Rottweiler documentary ‘Black Beauty Breed’ to screen in La Jolla

For one night only, Landmark La Jolla Village Cinemas will screen the documentary “Black Beauty Breed,” about the unknown skills and heart behind Rottweiler dogs.

The first feature documentary for director Angie Ruiz, the film features La Jolla resident Dr. Julie Swain, who trains search-and-rescue dogs, including Rottweilers.

In the film, Swain was interviewed about her experience with training her Rottweiler Bayes.

Swain, her Rottweiler Klaus, and her sister Judy were also featured in the Jan. 9, 2014 La Jolla Light article, “Double Agents: Twin sisters are La Jollans, cardiologists and search-and-rescue dog ‘trainers.’ ”

Swain’s experience was ideal for illustrating the message of the film, Ruiz said, because, “The film is about the positive character traits and inherent working ability of the Rottweiler breed. I wanted to show the side of the Rottweiler the general public is not aware of.”

In the course of her research, she said, “I asked people (who didn’t own one) what they think of when they see a Rottweiler. Every single one of them either said they are dangerous or they are guard dogs. I found that really enlightening.”

Given their natural ability to herd, cart and search, the Rottweiler is considered a Working Dog breed that includes the Saint Bernard, Siberian Husky, Great Dane and Bernese Mountain Dog. Ruiz also reports Rottweilers were used as search-and-rescue dogs in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

All of this was unknown to Ruiz when she got her “Rottie” Samson in 2007. “At the time, he was nine months old and the family in Bakersfield that had him was going to take him to the pound,” she said. “I offered to take him to the Rottweiler Rescue of Los Angeles. In the midst of that transportation I fell in love with him and decided to take him in.”

At the time, she and her husband, Mark Terbeek of La Jolla, knew nothing about Rottweilers, so she did research online. “There was a ton of negative stories about them. I was looking for documentaries or videos so I could understand the dog better and there was nothing,” she said.

So she made one. A filmmaker with Wandering Films, Ruiz spent six years to research and create the documentary. It premiered in June in Los Angeles, where Ruiz and Terbeek now reside, and is making the film festival rounds.

Tickets, trailer and more information at BlackBeautyBreed.com

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