Oh, I miss her so much.
~ Max
Okay, this, this’ll be fine, we’re fine, we can find our way home. We are descended from the mighty wolf. We have raw, primal instincts that are mere moments away from kicking in and leading us home!
~ Max

Maxwell Asher "Max" Shenandoah is the main protagonist of the 2016 animated movie The Secret Life of Pets, and one of the two main protagonists (alongside Snowball) of its sequel, The Secret Life of Pets 2.

He is voiced by Louis C.K. in the first movie, and Patton Oswalt in the second movie, who also played Remy in Disney Pixar's Ratatouille, Quibble Pants in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Professor Dementor in Kim Possible and the live-action 2019 film of the same name on Disney Channel.


Max is a small Jack Russell Terrier with white and brown fur similar to a beagle's coat. He has a large black nose, a pudgy body, and small skinny legs. He also has brown irises and rather clean teeth.


Max is a very lovable, playful, and a very loyal do towards Katie. However, he is so loyal to her that he selfishly wants to keep her to himself. He is shown to be very unwelcoming to Duke when Katie adopted him and even hostile. When Duke found out about Max's secret detest towards him, they seem to enter a feud. Knowing that he can't gain dominance over Duke (he had stolen Max's bed and dominated Katie's apartment when she's away), and after consulting Chloe about Duke's abuse, Max becomes very controlling of Duke and even arrogantly abusive of him. This shows that Max actually has a power hungry and controlling side (ultimately igniting the events of the film). However, he and Duke eventually made up from this after enduring many dangerous and even life-threatening situations that almost result in both the dogs dying. Max does care about Duke and tries to save him from drowning to his death (even risking himself meeting the same fate). Max seems to also be rather oblivious to the world outside of Katie's, this is demonstrated by him being completely and ignorantly blowing off Gidget's attempts to seduce him. He only viewed Gidget as something close to an actual friend. It's not until the film's climax that Max finally realizes Gidget's feelings for him and he finally returns the crush and they start their relationship (to Pops' disgust).

The Secret Life of Pets

Max lives a normal canine life with his owner Katie in a small apartment in New York. He spends his days waiting in front of the door for Katie to return and playing with his friends Mel and Buddy. One day, she comes home with another dog, a Newfoundland she adopted named Duke who has made Max's life turn worse. Although Max is immediately disgusted by Duke's callous wet licking and selfish sleeping habits, and his attempts to warn her of Duke's selfishness in the bathroom are in vain when Katie is unable to understand his barking.

The next day, Max has decided to displace Duke and become the object of Katie's affections once more. When Duke destroys a vase in the living space and spills dog food in the kitchen area, Max attempts to do the same as Duke by doing further destruction which gets him into trouble. Later on, the duo are taken for a walk by a pet-sitter with all the apartment pets to the dog park in Washington Square Park, where Max's insults push Duke into driving them out of the park and into downtown New York.

They end up stuck in New York far from Manhattan and are forced to work together to return before dinnertime. In an alleyway on the other side of Manhattan, Duke attempts to throw Max in a trash bin only to meet the Sphinx cat Ozone and his gang of abandoned cats. Though the pair escape the confrontation by running away screaming, an Animal Control officer places them in metal cages for transit to the City Pound. However, they are rescued by a bunny named Snowball who frees them and crashes the van.

In Snowball's lair at an abandoned factory, Snowball reveals the existence of other secret abandoned pets in the city and recruits the two to The Flushed Pets. They end up escaping from Snowball through the sewer system which spits them out into the River Hudson - only for them to end up on a ferry to Brooklyn, in the opposite direction to home.

Max and Duke make it to Brooklyn, and they are both hungry. Duke sniffs out a sausage factory. The two run in and feast on all the sausages they can find, leading to a weird sequence where they imagine the sausages singing "We Go Together" from "Grease". Afterward, the dogs start to warm up to each other. Duke then talks about his previous owner, an older man named Fred. Fred had Duke since he was a puppy, but Duke ended up running away and was captured by Animal Control until Katie found him. Max decides to go look for Fred to bring Duke home.

Max and Duke find Duke's old home, but they come across a cat telling them to leave. Duke asks about Fred, and the cat says that Fred has died. The family that now lives in the house comes home, and Duke starts barking at them. He gets mad at Max for bringing him there since he knows Max was always trying to get rid of him. Almost immediately, the Animal Control officers show up and take Duke, who lets Max run away. Max instead chases after the truck.

While Max goes to save Duke, Snowball comes out of the sewers with Tattoo and the lizard. They spot Max and chase after him, but Tattoo and the lizard get taken. Max and Snowball decide to team up and chase after the truck. They hijack a bus and follow the truck to the Brooklyn Bridge. The bus falls and causes a traffic jam while the truck swerves off the bridge and gets stuck. The Flushed Pets surround the bridge as they find Max pulling Snowball out of the bus, thinking he killed Snowball. Before the Flushed Pets can get Max, the house pets arrive with Gidget riding Tiberius. She proceeds to pound ALL the Flushed Pets by herself, which impresses Max. Max rushes to save Duke, but the truck falls into the river with both dogs in it as Max tries to get the keys. Snowball then plunges into the river and gets the keys back to Max so he can get Duke out, and they all swim to the surface.

After Max successfully save Duke and arrive to the street of all the apartment pets, Max admits to Gidget his love for her after seeing her in the bridge and apologizing for not noticing her before (cause he barely noticed her now in the bridge fight and fell in love of her), after that both share some lick for their new relationship and love for each other. Max and Duke they go to the apartment and they are in time before Katie came back, and now with Duke, Max has a friendship with him.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Max and the other pets appeared in the sequel to the first film. He protects Katie's son, Liam.




Concept art


  • He and Duke shared similarities with Woody and Buzz from Disney/Pixar's Toy Story franchise.


           Illumination Logo Heroes

Despicable Me/Minions
Felonius Gru | Minions | Dr. Nefario | Marlena Gru | Margo Gru | Agnes Gru | Edith Gru | Lucy Wilde | Anti-Villain League | Kevin, Stuart & Bob | Walter Nelson | Madge Nelson | Tina Nelson | Dru Gru

E.B. | Fred O'Hare | Mr. Bunny | The Pink Berets | Phil

The Lorax
The Lorax | Ted Wiggins | The Once-Ler | Audrey | Cy the O'Hare Delivery Guy

The Secret Life of Pets
Max | Duke | Snowball | Gidget | Tiberius | Chloe | Buddy | Mel | Sweet Pea | Pops | Norman | Katie | Chuck | Liam | Daisy | Rooster | Hu

Buster Moon | Johnny | Ash | Rosita | Meena | Eddie Noodleman | Gunter | Nancy

The Grinch
The Grinch | Max | Cindy Lou Who | Fred | Donna Lou Who

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+