Today is national dog day, and other than giving your beloved dog a great big treat, celebrate by watching some fantastic dog movies.
I've had dogs for most of my life. My best friend Kipsey was a nine-year-old, partially blind cocker spaniel who followed me around and helped me through a tough six years until she tragically died. I used to live with my family's three dogs until I moved out. Susu is a twelve-year-old yorkie mutt who loves to take strolls around the house and eating bacon-flavored treats. Oreo is a twelve-year-old shih tzu who loves hiding in small areas and stealing food that is not good for her. Belle is a husky puppy who loves chewing on things she shouldn't and chasing people in the yard. Despite the havoc they may cause, the three of them are the most fun, loving animals anyone could have.
Some people don't have the privilege of having a dog, whether it be because of allergies, location, or other factors. Some people have to live their dog dreams through movies. Unfortunately, dog movie tropes are notorious for killing the dog. Movies like Marley & Me devastate viewers by making us grow attached and tearing our hearts out. Some movies, like the John Wick trilogy, start with the death of a dog.
Whether you want to celebrate the dog friends in your life or yearn to fill the dog-sized hole in your heart, I have compiled a list of fifteen movies with dogs as the main characters. Most importantly, they're happy movies where you don't have to fear crying tears of sadness.
As always, this list only includes movies I have seen, as I would never recommend something I haven't seen. In no particular order, here is the list of some of my favorite dog movies.
Hotel For Dogs
Release Date: 2009
Description: Sibling foster children take in stray dogs in an abandoned hotel creating their own chosen family.
A Dog's Purpose
Release Date: 2017
Description: Through multiple lifetimes, a dog learns the meaning of his existence alongside humans, precisely one boy.
The Secret Life of Pets
Release Date: 2016
Description: A well-loved pet dog has to learn to befriend the new dog his owner adopted.
Rescued By Ruby
Release Date: 2022
Description: A police officer adopts and trains a rowdy shelter dog for his final chance to become a part of the K-9 unit.
Release Date: 2012
Description: Mourning the death of his family pet, a young scientist brings his dog back to life.
Release Date: 2008
Description: When a movie superhero dog escapes from his trailer, he has to adjust to the real world with the help of his unlikely friends.
Lady and the Tramp
Release Date: 1995
Description: A pampered cocker spaniel and a stray mutt fall in love.
Release Date: 2017
Description: An anthropomorphic dog leaves his village to become a rock star.
Because of Winn-Dixie
Release Date: 2005
Description: A girl's pet dog helps her build the confidence to make friends in her new town.
Release Date: 2002
Description: Based on the popular animated series, Mystery Inc breaks up and reconnects years later to solve a mystery in a horror-themed amusement park.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Release Date: 2014
Description: A famous canine adventurer must save his son from causing havoc in the historical timeline when he uses the time machine without permission.
Release Date: 1961
Description: A Dalmatian-loving couple sets out to save Dalmatians from being turned into coats by unethical fashion designer Cruella De Vil.
Cats & Dogs
Release Date: 2001
Description: A top-secret high-tech war between cats and dogs goes on without human knowledge.
The Shaggy Dog
Release Date: 2006
Description: A man is accidentally turned into a dog and uses this to get closer to his family.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Release Date: 2008
Description: A landscaper's Chihuahua travels to Mexico to find his lost love and makes many friends along the way.