Dogs have been a staple of cop dramas for decades, and the newly acclaimed cop series, Will Trent, is no exception to this standard, but the show spins the trope around. Usually, dogs are trained police dogs that assist the police in certain criminal cases. Trained police dogs, both fictional and non-fictional, are medium- to large-sized dogs that are as fierce and physically strong as the German Shepard and Labrador Retriever. However, Will Trent has a secret weapon that reinforces the classic police dog cliché.


Betty, whose real name is Bluebell, appears in the opening scenes of Will Trent’s pilot episode. Detective Will Trent, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, finds Betty tied up alone in his neighborhood and adopts her. Because Betty is a miniature pet and not a trained member of the K-9 unit, she acts primarily as a loyal and comforting pet to Will. Although seemingly small and docile, Betty proves how powerful she can be in the first season Will Trent.

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Will Trent’s ferocious dog, Betty, is a great twist on the usual police K-9s

Will Trent's new ABC show

Like its real-life counterparts, a police dog’s purpose is to search for crime scenes, explosives, illegal drugs, and missing persons; protection of officials and citizens from harm; and attacking fleeing suspects. Betty the Chihuahua shies away from most of these duties because she’s not a police dog, and impatiently waits for Will to come home. Every time Will comes in after a hard day’s work, he takes Betty and rubs her fur out of love, as well as stress relief. Betty is happy to win Will’s affection, and often when Will is busy investigating a murder, Betty jumps onto his owner’s lap to comfort him.

Betty also shows loyalty to others in Will’s household, such as her dog walker, Nico, a non-binary youth who has run away from home and is estranged from her family, and Will’s steady girlfriend, Atlanta police detective Angie Polaski. Angie isn’t too keen on being friendly with the chihuahua, but her attitude changes when Will goes missing in episode 7, “Can’t Find It”. Worried about Will and their previous fight, Angie confides in Betty, who listens intently to the detective’s woes before lovingly licking his hand. Later, in episode 10, “Pterodactyls Can Fly”, Betty playfully interacts with a traumatized young boy after his family’s murder. Betty’s sweet and cheerful nature is the opposite of the bigger, tougher police dogs.

Will Trent’s Betty the Chihuahua reverses the other important role of a real dog

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In the season finale Will Trent, Betty risks her life for her loyalty to Will and Angie. He first attacks a serial killer who is kidnapping Angie, then takes Will to the killer’s basement, where Angie is being held hostage. Considering all of her actions in the series, it seems that Betty has changed from another role that people know: Wink, the pickpocket of thieves. Cruella. Seeing Bluebell play the comforting and sometimes cruel detective’s pet Betty Will TrentThe chihuahua as a petty criminal is an interesting contrast to the role of an action star.