Remus, an adorable Dachshund, is stealing the hearts of “Harry Potter” fans.
The plucky pooch performs tricks based off of spells from the “Harry Potter” series. For example, when he hears the words “wingardium leviosa,” which in the wizarding world is a spell to make something levitate, Remus stands up on his hind legs.
Remus’ mom, “Harry Potter” fan and voiceover actress, Anna Brisbin, teaches him all of the tricks (… er, spells?) and recently shared the magical results on her YouTube page, BrizzyVoices, which has more than 1 million followers, and on the doxie’s Instagram, @remus_the_doxie. The spellbinding video went viral and was picked up by multiple news outlets.
BeChewy caught up with Brisbin, who lives in Los Angeles, California, to get the scoop on how this enchanting pair met and how they started their journey in “magic.” Plus, we share tips on how you can teach your own furry wizard fun “spells” so he can be at the top of his class at Hogwarts.
When did you get Remus?
I lost my first Dachshund, Lexie, in 2017, after almost 18 years [together] and it was the biggest heartbreak of my life. I knew I needed another Dachshund darling in my life … but it took me over six months to find Remus and know he was the one!
I adopted him [Remus] in May of 2018 when he was two months old [from a family].
How did you come up with the name Remus?
The “Harry Potter” books are my everything and Remus Lupin is my favorite “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher (if not my favorite teacher overall), my favorite Marauder, and I believe just an overall highly underappreciated character.
He’s also a werewolf. And quite classy. So, I felt like the elegant look of a shaded cream longhaired Dachshund fit well with him!
Why did you start teaching Remus these “Harry Potter” spells?
Being named after a “Harry Potter” character (a Hogwarts professor, no less), it only made sense! And I know those spells like the back of my hand, so it was super simple to come up with a bunch.
What was the training process like?
When Remus was maybe three months old, I started enrolling him in puppy obedience classes to learn the basics and figure out what training methods worked best for him. Then on my own, I just started saying “Harry Potter” spells instead of the normal commands and coming up with more!
It just involves a lot of treats, taking things slow, and positive reinforcement. Rather than clicker training, we just use the word “Yes.”
What was the first “spell” you taught?
The first one was Stupefy [aka down]! Teaching him “down” seemed like the simplest, and he caught on surprisingly quick! And now he can do that one at the drop of a hat. The rest were slowly learned over all of the months [I’ve had him] up until now. Some, like Lumos (light on) and Nox (light off), were learned just the day before filming just for the video [that went viral].
How many can he perform now?
There are maybe 7ish that he’s got down pretty well [and] three or four he’s super strong with. The rest [you saw on the viral video] were just brand-new tricks or jokes for [that] video that we never do otherwise.
Which is your favorite trick?
Dark as it is, Avada Kedavra to play dead might be my favorite, though he will only do it if he’s on a bed or carpet! Seems like he’s taking good care of his back already.
What “spells” are to come?
If I could figure out how to teach him to howl on command, I’d love to teach him “Crucio,” but I’m not quite sure if it’s possible.
Are sure that Remus isn’t a wizard who’s transformed himself into an adorable animal (AKA Animagus)?
I doubt he’s an Animagus, but I’ve got my suspicions about that werewolf side…
If the Sorting Hat was placed on Remus, what Hogwarts house would he go to?
Maybe you’re surprised, maybe you’re not, but I took an online pet sorting quiz for him many months ago, and he got Gryffindor! Which I was pretty relieved about, considering his namesake, Remus Lupin, was also in Gryffindor. [This information] made choosing which house uniform to get him much easier. He’s a surprisingly timid Gryffindor, though! Maybe he’s a Neville Longbottom type.
Do you have any tips for those who want to teach their dogs some spells?
Just Google how to teach the dog whatever trick it is normally and simply use another word! It’s pretty easy. Just take things slow and make sure it’s fun for them and you.
“Harry Potter” Spell Cheat Sheet
If you want to teach “Harry Potter” spells to your pup, check out the cheat sheet below and utilize the helpful guides on how to teach your dog some of these commands.
Stupefy: Down. Here’s how to teach your dog the down command.
Wingardium Leviosa: Up.
Avada Kedavra: Play dead.
Ascendio: Go up.
Descendio: Go down.
Revelio: Come. Here’s how to teach your dog the come command.
Accio Ball: Get the ball. Here’s how to teach your dog to fetch.
Alohomora: Go outside.
Expelliarmus: Drop it. Here’s how to teach drop it.
Aguamenti: Go potty.
Serpensortia: Stick out your tongue.
Immobulus: Stay. Here’s how to teach your dog the stay command.
Lumos: Turn light on.
Nox: Turn light off.
You can follow the journey of Remus, the “Harry Potter” dog, on his Instagram page to see what else he and his dog mom may have up their sleeve.
By: Lauren Bronston