Best Dog Movies, Ranked

Movies about dogs are not only entertaining but fit for any age to watch and love. These are some of the best movies about dogs.

Movies about dogs can warm or shatter even the coldest of hearts. But some are better than others. One of the best things about dog movies is their versatility and how quickly viewers get attached to these adorable animals, no matter how destructive they may be. Ultimately, this style of storytelling should be a genre itself due to how many dog movies there are. Either way, these stories are easy to adore and will often rip viewers’ hearts in two, and they’ll still come back for more.



The reasoning behind constantly coming back for more is due to how impactful these stories are. Most of the time dog movies are a great experience, and some seem to be more popular and arguably greater than others.

Updated August 9, 2023, by Kath Leroy: The love people have for their dogs continues to form an important part of modern society. And since cinematography generally reflects the world as it is or as it could be, new dog movies appear every year. What’s more, older, previously half-forgotten jewels draw more attention to themselves, finally gaining the audience they deserve. Dogs arehere to stay, and the many good movies about them prove it. Whether the viewers prefer more feel-good stories or sad ones, the best dog movies won’t disappoint anyone, from experienced dog owners to casual viewers.

18 Beethoven (1992)

Beethoven 1992

Both Beethoven the Dog and Beethoven the Movie can be acquired taste. Unlike other dogs appearing in movies, Beethoven isn’t all sweet and gentle. It’s not because he doesn’t want to be, but because he’s huge, playful, and slobbers a lot, a fact that especially the father of his new family isn’t pleased with.

This leads to many humorous confrontations between Beethoven and his new owners, as well as any people who cross his path. Of course, there is also a main villain that pursues Beethoven, and if the dog is to escape him, it won’t be without difficulties. That adds an extra bit of tension to the family comedy.

17 Red Dog: True Blue (2016)

Red Dog True Blue dog and boy

Not all dog movies need to have big scary villains like Cruella De Vill. Some can just be a truly hilarious heartfelt comedy about a young dog who becomes an Australian legend. This tale tells the story of how this happened and the relationship Blue has with his owner.

While it’s predominantly a comedy, it’s almost guaranteed the viewer will cry on multiple occasions, whether that’s through laughter, sadness, or pure love. Either way, this is a movie that cannot be missed and is revered by fans and critics alike.

16 White Fang (2018)

White Fang 2018

Can movie adaptations of classic novels attract even 21st-century viewers? Yes, if they are done well, and White Fang manages it. The movie offers beautiful animations and animals and people who feel just as real as any live-action movie hero.

White Fang meets multiple people and influences their lives during the movie. Having the movie focus on his relationship with several humans ensures that the audience sees various aspects of the world the movie creates. Of course, Jack London’s original novel is primarily an adventure story, and White Fang doesn’t disappoint in this aspect either. So, even though multiple movie versions of the book exist, this one counts among the best and most approachable.

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15 Bolt (2008)

Dog Movie Bolt title

Starring an acting superhero canine and an owner who would do everything for her dog, this movie is a must-watch and is easily one of the many fantastic Disney movies all about pooches. It tells the tale of Bolt, the superstar acting canine who thinks he actually has real powers. After a mistake in the shipping, Bolt finds his so-called powers put to the test and has to traverse lands he never thought he’d set foot in.

Rather than being a story that centers around the love between a pet and its owner, this heartwarming movie explores the life of this charismatic dog and brings with it endless laughter, a few tears, and a truly memorable experience.

14 Frankenweenie (2012)


Losing a beloved dog is hard for an adult, let alone a child. People don’t have the same possibility as the main hero of this movie, a boy named Victor, who decides to bring his dog Frankenweenie back from the dead. He succeeds but causes trouble because of it. Tim Burton has a characteristic directorial style and Frankenweenie fits right in.

The movie has a lot of heart as it captures the bond between Victor and Frankenweenie but can be scary at times, especially for the youngest audience. What’s certain is that the dog Frankenweenie doesn’t disappoint, (un)dead or not. Burton based the movie on his 1984 live-action short movie of the same name, but the animated version got more attention from the public.

13 Heart Of A Dog (2015)

Dog Movie Heart Of A Dog footage

Heart of a Dog may be a rather unknown movie for some viewers, but this recently released documentary quickly became a widely revered experience by critics and audiences alike. At its core, this tale explores rather heavy themes of love, death, and most of all, hope.

Unlike a lot of movies starring dogs, this movie doesn’t particularly make the dog the focus of the story. However, just like any pet owner will know, no matter what element of the story the viewer is in, the dog remains a central aspect. It’s a touching experience that’s unlike any other dog movie.

12 Marley & Me (2008)

Dog Movie Marley & Me seeing the puppies

When many think of dog movies, Marley & Me is the first one that comes to mind. If any viewer hasn’t experienced this wonderful movie then be prepared for a world of love, cuteness, and unbelievable heartbreak.

While not for the faint of heart, Marley & Me is one of the most classic and well-told love stories between a dog and its owner. It’s one that will make viewers adore their dogs and hold them a little closer that night.

11 Lassie Come Home (1943)

Lassie and boy sitting under a tree

While some may argue that Lassie is the best exploration into perhaps one of the most famous live-action canines in cinema, it’s Lassie Come Home that is undeniably a more enjoyable experience. This is purely due to the fact that it includes the original dog and is the first story to introduce viewers to the most loving relationship seen on screen in years.

It tells the tale of a family who had to sell their beloved Collie, Lassie much to their son’s attempts to stop them. Luckily, Lassie has other plans. All this and more make this movie one of the most classic and well-known dog movies ever made.

