Is Gunther’s Millions a true story? Netflix documentary explained

The dog in Gunther's Millions.Netflix

Gunther’s Millions is the new Netflix doc that everyone’s talking about, but is the story of a super-rich dog really true? The answer is complicated.

Gunther’s Millions is a new four-part documentary about the richest dog in the world. The show features interviews with all the main players, as they describe who the titular canine is, and how he came to be in possession of so much money.

But all is not as it seems in the world of Gunther’s Millions. Meaning as the documentary digs deeper into the story, it becomes a complex combination of truth and lies.

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Here we’ll attempt to untangle that web, so beware of SPOILERS FOR GUNTHER’S MILLIONS AHEAD…

What is Gunther’s Millions?

This is how Netflix describes the story of Gunther’s Millions…

“The new four-part docuseries, which is in English and Italian, begins by recounting the story of a German doctor who made a fortune in pharmaceuticals in the ’80s.

“He provided his wife – a countess – and their son a life of comfort and ease. But when their son died by suicide after struggling with depression, the only heir to their $400 million fortune was the family dog, a German shepherd named Gunther.

“The empire the countess left behind (and the long line of Gunthers bred from the original) was left to family friend Maurizio Mian, an Italian celebrity known for tenuous ties to the mafia and an entourage of reverent followers. 

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“Gunther’s Millions chronicles the last 30 years (and counting) of Mian’s exploits, from setting up offshore accounts to buying Madonna’s old real estate, to elaborate social experiments involving boy bands and bikinis – all under the watchful eyes of Gunther’s chaotic canine empire.”

Is Gunther’s Millions a true story?

Yes, Gunther’s Millions is a true story, in that much of what is described above actually happened. But equally, the story is laced with lies, for financial purposes, and because of Maurizio Mian’s love of a tall tale.

Truth is, it was Mian’s family who made all that money in pharmaceuticals. To avoid paying tax, he invented the story about the Countess, who never actually existed.

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The money was put in a trust fund for the dog, but rather than belonging to aristocracy, Gunther belonged to Mian’s girlfriend at the time.

As for the suicidal son, he too did not exist, with friends and colleagues of Mian suggest he was a projection of Maurizio’s own depression and suicidal thoughts.

What is true in Gunther’s Millions?

While the circumstances around Gunther getting his millions are a shaggy dog story, everything else is true. So using that money, Mian did indeed purchase Madonna’s house in Miami, while he also launched a pop band who released a single, appropriately titled ‘Wild Dog.’

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The group changed over time however, and soon was less about making music, and more concerned with creating the perfect human being. Which is as weird as it sounds, and doesn’t exactly go according to plan.

Gunther himself died decades ago, and had been replaced by several Gunthers since, all from the same genetic line, and all playing the role of the world’s richest pooch.

But what the documentary doesn’t explain is where Gunther’s Millions are now, and whether or not Maurizio Mian and his cohorts will face charges for their crazy canine con. Maybe that will be explored in Season 2.

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Gunther’s Millions is streaming on Netflix now. For more news on what’s happening on the streamer, head here. While to find out if the dog dies in Gunther’s Millions, click here.