Made for Each Other (2019)

Few topics are as moving, joyous, surprising and rich as the bond between humans and dogs. This documentary film explores the origins of our relationship with dogs and the evolutionary, biological and social changes in both species that have shaped that relationship over time.

Made for Each Other (2019) considers how humans think about dogs and what we know about how dogs experience the world around them, revealing their remarkable biological features, cognitive capacities and communication skills, all of which have contributed to their ability to “come over to our side” — to accommodate themselves to life with humans.

The film illuminates the myriad ways in which dogs have become a source fascination for scholars across disciplines, including archaeology, genetics, psychology and sociology, making it clear that the more we learn about dogs, the more we understand about ourselves.

Made for Each Other brings to life the story of the co-evolution of our two species. The film’s on-camera interviewees, all best-selling authors and leading experts in canine evolution, biology and cognition, include Greger Larson, Brian Hare, Alexandra Horowitz, James Serpell, Gregory Berns, and Patricia McConnell.


Production Stills


Made of Each Other (2019) was produced and directed by Ric Burns and Bonnie Lafave; the Executive Producer and chief creative partner is Mrs. Lois Pope. The film was edited by Mikaela Shwer and Emily Williams, with cinematography by Anthony Savini and Buddy Squires. Original animations for the film were created by Maciek Albrecht and Magik Studios and the music was composed by Marcus Bagala, Benjamin Messelbeck and Brian Keane.

About Mrs. Lois Pope and LP LIFE Productions

Lois Pope, one of America’s leading philanthropists, has dedicated her life to helping those in need and improving the lives of the voiceless and vulnerable in our society. This stalwart mission is reflected in the three transformative organizations she has established: Leaders in Furthering Education (LIFE), the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, and the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation. Among the many history-making initiatives she has spearheaded on behalf of veterans are the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation’s first permanent public tribute to the four million living disabled American veterans and all those who have died, and a National Day of Honor for disabled veterans every year on October 5th.

In partnership with American Humane, she created Pups4Patriots, which provides specialized training to shelter dogs to serve as therapy dogs for veterans with PTSD; the K9 Medal of Courage, given annually to canines who served with distinction in combat, and the soon-to-be-dedicated National Military Hero Dog Monument. Through LP LIFE Productions, and with Ric Burns and Steeplechase Films, she conceived and executive produced two PBS films, Debt of Honor and VA: The Human Cost of War.

About Ric Burns & Steeplechase Films

Steeplechase Films is the award-winning production company founded by Ric Burns in 1989. Over the past two decades, it has become one of PBS’ most trusted and honored collaborators, making a mainstay of bringing quality programming to public television and redefining the way audiences engage with American history. Director, writer and producer Ric Burns began his career co-writing and producing the celebrated PBS series The Civil War (1990) and has since directed over 30 hours of award-winning films, including Coney Island (1991), The Donner Party (1992), The Way West (1995), Ansel Adams (2002), Eugene O’Neill (2006), Andy Warhol (2006), We Shall Remain: Tecumseh’s Vision (2009), New York: A Documentary Film (1999-2003), Death and the Civil War (2012) and Enquiring Minds (2014). 2015 saw the release of three additional films for PBS: American Ballet Theatre: A History, Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History, and The Pilgrims. Recently Burns has released VA: The Human Cost of War (2017), and The Chinese Exclusion Act (2018), co-directed by Steeplechase Films’ veteran editor Li-Shin Yu.