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10 Rescued By Ruby (2022)

rescued by ruby netflix screenshot

One of the latest dog-centered movies that’s available on Netflix tells the story of an unlikely friendship of the dog Ruby who doesn’t like to do what people want her to and a young policeman who dreams of changing his career and joining the K-9 unit. Together, they’ll have to prove they’re good enough and also find their way to each other.

The heartwarming story and the sympathetic characters keep the audience invested. Grant Gustin, best known for his portrayal of the superhero Barry Allen in the series The Flash, proves that he can pull off multiple genres and thanks to his performance, Ruby herself, and the story, Rescued by Ruby comes across as a feel-good movie.

9 A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

baily baily baily baily baily

The concept of a dog reincarnating until he fulfills his purpose is a unique one among dog movies. A Dog’s Purpose focuses on the dog Bailey (who also has many other names) who spends multiple lives with different people but keeps looking for his first beloved owner, the boy Ethan. The movie is bittersweet at times, as ugly things happen both to Bailey and his owners.

What makes it come across as optimistic is the love between people and their dogs that will be familiar to everyone who’s ever had a dog. The movie offers a parade of talented dogs as well as a solid cast, with Dennis Quaid in the leading role. Based on a novel by W. Bruce Cameron, the movie did well and got a sequel in 2019 that’s also streaming on Netflix.

8 A Dog’s Way Home (2019)

A Dog's Way Home 2019

Fans of dog novels shouldn’t miss out on the work of W. Bruce Cameron, who has written multiple books about canines of all sorts. But only a handful of the stories have been adapted into movies as well. A Dog’s Way Home tells the story of devoted dog Bella, who decides to journey hundreds of miles to reunite with her beloved owner Lucas.

The movie contains both dramatic and touching moments, especially when Bella learns that not everybody is as kind as Lucas. Some viewers pointed out that the CGI isn’t always so great, but that doesn’t diminish the emotional core of the movie.

7 Belle And Sebastian (2013)

Belle and Sebastian 2013

Another dog named Bella (or Belle, in this case) proves yet again that not only the USA creates good movies about dogs and the friendship between them and children. Set during World War Two, Sebastian and his dog Belle go on an adventure together. But first, Sebastian has to save Belle’s life, since other people consider her to be a dangerous killer dog.

The mountain setting of the story is beautiful and the developing bond between Belle and Sebastian plays at the viewers’ heartstrings. The story has become very popular in France and gained multiple adaptations, such as the 1965 TV series.

6 Old Yeller (1957)

Dog Movie Old Yeller poster

As one of the most highly rated dog movies, Old Yeller is a classic that stands the test of time, especially due to the fact it’s a Disney movie. However, don’t let that fool anyone, this movie is not a cute experience for young children unless they can deal with perhaps one of the saddest scenes in cinematic history. Old Yeller is like Marley & Me but so much better yet so much worse at the same time, it’s truly heartbreaking.

Nevertheless, Old Yeller tells the tale of a boy and his stray puppy who fall in love with each other at first sight. It’s a coming-of-age story with a love of dogs thrown into the mix, making it a truly wonderful movie.

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5 Lady And The Tramp (1955)

Dog Movie Lady And The Tramp spaghetti scene

Disney seems to be at the heart of some of the most believed dog movies ever made. After all, they do seem to have a knack for telling fantastic love stories. So, when the skill in animation, particularly animals, is combined with arguably one of the greatest love stories to ever be told, Lady And The Tramp is born.

It’s a heartwarming and exciting exploration into the love between pristine and unconditionally loved Lady, and the rough but mysterious stray. This movie doesn’t require a considerable amount of persuading to watch since most have seen and adored it. It’s just personal preference as to if the viewer likes the live-action remake or not.

4 101 Dalmatians (1961)

101 Dalmatians puppies

Most lovers of dog movies have a certain favorite. If that dog lover is a Disney fan then it’s typically a debate between either Lady And The Tramp, or 101 Dalmatians. Now each is just as good as the other, but 101 Dalmatians really feel like a classic and are much more popular with critics and movie fans alike.

This is due to the hilarious moments between the puppies and henchmen which is accompanied by a villain that no one can ever forget and a tune that will be stuck in viewers’ heads for weeks.

3 Isle Of Dogs (2018)

Dog Movie Isle Of Dogs

Along with most of Wes Anderson’s movies, Isle of Dogs has a very interesting yet slightly obscure take on the traditional style of dog movies many have grown to know and love. It’s a stop-motion that bears a strong resemblance to the style of Fantastic Mr. Fox. Only this time, it has an entire island of dogs to enjoy.

With a cast of incredible A-list actors to enjoy, Isle of Dogs tells the tale of a young boy as he explores the dystopian island to which all dogs have been banished in order to stop the spread of canine flu. This search and the directing talents of Anderson make this movie a must-watch.

2 Togo (2019)

Dog Movie Togo comparison with the true story

As one of the more recent dog movies to hit the film industry, many were a little wary of how the story would go or what the reception would look like. Luckily, this movie took the world by storm and is filled with great acting, a truly lovely story, and a rather tragic tale to surround it all.

Willem Dafoe has an outstanding relationship with the adorable dog Togo and brings this wonderful story to life with their bond at the center. It’s one of those movies about dogs fans should never miss out on.

1 Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

Hachi A Dog's Tale 2009

Some of the best movies are inspired by real events, and dog movies are no exception. Just like Marley & Me, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale also draws inspiration from real life. It tells the story of Hachi, a dog that’s so loyal to its owner he keeps on waiting for him years after his owner has died.

The movie is touching and has the power to make the audience cry. It manages to create a strong bond between a human and his dog, or, in this case, the other way around as well. Richard Gere gives a strong performance, but the real hero of the movie is the dog Hachi.

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