Are you on a search for some of the best dog movies to watch with your pets? Dog movies have various genres and plots, but one thing remains the same: dogs are the main or secondary stars. If you love canines (or own one), you will enjoy watching doggie movies. Some of these movies are sad; others have adventures, there’s also comedy and action. To help you choose which dog movies to play, here is a list of the best dogs movies ever.
#1. A Dog's Purpose
This dog movie is both sad and happy but enjoyable to anyone who wants to watch it. The film follows a feral puppy named Toby who is euthanized afterwards. What follows after that is the dog being reincarnated as a Retriever and then adopted by a boy named Ethan. The boy renames “Toby” as “Bailey.” Bailey bonds with Ethan and shares the ups and downs of the boy’s life. Eventually, Bailey dies and is reincarnated three times (with his past lives memories) into a different canine breed.
It is happy and sad to see the dog live out its lives making a difference and bonding with its owner. On a happier note (and ending), Bailey (in his final re-incarnation) manages to reunite with his first owner Ethan and brings joy back to him. In his journey, Bailey learns of his real purpose: to bring happiness to his owner. This film is a good dog movie for family and dog lovers to see.
#2. Iron Will
There are lots of adventure-packed family movies about dogs to choose from, but Iron Will is highly recommended. The story is about a young man (Will Stoneman) who enters a dog-sled race to get money for college and save his family’s farm. With his dog team led by the Siberian Husky Gus, Will braves the cold, freezing weather, his fellow unscrupulous racers and physical hardship to win the race.
The film is about teamwork and finding the inner strength to succeed. Despite all odds, Will is victorious thanks in no small part to his partner Gus and the rest of the Siberian Husky sled team. If you like your doggie movie to have adventures and true companionship, then Iron Will is one of the best dog movies to watch.
#3. The Adventures of Milo and Otis
If you want a dog's film where the dog is friends with other animals, then you will certainly love watching The Adventures of Milo and Otis. This movie is Japanese in origin, and its alternative title is Koneko Monogatari or A Kitten’s Story. The story focuses on Milo, a kitten who is an ally of Otis the Pug. One day Milo accidentally drifts downstream in a river while trapped in a box. Otis goes on a search for his friend to rescue him. Milo has many adventures and meets other pets while Otis tries to catch up to him. In the end, the two find their way home, with their mates and kids in tow.
Friendship is the theme of this movie as well as growing up. It is a testament to the closeness of the two that one of them decides to follow the other to the end. At the same time, the two manages to return home wiser and with a family of their own.
#4. All Dogs Go to Heaven
Some of the best dog movies are full-length animated films and Don Bluth’s All Dogs Go to Heaven is one example. Charlie B. Barkin a German Shepherd along with his friend Itchy escapes from a dog pound to reclaim the former’s casino business. Charlie’s rival who refuses to share the profits plans to murder Charlie and succeed. Charlie ends up in heaven but decides to return to Earth for revenge.
Charlie’s simple plan of revenge becomes complicated as he is slowly facing the choice of vengeance or staying true to his fellows (which include an orphan girl) and doing the right thing. The movie shows the profound decision that every person must make in their lifetime: to do the right even if it means giving up something or keep doing what you want. This movie is one of the best dog movies for the whole family.
Dog movies with themes of friendship and perseverance in the face of trouble are the ideal viewing for families. In Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, three pets (two furry dogs and a cat) mistakenly believe that their owners abandoned them and they set a search to find them. The three go on journey meeting new people and triumphing over obstacles until they are reunited with their family.
The film tells a story with an excellent lesson in the strength of friendship and learning the valuable lesson of life. The American Bulldog Chance learns this lesson when he discards his selfish view of life. This movie for those who like to watch friendship and adventure movies pets and dogs.
This classic movie is narrated by a kid named Ronnie. He tells a story about Hachiko, a dog that belonged to his grandfather Professor Park Wilson. He finds a lost Akita puppy from Japan whom he and his Japanese colleague gave the name “Hachiko.” The teacher and pup form a bond with each other. Hachi accompanies Parker to the train station and waits for him until he gets home. This routine continued even when he died. Until the end, Hachiko never leaves the train station, still waiting for him to come home.
This movie has plenty of life, drama and sad ending, but one can glean the lesson of friendship and dedication even unto the end. It is a powerful experience for the boy Ronnie and for anyone who watches it. It is one of the sad dog movies, but an emotion-moving and an excellent story to watch.
