The Best Dog Movies of All Time


The plots and genres might vary, but movies that incorporate dogs’ good qualities and the bonds between a dog and his owner are almost sure to make you laugh, tug on your heartstrings and give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Here goes nothing...

Iron Will

The sled dog race actually took place in 1917.

This film from 1994 is action-packed for you adventure/dog lovers out there. The story follows a man who enters a dog-sled race in hopes of saving his family’s farm. Freezing temperatures, physical exhaustion and other hardships test the will power of both the young man and his team of dogs, led by Gus – a beautiful Siberian Husky with one blue and one green eye. Iron Will shows the real inner strength both men and dogs possess as the team fights to win their race from Winnipeg to St. Paul.


Benji’s origin story goes like this: Frank Inn adopted the dog from a shelter in California. He was 100% mutt, a mix of cocker spaniel, schnauzer and poodle.

Benji is the story of the cutest little mutt who roams around a small town in Texas. He has a pretty normal life – getting handouts from a local shop owner and badgering one of the town’s resident cats – until two of his favorite children are kidnapped. Benji sets out on a mission to save the kids and even finds love along the way. It’s an adorable story, told through the eyes of one loveable pup. Don’t forget the sequels which get even better!

All Dogs Go To Heaven

Director Don Bluth owns a private version of the uncut film that has never been released on home media.

This animated fantasy/drama is pretty intense for a kids movie, but it is no doubt a classic tale. Charlie B. Barkin is a canine casino owner who is killed by Carface (a canine gambler). As luck would have it, he is able to return to Earth from heaven where he decides to seek his revenge. Things get complicated though, as Charlie grows to love a little orphan girl named Anne-Marie. This 1989 movie is funny, dark and hopeful all at once.

Homeward Bound

“Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” is actually a remake of another movie from 1963 called “The Incredible Journey.” That original movie is based off a book by the same name which is based off a true story of pets finding their way home in the Canadian wilderness.

Who doesn’t have some amazing childhood memories of Homeward Bound? This 1993 movie follows the story of three pets who, thinking they have been abandoned when their owners go out of town, leave behind their comfortable domestication and strike out into the wild on a search for their owners. The main pet characters of the movie are Sassy a Himalayan cat, Shadow a Golden Retriever and Michael J. Fox who stars as the voice of Chance an American Bulldog. The unlikely trio will take you on an epic journey full of laughs and suspense. This is the perfect movie for cat and dog lovers alike.

101 Dalmations

There are 6,469,952 spots in the film.

This 1961 classic, was one of Disney’s most successful films. Pongo and Perdita are perfectly happy with their 15 puppies and charming owners, Roger and Anita – that is, until the evil Cruela De Vil decides she wants to turn the dogs into a fashionable fur coat. This familiar story is one that will keep you in suspense and make you laugh out loud, even if you’ve seen the movie before.

The Adventures Of Milo & Otis

The film was altered from its original Japanese release when it was brought to English speaking countries.

This 1986 film was originally released in Japan, and later Dudley Moore recorded the narration in English. The movie documents an unlikely friendship between a pug and a cat, who are tragically separated. A live action aspect adds interest to the story and film style as you follow the two as they attempt to find each other once again.

The Fox And The Hound

At the time of its release, the film has been the most expensive animated film produced to date, costing $12 million.

In 1981, The Fox and the Hound was released, telling a tale of true friendship. The story is light-hearted most of the time, but it tackles some deep issues along the way, such as how society breeds prejudice. It is a Disney classic that will pull your heart in all directions.

Lady And The Tramp

In early versions of the script, Tramp was called Homer and although he was first conceived as Lady’s suitor, competing with an early incantation of Boris for her affections, he ended up as her ex-dog pound mate in the final 1943 storyboard pitch.

In 1955, Lady and the Tramp stole the show with one of Hollywood’s most memorable date scenes. (I mean seriously, how many people have tried the spaghetti trick since?) This classic story deals with forbidden love between a well-bred, beautiful cocker spaniel and her street dog boyfriend. Considering its romantic theme, it’s an excellent choice for date night.

