Talent Hounds Documentary Film


An engaging exploration of the evolving talents and roles of dogs. Airing  on the Pet Network. Winner of Platinum Remi in Doc Lifestyle Category at Worldfest Houston 2014.


Forget diamonds, today a dog could well be  girl’s best friend or more. Have the lines blurred between canines and humans?

Talent Hounds is a one-hour television documentary film that analyzes the history of dogs and their changing roles in our lives- – from foe to friend to family. It follows how they have evolved from co-habitant and trained worker to child or much-loved companion for many people today.

Talent Hounds showcases a select group of Talented Dogs and the people that love them: hunters, trackers, herders, sled dogs, police dogs, guide dogs, service dogs, performers, entertainers and athletes. It explores the breeds, talents and training, and shares a mix of fun, facts and heart. It shows how dogs can enrich lives and how we can bring out the best in our dogs, with a particular focus on dogs who have found their special talents in spite of having come from rescues and shelters.

“As pet lovers, we are thrilled to be working with The Pet Network to tell interesting, heartwarming and fun stories that celebrate dogs and their owners to a television audience. We are also very excited about our Talent Hounds interactive project and enjoying bringing together a community of people that care for and about their talented dogs” states Writer/Director Susan Nation.

See my blog post for a long thank you to the wonderful people who helped make the film.

The film premiered on April 1st, 2013 on The Pet Network in Canada. A Talent Hounds series is now in production for 2014.

The film is distributed by Distribution360 outside north America. See press release HERE

The film was made with the support of The Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, the Canada Media Fund and the CMPA.


For Canadians who love pets, The Pet Network is the only television destination entirely dedicated to delivering entertaining and informative stories about the beloved animal companions who share our lives.

We are so proud of our original song “My Dog”  composed and performed by Kurt Swinghammer for the Talent Hounds film.  The song is a wonderful tribute to our best friends and we show many of the talented dogs that we met during filming in our cute “My Dog” music video – watch HERE.

Kurt Swinghammer

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Swinghammer joined the band Vital Sines in the 1980s before launching his solo career. In the mid 80’s he started to release his home recordings on a series of low edition cassettes. In 1986 he produced the first cassette by Ron Sexsmith titled There’s A Way, and has since co-written and toured with the celebrated artist. Kurt’s first CD, PoMo A GoGo, an eclectic selection of stylistically diverse pop songs, came out in 1991, and landed him the cover of NOW Magazine. His follow up was an experimental, instrumental collaboration with Andy Stochansky called Remote. In 2000 he independently released VOSTOK 6, an elaborate concept album about Valentina Tereshkova – the Russian cosmonaut who was the first woman in space. Mixed by multiple Juno Award winner Michael Phillip Wojewoda, the album was re-released internationally on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records, and Swinghammer opened several of her tours in the US. His follow up in 2002 was Black Eyed Sue, a song cycle about a relationship set in current day Toronto which balanced light hearted humour with deeply personal confessions. In 2004 he was asked to record songs live for aCBC broadcast, and these were released as the solo acoustic CDAugusta – the name of the street he lived on for 13 years in Kensington Market. He also spent much of his time scoring film and TV projects like Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004, film soundtrack) In May 2011 he released his long awaited concept album Turpentine Wind, produced by Michael Phillip Wojewoda. A song cycle inspired by Canadian painter Tom Thomson, the 12 song CD follows the trajectory of the artist’s life from birth in spring in Owen Sound, to his death in winter at the bottom of Canoe Lake. The CD is accompanied by a Bluray disc of ambient instrumental remixes set to painterly animations based on the WAV files of the digital recordings of the vocal. And now of course “My Dog” has been released with Talent Hounds.

In addition to his own albums, he has appeared as a guest musician on albums by Ani DiFrancoRheostaticsSarah SleanMia SheardDan Bryk and Great Big Sea. He also produced early recordings by Ron Sexsmith.


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