Jesse Eisenberg was not a fan of his big, furry co-star in new dark comedy The Art of Self-Defense after having to work with a "terrifying" former police dog.

The Social Network star portrays a man who decides to enroll in a karate club after falling victim to a brutal mugging, but as part of his efforts to become more masculine, he is encouraged to part ways with his tiny Dachshund and take in a German Shepherd, instead.

Eisenberg admits he really enjoyed bonding with the Dachshund for the first half of the film, but that all changed as soon as he had to take charge of the large, muscular breed.

"It was good and bad," he told U.S. talk show Strahan & Sara of his experience working with animals on set.

"My character's only friend is this sweet little Dachshund... and it's the cutest thing, and the dog was amazing, like actually great, did all the correct things.

"Then I go to this karate class (in the movie), which is like a cult, and they tell me I have to be more masculine, and to be more masculine, I have to get rid of my Dachshund and get a German Shepherd, 'cause this is what men have, and that dog was terrifying!"

"The German Shepherd is a former police dog, it only responds (to commands in) German, which, as you can imagine, to me was terrifying...," added Eisenberg, who is Jewish, before joking, "and also, I think the dog maybe had it out for me, based on our respective histories!"