Colleen’s Pick: Turner & Hooch

7. Watch out for spilled antifreeze or other substances on driveways.

“Great story of a crazy dog in the beginning and at the end the solid relationship with his new owner even taken a bullet for him!”

As if it wasn’t hard enough for Tom Hanks to focus on one Hooch during filming, it turns out there were actually four dogs that played the one character! The main “actor” was a 17-month puppy named Beasley, and that’s awesome.

In 1989, Turner & Hooch became one of our all time favorite pair of cop partners. The story of neat freak (Tom Hanks) and his partner Hooch, who may have a bit of a drooling problem will make you laugh and warm your heart. It’s definitely one of our all-time favorite dog movies!

Ryan’s Pick: Where The Red Fern Grows

“The 1974 version, not the lame 03′ version with Dave Matthews!”

Though the red fern is only a legend, some ferns do have red stems, red veins or leaves that are nearly red at some point.

Where the Red Fern Grows is a great book about the adventurous story a young boy and his dream for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs. Set in the Ozark Mountains during the Great Depression. Billy Coleman works hard and saves his earnings for 2 years to achieve his dream of buying two coonhound pups. He develops a new trust in God because he faces overwhelming challenges in adventure and tragedy roaming the river bottoms of Cherokee country with Old Dan and Little Ann. Through their adventures Billy realizes the meaning of true friendship, loyalty, and more.

Noah’s Pick: I Am Legend

“Air Bud was a close second, but Big Willy Styles and his K9 Sam fighting zombies takes the top spot!”

Sam was portrayed by canine actors Abbey and Kona.

Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a scientist who was unable to stop the spread of the terrible virus that was incurable and man-made in this post-apocalyptic action thriller. Immune, Neville is now the last human survivor is accompanied by his German Shepherd, Sam. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is definitely not alone because there’s something that comes out at night…

Alyssa’s Pick: Balto

Though Balto often gets the credit for saving the town of Nome, it was Togo, a Siberian Husky, who led his team across the most dangerous leg of the journey.

A half-wolf, half-husky named Balto gets a chance to become a hero when an outbreak of diphtheria threatens the children of Nome, Alaska in the winter of 1925. He leads a dog team on a 600-mile trip across the Alaskan wilderness to get medical supplies. The film is based on a true story which inspired the Iditarod dog sled race.

Angela’s Pick: Hachi…A Dog’s Tale

“It’s a tear jerker in the end but shows the loyalty dogs have towards their humans!”

Hachi is portrayed by three dogs: Chico, Layla, and Forrest.

Music professor Parker Wilson finds an Akita puppy, whose cage broke unnoticed during shipping. Since the station can’t care for it and warns he may not be adopted, he kindly takes it home. Make sure you have two boxes of tissues because it’s SAD!

Luisa’s Pick: My Dog Skip

“Tricky one…. my initial thought was My Dog Skip…tear jerker for sure!”

Moose, the dog who plays Skip, is best known for playing Eddie on Frasier (1993).

A shy boy is unable to make friends in Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1942, until his parents give him a terrier puppy for his ninth birthday. The dog, which he names Skip, becomes well known and loved throughout the community and enriches the life of the boy, Willie, as he grows into manhood. Based on the best-selling Mississippi memoir by the late Willie Morris.

Moriah’s Pick: Old Yeller

“He was always so loyal and ultimately gave his life for his family.”

Spike, the dog who played Old Yeller, was trained by the same person who trained Lassie.

Young Travis Coates is left to take care of the family ranch with his mother and younger brother while his father goes off on a cattle drive in the 1860’s. When a yellow mongrel comes for an uninvited stay with the family, Travis reluctantly adopts the dog. After a series of scrapes involving raccoons, snakes, bears, and wolves, Travis grows to love Old Yeller. This dog comes to have a profound effect on the boy’s life.

Do you think there are any more examples of canine cinema that we might have left out? Let us know in the comments section because we’re all ears!

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