“I love that dog. Merle, maybe,” Reedus said at New York Comic Con when asked what he might rename Dog. “Probably Merle. Daryl would like that. ‘Come here, Merle! Come here!’”
Reedus’ canine co-star, real name Seven, fulfilled the actor’s calls for Daryl to be given a dog sidekick.
“When I started the show in Season 2, I was also Team Daryl Should Have a dog,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told EW. “It’s this thing that’s kind of been batted around for a long time, and it never happened. And to be honest, a dog would’ve died pretty quick during some of the seasons that they were in.”
In Season 9, Kang’s first as showrunner, it was decided to give Daryl his dog some time after the presumed death of best friend Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
“So we were talking about, how can we show the state that Daryl’s in? And I thought that it would be great that he’s been off for a while after Rick’s presumed death. Daryl just went off,” Kang said of Daryl’s self-exile as a lone woodsman. “And Daryl is somebody who hunts and goes about and does things, and it seemed like a dog is a good companion. It shows that there’s still a desire for him to have a connection somehow. And so the dog is his faithful companion. In my mind, there’s also a story behind where that dog came from. And so that’s how we ended up with a dog.”
Reedus ultimately helped pick out the dog actor that would play Dog.
“Norman wanted to help pick the type of dog, so he kept texting me pictures of adorable dogs for weeks,” Kang said. “And the two dogs that play the dog are great. The main dog, his name is Seven, and he is just so adorable and such a great dog. So it’s a lot of fun seeing Norman work with the pup finally.”0comments
Asked about concerns Dog might meet a similar fate to Shiva, the tiger pet of King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Kang admitted, “Oh my gosh. I don’t know if I have the heart to kill the dog, man.”
Dog and Daryl return in The Walking Dead’s Season 10 premiere, “Lines We Cross,” penned by Kang and directed by Greg Nicotero. The new season launches Sunday, Oct. 6 on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.