#7. 101 Dalmatians
Disney’s animated movies are some of the best there is and their doggie movie 101 Dalmatians is a favorite story about dogs. Pongo and Perdita are Dalmatians belonging to the married couple, Roger, and Anita. Perdita gives birth to puppies whom Anita’s friend Cruella De Vil wants to buy. Roger refuses Cruella’s offer, and she resorts to stealing the pups. It’s up to Pongo and Perdita to rescue the pups while making new friends like cats and other pets along the way.
This movie showcases the lessons of a family’s strong ties. Roger (with Anita’s approval) refuses Cruella’s generous offer for the puppies since he values them more than the money. Pongo and Perdita, on the other hand, extend their family ties to puppies not their own. Disney has certainly outdone themselves in quality with the classic story of this animated dog movie. Disney released live-action products of this movie in 1996 starring Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil, the evil antagonist. The setting of this live-action version of 101 Dalmatians is up to date and changes a few things in the original. Both versions of 101 Dalmatians are fun to watch and enjoy.
The plot of many family dog movies involves a dog whom a family adopts and grow to love their newest family. What is interesting about this is that the human, not the dog that gets a character development. George Newton is a workaholic father reluctant to adopt a Saint Bernard (who escaped from thieves), but his family eventually convinces him to accept the dog whom they name Beethoven. Beethoven proves himself to be a loyal and lovable pet, which unfortunately causes George to be jealous of him. George gets rid of Beethoven, but he eventually realizes that for better or worse, the dog is part of his family.
The lesson that George learns is that there are more important things that work and that a good and loyal dog is invaluable. This story is a great recommendation for those who like family-themed movies and big adorable dogs. Because of its success, several more productions and an animated TV show were released after the first Beethoven movie.
This movie is based on New York Times columnist John Grogan’s memoirs, and it is one of the sad movies that involves the death of a pet. John and his wife Jenny adopt Marley, a puppy as a practice for rearing children. Marley’s unruly behavior sorely tests the couple’s patience. But in the end, Marley is a loyal and affectionate dog as he shares his parent’s as well as their kids’ ups and downs of life.
It tells a lesson about accepting and living with another’s person’s flaws. Marley proves to a handful, but eventually becomes the pet that a family wants to have. It has its light-hearted moments, but the ending is heart-wrenching. Nonetheless, the movie will make you appreciate your pet and the time that both of you spend together.
#10. Eight Below
Adventure dog movies usually have their protagonist and narrative centering solely on the dog. The movie Eight Below focuses half on canine characters and a half on the human characters while uniting the overall narrative. Jerry Shepard is a guide at a research base in Antarctica who is pressed by a scientist to take the latter via dog sled to Mount Melbourne. Due to weather conditions, Jerry and the other humans evacuate leaving the dog team behind. Jerry thinks that he will come back for the dogs in a few days. Unfortunately, it took much longer.
Jerry refuses to leave his dog team even if it uncertain if they still survive. In spite of two deaths on the team, the dogs waited for Jerry knowing that he will come for them. The film shows a lesson in true friendship and how real friends are willing to do what it takes to help.
#11. Lady and the Tramp
What’s better than a romantic movie? An animated romance movie about dogs of course! This is one of the best dog movies by Disney, and even today lots of TV series as well as other stories released make a reference to it. Lady is an American Cocker Spaniel belonging to a Midwestern couple and Tramp is a stray furry mutt. Due to a series of misunderstandings and troubles that are not her fault, Lady decides to run away, but Tramp rescues and helps her return to her home. Lady for her part is falling in love with Tramp and vice-versa.
This classic animated movie deals with the love of two dogs for different strata of society. It shows how two different folks can sometimes be together. The movie contains one of the most memorable date scenes that is both funny and romantic. The whole family will enjoy this story.
#12. Old Yeller
More than 50 years later, Old Yeller is a classic that still tugs the heartstrings of anyone who watches this movie. This film is one of the best sad dog movies that will touch your heart. In Texas during the late 1800s, a farm boy Travis finds a furry Labrador Retriever/Mastiff mix dog. At first, Travis treats the dog coldly, but after the canine saves Travis’ younger brother, he eventually warms up to him. Travis names his “Old Yeller.” Old Yeller proves his worth as a dog companion and is the best friend of Travis. Unfortunately, a rabies outbreak brings a tragic end to the boy and the dog’s relationship.
