings out what amazing creatures they are.

In the first episode, “The Kid with a Dog,” Corrine, a twelve-year-old girl, is diagnosed with epilepsy and struggles from constant and severe seizures. Corrine is always on constant watch to ensure that if she does have a seizure, someone can be there to help. Her mother sleeps on the floor in Corrine’s room each night, constantly worrying about her daughter and her safety. The family eventually decides to get a service dog, Rory, that is specifically trained to always be with Corrine and to bark in order to alert nearby people if she is having a seizure. This episode is very heavy in pathos, but it finds ways to use logos and ethos as well to get across the argument of what amazing creatures’ dogs really are, showing what an impact dogs can have on people’s lives.

“4 paws for ability” is a service that trains service dogs for children with a variety of disabilities. The film makes this statement early on which builds their credibility and the films ethos. The film also states that their services have an eighty-percent success rate, which builds the films logos and ethos. Jeremy, the training director at, “4 paws for ability,” plays heavily into the logos and ethos of this documentary’s argument. He states, “Talking to a lot of the families that we work with some of the parents have literally told me this is their last chance for normalcy. They’ve tried everything else. And they hope the dog gives them their life back.” Jeremy is bringing out the film’s ethos. He is bringing himself and the films credibility up because he has experience in that field, and because he has talked to so many family’s that go through problems with someone in their household having a disability and needing a service dog. He is exposing how important dogs can be, and what an impact they can have on families, which also brings the logos in the film to action. To families it is logical to get a dog because it helps them get their lives back. Jeremy also states in the film, “You know, if we can train dogs to find 17 different kinds of explosives, and find narcotics, why can’t we teach a dog to recognize the scent of a seizure, and to alert to it, before it ever happens. So, we started talking to people with epilepsy, we had them collect scent. Then we taught the dogs to memorize the scent of a seizure, and to alert to the scent.” Jeremy here is also using logos and ethos. He is talking about what amazing creatures’ dogs are, and the amazing things they can do to change people’s lives, giving them credibility/ethos. It also creates logos because he is providing information on some of the amazing things that dogs can do to change lives.

As I said earlier, pathos is heavy in this documentary. The film nearly made me cry due to the music, tears, and the huge impact that the dogs make on the family’s lives. Throughout the whole documentary you feel very emotional towards the families and what they have to go through. You see Corrine in the beginning of the film struggling with her epilepsy, and her family constantly brought to tears due to their situation; however, once their family receives the dog you see everything get better. She is happier, the family is happier, and as an audience you get a very strong sense of happiness and success due to what a huge difference the dog makes in her life. The film sort of breaks you down by showing you how hard Corrine and her family’s lives are due to Corrine’s epilepsy. Then the film brings in the dog, and it changes all of their lives. It shows the audience the impact a dog can make on a disabled child’s life. This brings out the ethos and pathos in the film because it makes you emotional due to the change, and it makes the film credible because it shows the positive change the dog made to Corrine and her family’s lives.

The film is definitely more effective in persuading their argument by using ethos, logos, and especially pathos, because it makes the audience understand the impact a dog can make on someone. Dogs are amazing creatures, and they truly do change people’s lives. This film strongly uses pathos to tug on our emotions and allow us to see the positive difference dogs can make. Dogs are much more than just simple house pets, they change our lives for the better.

“Dogs” Documentary Rhetorical Analysis essay

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“Dogs” Documentary Rhetorical Analysis. (2022, Apr 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/dogs-documentary-rhetorical-analysis/


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