Coco is an American dingo, also known as a carolina dog, and they’re one of the oldest breeds in existence. The ancestors of today’s carolina dogs came across the Bering land bridge between Asia and Alaska with the Indigenous people who traveled east and then south to populate the Americas. They are incredibly smart, a little shy, and full of energy, with similar temperaments to the Australian dingo and Japanese native breeds like shiba inus and akitas. If “Prey” becomes popular enough to inspire people to adopt their own carolina dogs, I hope they do their research and are prepared for a dog that’s more wolf than golden retriever.
The idea for having a dog in the film was heavily inspired by “Road Warrior,” the “Mad Max” sequel that features an Australian cattle dog/blue heeler named simply “Dog.” The buddy relationship between these two badasses informed the characters and the story, but that meant Coco would have to really hit her mark. Trachtenberg explained that while Coco was a very good girl, she was a little too excitable sometimes. He described her as:
“Super rambunctious. Very energetic. Always a nail-biting moment for us on set, ‘Is Coco gonna like, make her mark and do what she needs to do?’ It was sometimes a journey to get there, but eventually she always did. It was very exciting, lots of cheers would happen when we finally got a great take with Coco.”
Coco wasn’t causing major trouble or anything, she was just being a dog and doing dog things, which isn’t always conducive to filmmaking. Dogs are unpredictable, and apparently Coco was just a bit extra random.