The movie shows us the highs and lows of having a pet that we love. The joy, the responsibility, the pain of loss and the memories that a pet leaves behind are some lessons that one can learn. For his part, Travis moves on with the memories of his friends. Just make sure to have tissues on hand since some of the scenes can be sad.
In a small in Texas lives a dog named Benji who is a stray mutt. Despite being a stray dog, Benji, befriends many of the town folks. Benji’s favorite humans are the Chapmans and their two kids who feed him. The dog lives a pretty normal life until someone kidnaps the Chapman children Paul and Cindy. Despite not being their pet dog, Benji sets out to rescue the kids and along the way finds his own family.
Benji is a dog movie for family and children who enjoy watching the story through the eyes of this lovable canine. Because of the Chapman kids showing kindness to Benji, the dog reciprocates them by risking his own life for them. In turn, the movie teaches us the nature of kindness. Due to its success, Benji has four more movies after this one.
#14. The Fox and the Hound
Two different creatures, a fox (Tod) and hound (Copper) become allies with each other despite their differences. But as they grow older the people around states that can never be friends due to their differences. As tensions grew, the two will eventually decide on whether to remain as friends or become enemies.
A dog movie for family and kids explores prejudices and how society plays a role in a person hating another person is not only entertaining but is insightful as well. It also raises the question of whether societies are wrong when it comes to not co-existing with different people.
#15. White Fang
Some of the best dog movies are incredible adaptations from novels, and the movie White Fang is one of these kinds of movies. White Fang is originally a novel by Jack London who is famous for his other work The Call of the Wild. Unlike other adventure dog movies, the main canine character is not a pure dog, but a wolfdog. The setting of the story is in Alaska during the late 19th century. Jack Conroy arrives from San Francisco to search for his late father’s claim. He meets Wild Fang who is territorial and vicious by nature. Eventually both human and wolf-dog develop a bond with each other.
His perseverance to befriend and tame White Fang is a remarkable feat. The two are bonded to each other that the main character decides not to leave to San Francisco and remain in the Yukon. He has finally realized that he belongs in the Yukon (something his father wanted) and that his friend White Fang is important too. The lesson that one learns is the willingness to give up things for the sake of something important like a real friend. This film is a fun and heartwarming experience to watch.
#16. My Dog Skip
This dog movie is a heady mix of comedy, romance, drama, as well as some historical events. It brings in two adorable and brilliant Jack Russell Terriers pups named Enzo and Moose along with Hollywood favorites Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane. The movie’s plot has a lot of interesting and heartwarming twists and turns on a genuine friendship between a boy and his pet. The movie showcases the amazing things that canines do for their humans. “Skip” always looks up at this master and is always eager to find out what they will do next. Be sure to keep some tissues nearby as it is guaranteed to tear you up.
#17. Turner and Hoch
This oldie but goodie movie is one of the top-rated Dog Movies of all time. It stars one of our favorite leads, Tom Hanks. He played the neat freak cop, Turner who had the great fortune of adopting his partner’s buddy, Hooch. Unlike the usual police dog plots, Hooch is a Mastiff breed with a bit of drooling problem. He soon helped change Turner’s life for the better. It is a delightful mix of sad and happy moments, with a sprinkling of heartwarming scenes. This movie has made a place in pop-culture history and is one of the world’s best canine movies of all time.
#18.The Isle Of Dogs
This Wes Anderson animated film follows the story of a boy who went out to search for his dog after the species were banished. The movie is set in a fictional Japanese city called Megasaki, at a period when every dog was exiled after a canine flu outbreak. Unlike your usual animated films, this unique movie is futuristic and dystopian. It features a stop-motion animation that gives it the whimsical Anderson movie quality.
Kids and pet lovers can surely relate to Atari’s determination in finding his pet Spot. The dogs in the movie will evoke all sorts of emotions. They will give you a touching, surprising and delightful company. On the other hand, they will also show you heartbreaking evils of abuse include their mournful look of devotion to their unworthy humans.
#19. Because of Winn-Dixie
This wonderful movie is based on a children’s novel by Kate DiCamillo. It follows the story of Opal, a young girl who adopts an orphaned puppy. After being abandoned by her mother, she moved in with her preacher father in a small Florida town where she feels lonely and missing out. She found companionship in her adopted puppy which she ecstatically called Winn-Dixie. With the mutt’s rambunctious and sociable qualities, Opal was able to befriend folks around town and learn about their colorful stories. Winn-Dixie stole the heart of the community and helped Opal heal her strained relationship with her father.
