As man's best friend, it's no surprise that dogs often take the limelight in Hollywood. We love our furry friends, so seeing them on the big screen as dog movie stars always holds a special place in our hearts.
Whether you're a dog lover, a dog owner, or have a family with young children, dog movies are a great way to highlight the special relationships we have with our canines, plus they help young children understand more deep and complex topics, too.
Every year or two we see a dog-centered movie premiere - but does it make the cut for the best dog movies to watch? Maybe, maybe not. We've gathered ten top dog movies to watch that will make you fall in love with your pup all over again.
#10: 101 Dalmatians (1996)
101 Dalmatians is an iconic movie and one of the best movies for dog lovers. The film is a live action remake of Walt Disney's 1961 animated film of the same name. The story follows newlyweds Roger and Anita Dearly and their two Dalmatians that fall in love and produce a litter of Dalmatians. Anita's fashion Designer boss, Cruella, develops an obsession with Dalmatian fur and attempts to get her hands on the fur at any cost.
101 Dalmatians is a good dog movie, especially if you have a Dalmatian yourself. Critics of the film warn that Dalmatians are a working breed, meaning that they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and possible destructive behavior. Keep that in mind if you are considering adding a Dalmatian to your furry household!
#9: Air Bud (1997)
Remember the basketball-loving Golden Retriever? Well, believe it or not, the sports comedy film is based on the true story of Air Buddy. Buddy crosses paths with young Josh who recently lost his dad in an accident. Josh becomes too shy out of his grief to try out for his middle school basketball team. Buddy notices this behavior and sparks confidence in Josh by showing off his skills with a ball, which ultimately leads to Josh joining the team and the adventures that follow.
Air Bud quickly became a franchise of films, all of which are great movies for kids, especially if they are interested in sports.
#8: Marley & Me (2008)
Topping the list at number eight is Marley & Me. Similar to Air Bud, Marley & Me is also based on true events. It follows the life of John and Jenny Grogan and their yellow Labrador Retriever Marley over the course of 14 years. The couple goes through many life changes over the course of the film, both good and bad. The one constant is their rambunctious pup always keeping things interesting.
Pet parents with children be warned because unfortunately Marley's life does come to an end during the film. Be wary when showing this movie to children. The movie teaches everyone that through all of life's unexpected twists and turns, your dog will be your lovable companion through all of it no matter what.
#7: The Fox And The Hound (1981)
The Fox And The Hound is a classic tale that touches on the debate of nature versus nurture and everlasting friendship. Tod, the fox, and Copper, the hound, form an unlikely friendship in their formative years that becomes tested as instincts and external influences affect their relationship. Despite conflict, the duo are there for each other in their time of need, showing viewers that even unconventional friendships can stand the test of time.
#6: The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
One of the best dog movies for kids is 2016's The Secret Life of Pets. The movie follows the misadventures of an eccentric group of jaded pets called "the Flushed Pets" who despise humans because their owners mistreated them. Jack Russell Terrier Max and his newly added mutt roommate Duke find themselves on wild goose chases with various members of the Flushed Pets all in an attempt to be reunited with their owner, Katie.
The Secret Life of Pets is a fast-paced, entertaining animation with quirky and lovable characters. It does a great job indulging in the age-old question we often ask ourselves, "what exactly does my dog do when I'm not home?"
#5: White Fang (2018)
Coming in at number five is one of the best dog movies on Netflix, White Fang. Based on the classic novel of the same name by Jack London, 2018's White Fang follows the animated tale of a young wolfdog pup who is separated from his mother. As he gets older, he is discovered by a Native American tribe and earns the title of White Fang. They take him in as one of their sled dogs when one is no longer able to work.
White Fang is later captured and forced into dog fighting where he is gravely injured. He eventually escapes and meets the person who becomes his final companion, Marshall Scott. Scott ends up bonding with White Fang and frees him, allowing him to follow his free-spirited nature.
Families beware, White Fang is a story with very violent scenes that may not be suitable for young children. Violence aside, White Fang is an amazing story that everyone should watch at some point.
#4: Lassie (1994)
Lassie might be revered as one of the most iconic dog movies of all time. There are quite a few remakes of the original that have been produced over time, but the 1994 Lassie is a must-watch for dog lovers, especially Collie lovers.
The Turner family moves from Baltimore to a small rural town in Virginia in hopes of starting a new life. Son Matt Turner has a difficult time accepting his mother's death and his father's remarriage, but quickly forms a bond with a stray Collie named Lassie the family quickly takes in.
As Matt's father's job takes a turn, the family decides to pursue a sheep farm that was the late Mrs. Turner's dream. The sheep farm is met with disdain by Matt's neighbor and classmates, who later attempt to steal the Turner's new herd of sheep. Matt and Lassie get caught up in their neighbor's shenanigans which ends in a very dangerous situation.
Lassie has had quite a few remakes since the original 1954 TV series, but the 1994 Lassie takes the cake.
#3: Isle of Dogs (2018)
Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs follows his acclaimed cinematic style in a stop-motion form. Twenty-two years into a futuristic Japan, one mayor declares a motion to ban all dogs to Trash Island due to a canine influenza that poses a risk to all humans. The movie follows one professor and political opponent to the mayor who swears he is close to a cure and is against the mayor's actions. Meanwhile, two newly deported members of Trash Island form a bond with one of the dog tribes.
If you like stylized and artistic cinema, then Isle of Dogs is sure to win you over.
#2: Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Disney Animation's Lady and the Tramp is a staple film for dog lovers everywhere. A classic tale of romance, class, and status, Lady and the Tramp follows the unlikely romance between Cocker Spaniel Lady and rough street mutt, Tramp.
Lady finds herself in peril when her dog parents leave and put their dog-hating Aunt Sarah in charge of the house, which has a newborn baby. Tramp warns Lady that babies are often a sign of a dog that's about to be sent to the pound, but Lady doesn't listen. She winds up getting in trouble by Aunt Sarah's conniving Siamese cats, Si and Am.
With help from Tramp and friends, Lady is able to prove her innocence to her dog parents and the couple end up adopting Tramp into the family, too.
#1: Old Yeller (1957)
What is the number one best dog movie for pet parents? We at Spot Pet Insurance have to believe it to be Old Yeller.
Old Yeller takes place in post-Civil War era Texas when teenager Travis and his younger brother Arliss make the acquaintance of a yellow Black Mouth Cur they name "Old Yeller." Despite his bad habit of stealing food across the whole county, Old Yeller protects the boys from danger many times.
One day the family is informed rabies is spreading across the town and to be careful around their farm and to watch after their animals. They find out their cow Rose is infected, ultimately having to put her down. Later on, a wolf gets onto the property and Old Yeller fights him off, but not without getting wounded. Travis decides to quarantine Old Yeller as he recovers, but unfortunately he succumbs to the sickness and they have to put him down.
Old Yeller shows the strength, loyalty, and companionship many families cherish about their own canines. Oftentimes dogs are willing to do what it takes to protect their humans, no matter the sacrifice.
Show Your Dog You Love Them
If your heart strings aren't aching yet, they sure will be after watching any of these amazing dog movies. Movies about dogs give us time to reflect on all the ways we rely on our pups in our daily lives and perhaps instances where they are taken for granted.
After watching any of these dog films, you might be wondering how you can show your pup you appreciate them. In that case, think about investing in a dog insurance policy for your furry friend. If these films have taught us anything, it's that life is full of the unexpected, so why not plan ahead with a Spot Pet Insurance plan? We offer additional accident and illness protection in case your pup decides to save the day and accidentally gets themselves hurt in the process.