Love at First Bark (2017) – Lessons in Love and Dog Trainers


Hallmark’s 2017 Spring Fling promotion may be over, but fortunately for us, we can relive it through the films they debuted  (including Moonlight in Vermont, The Perfect Catch) during its time frame. One of those was this appropriately spring-y romance that is sure to melt even cynical hearts.



Bravery to Julia McGivens (Jana Kramer) is stepping up and following her dream. She’s launching her own interior design company, and coupled with the trepidation of a new experience, she’s feeling optimistic. All she has to do is lock in an important account and she will be set. 

Taking a break from romantic entanglements, Julia decides to adopt a dog. When she finds the perfect companion, she opts for the “love approach” when she brings him home. She doesn’t want to give her dog structure; in her opinion, he needs love and nothing more.

Her idea of this is challenged by dog trainer Owen Michaels (Kevin McGarry). Having struggles in his own business, Owen sets out to prove that Julia’s approach isn’t the best environment in which to make a home for a dog. But as the pair grows close, they discover it’s more than their difference of opinion that pulls them together.

Known as a country singer (with a popular song, 'Circles' to her credit), and former contestant on Dancing with the Stars, Jana Kramer is again dipping her toes in the acting field. After co-starring in the WB show, One Tree Hill, Kramer returns to the small screen (post DWTS) with this romance, that will appeal to its demographic for a variety of reasons.


One of those reasons being the “puppy love” the script pushes. With so many people liking to see furry friends play co-stars, this is sure to inspire lots of smile. Jana and Kevin also play their roles with a dose of infectious happiness. From their first glance, interest sparks, but their character’s cautious capacities keep the romance grounded. Because of this, everything is mature and genuine, and once again, I appreciate that the “three little words” aren’t the cornerstone of these relationships. Because the timeline moves so fast (everything has to happen in a mere 90 minutes!), portraying anything other than the start of something feels less believable. That said, as is true of everything, there are exceptions to every rule.

As usual, Love at First Bark is another winning production from the Heart of TV network. It’s full of happiness and made me giggle throughout the adventures this trio has. In consideration of the learning curve Julia undergoes, the story offers some insight into human and flawed characters while still maintaining its joyful attitude.

As is true of everything on this channel, fans will enjoy ‘Love.’ The cast makes the story sparkle with the branding's usual “cute meter” (though I do kind of wish the script were titled differently, but that's just me), and the story is in line with what we’ve come to expect. Put it all together, and you discover another lovely little small screen movie that’s as sure to please its viewers as its adorable furry star is his new owner. (Not to mention makes us eager for what's next on Hallmark Channel!) ♥


Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media
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