#20. A Dog’s Way Home
Though most people think that this is a sequel to another favorite doggie movie, it is not. This movie is about a stray puppy who finds her way to the care of Lucas. Bella was given a good home, love and attention. Due to some breed discrimination, she was sent away by her human to protect her, yet she made it her mission to find her way back to her owner. Along the way, Bella met new peers and was able to bring them comfort and joy. This heartwarming tale is sure to touch your heart, bring you to tears and laughter.
#21. Beverly Hills Chihuahua
This family movie involves different dog breeds with funny conversations. It features the voices of Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia, and George Lopez. The film focuses on a lady Chihuahua named Chloe, who was dognapped in Mexico and had to escape with the help of a German Shepherd named Delgado and a little male Chihuahua named Papi.
This movie is a hit with little kids as adults would find the storyline delightfully ridiculous at best. The story is about a TV star who plays an action hero role on TV with her real-life pet dog - Bolt. The pet seriously believes that he has some cool superpower. But reality strikes and Bolt finds himself in the real world and realizes that his main superpowers are his cuteness and adorable puppy dog eyes.
#23. Best in Show
This film is hilarious and filmed in a documentary style. It is filled with furbabies as it focuses on the craziness and behind-the-scenes of national dog shows. It features a group of competitive misfits who joined the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show and follows the wacky do
#24. As Good As it Gets
This movie features Jack Nicholson, and he plays the role of a novelist suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. His world was turned upside down when he was forced to care for his neighbor's dog all of a sudden. This movie is sure to remind you about the positive life-changing power of having a pet dog as it did with this film's main character.
#25. The Art of Racing in the Rain
This recent favorite is based on the bestselling book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. The story revolves around a race car driver, Denny, portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia and his Golden Retriever Enzo, whose thoughts were voiced by Kevin Coster. Enzo struggled with the changes and challenges around him as his owner started to build his family. He falls in love with his owner's daughter, but soon a sad turn of events requires him to support Denny more than ever. This movie will make you laugh and cry, and knowing such thoughts are running on their mind, and it will make you love your dog even more.
Children love watching dog characters as heroes in movies. But it is not until you become adults that you realize that these are based on true stories, and these dogs are real-life heroes. The Disney movie Balto is an animated film loosely based on the story of Balto. He was part of the team that made a heroic run to Nome, Alaska, to deliver life-saving serum for children suffering from Diptheria.
#27. Must Love Dogs
If you're up for a romantic comedy movie with dogs in between, Must Love Dogs is entertaining as it gets. In this movie, Diane Lane portrays a single woman who is pressured by her friends to start dating after her divorce. Her friends created an online dating profile for her and added the description "must love dogs." Meanwhile, John Cusack's character was also being pressured by his friends to start dating. His friends connected with Diane Lane's profile on the dating site and set them up to meet at the dog park. Expect to fall for the charms of these actors and their pets in this delightful movie.
#28. Lassie Come Home
Moviegoers have always loved the adventures of Lassie, but the 1943 version is still the favorite. It tells the story of a family forced to sell their dog for financial reasons. Lassie ended up in the case of a duke and his granddaughter, who noticed that Lassie misses his former owners. The granddaughter let Lassie go to find his way home to his family.
#29. Finding Rin Tin Tin
This movie is not as popular as the other dog movies, but every dog lover should see. It features a friendship that grew out of unexpected circumstances and dogs' bravery even during hard times. Finding Rin Tin Tin is inspired by a true story of the legendary German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin. This movie made one of the most famous animal celebrities in Hollywood.
Another recent film about a traumatized war dog, Max, has appealed to many families, especially those who experienced having a member sent to war. Max is a dog in mourning for the loss of his handler. He bonds with this owner's troubled younger brother. In the movie, the family soon discovers the shocking truth about the death of Kyle. This movie is sure to move you to tears and make you appreciate your relationship with your dogs.
Whether you love adventure, comedy or drama in a doggie movie, this list of the best dog movies will be worth watching. So grab some popcorn, drinks and invite your family and peers to watch some of these family dog movies. Oh and ah don’t forget to include your dog. Your canine pet may enjoy watching these doggie movies along with you.
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