The filming began on Tuesday January 26, 2010 in Beijing. The director Lu Zhengyu, and two of the main actors, Jacky Xue and Lin Yuan, attended a press conference that promoted the film. The filming was scheduled to conclude in February 2010, and the film was originally scheduled for release in April 2010. The companies Hewlett-Packard and Tudou sponsored the film.
A Labrador retriever saves the lives of six students who are undergoing pre-university military training. The students keep the dog and name the dog "Sunny." Four years later, they are about to graduate from university when Sunny goes missing. The students go on a trip to look for the dog and rediscover themselves.
The cast members stated that they intended to make a film that reflected the lifestyles of young people born in the 1980s. Lead actor Jacky Xue said that people in his generation were "in the phase of struggling for a better life. They have dreams and plans for their future, although some even don't know what their lives will be. I'm right now in this very phase, so I happily received the offer right after the director invited me to join the team."
The review of the news website Da Hangzhou (大杭州 Dà Hángzhōu) said that four elements were discussed in the film: 80hòurén (S: 80后人, T: 80後人), or Chinese people born in the 1980s, weddings with no material foundations (no cars, dowries, receptions, rings, etc.), the second generation (富二代 fù'èrdài, children of entrepreneurs who made their wealth in the 1980s via the Deng Xiaoping-era reforms), and dreams.
The premiere was held in Beijing on August 12, 2010. The premiere took place at the Megabox Sanlitun theater (S: 三里屯美嘉欢乐影城, T: 三里屯美嘉歡樂影城, P: Sānlǐtún Měijiāhuānlè Yǐng Chéng). It was given a national release on September 3, 2010. Around the release of the film, the film cast and crew toured around China, making official appearances. On August 31 and September 1 they visited the Shanghai Studio City (S: 环艺影城, T: 環藝影城, Huán Yì Yǐng Chéng) theater. On September 2 they visited the Nanjing Jinling Workers Cinema (金陵工人影城 Jīnlíng Gōngrén Yǐng Chéng). On September 3 they visited the Hangzhou Xinyuan International Theater (S: 新远国际影城 T: 新遠國際影城, P: Xīnyuǎn Guójì Yǐng Chéng) and the Hangzhou Qingchun Yintai Lumière Pavilions (S: 庆春银泰卢米埃影城, T: 慶春銀泰盧米埃影城, P: Qìngchūn Yíntài Lúmǐāi Yǐng Chéng) theater. On September 4 they visited Shenzhen's Jinyi International Theater and Wuhan's Wanda International Theater, and on September 5 they visited Guangzhou. On September 11 they made an official visit in Beijing. 690 digital copies of the film were produced for theatrical distribution.
The cast members consisted of people born in the 1980s who, by the time of filming in 2010, were young adults. China Central Television stated in January 2010 that ""College Days of a Dog" boasts no big names in its cast and crew."Jacky Xue (Qijun (S: 齐俊, T: 齊俊, P: Qíjùn))
Deng Zifei (Kesai (S: 克赛, T: 克賽, P: Kèsài))
Jiang Luxia (Youzi (柚子 Yòuzi))
Qian Zhijun (Jin Daxiong (金大雄 Jīn Dàxióng))Daxiong is a character who is loyal, shy, and stingy. He dreams of becoming a chef in his own hotel. He argues with his father regarding promotions. The character engages in a romance with a female kindergarten teacher. QQ Entertainment News said that "the highlight of the film is his journey of self-discovery when he helps find the missing dog. This is where "spirit, spirit" originated from. The greater significance of "spirit, spirit" is that it can guide a group of depressed students into regaining confidence and realising their dreams." Despite being a son in a wealthy family, Daxiong still wants to be a cook.
Daxiong has several lines that are intended to be humorous. In the film, the character yells "Spirit, spirit, the spirit of manhood!" (S: 气概，气概，男子气概！, T: 氣概，氣概，男子氣概！, P: Qìgài, Qìgài, Nánzǐ qìgài!) while twitching his face and making an expression intended to be humorous. As a result, the phrase became invoked on blogs and bulletin board services in Mainland China. Lu Zhengyu said that Qian's character is a crucial source of comedy, and many of the comedic scenes are centered on Daxiong.
This is Qian's first role in portraying romance. In regards to Qian's performance, QQ Entertainment News said "Firstly, it's the influence that Little Fatty has. Seven years ago a photograph can lead to an Internet meme. Seven years later, to put it more accurately, the more mature and better Little Fatty who acted in The University Days of a Dog is no longer the same as before. Based on this point, the phrase "spirit, spirit" coming from him, it's difficult not for him to become popular. This is because his expressions draw laughter. This is similar to Uncle Zhao's comedies."
Lin Yuan (YOYO)
YOYO is Qijun's girlfriend.
For his performance in the film, actor Deng Zifei won the "Cutting Edge Male Actor's Award" (S: 新锐男演员奖, T: 新銳男演員獎, P: Xīnruì Nányǎnyuán Jiǎng) from the Fifth Chinese Young Generation Film Forum (S: 第五届华语青年影像论坛, T: 第五屆華語青年影像論壇, P: Dìwǔjiè Huáyǔ Qīngnián Yǐngxiàng Lùntán) during the closing ceremony in Beijing on November 7, 2010.
The QQ Entertainment News stated that despite being a low-budget film, the film became popular before its official release due to its publicity material. The article stated that the "Lu-style nonsensical comedy" and the cast members strengthened the film. An MTime reporter said that, due to the success of the first film, HP plans to increase the investment budget of the sequel to 50 million yuan.
Sina Entertainment posted a review of the film, saying that many people had sympathetic feelings towards the more tragic scenes. A review at Sohu said that the dreams of the youth do not seem to make sense.