There are a lot of positives when it comes to having a puppy. They make for readily available sources of love, limitless supplies of entertainment, and dependable friends in every situation. But if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and bring a furry friend home but still want a dose of love for the puppy, we suggest putting on heartwarming dog movies.
Consider this your guide if you’re overwhelmed by choices. These 10 dog movies about a man’s best friend are sure to make you happy (or cry). You’ll probably like what you see if you’re in the mood for something sweet and classic like Lady and the Tramp or want to tune into something a little more modern, like Isle of Dogs.
Best Dog Movies of All Time
Marley & Me (2008)
In the 2008 movie version, Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play the human protagonists, based on the book bearing the same name. They move south to Florida after John and Jenny Grogan tie the knot, where they welcome Marley, who is maybe the cutest yellow Lab puppy we’ve seen in a while. Soon, the newlyweds discover that Marley is a mischievous handful and a furniture threat, but they (and we) still love him.
The film follows John and Jenny, including work promotions, miscarriages, cross-country transfers, and kids, through the ups and downs of life. Through it all, Marley is there and proves that humans are not the only beings capable of empathy and affection. Over the course of this heart-wrenching film, you will be sobbing at some stages, guaranteed.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
This is one of the best dog movies. They drop off their two dogs and cat at a friend’s ranch before the Burnfords set out for their family holiday in San Francisco. Golden Retriever Shadow, American Bulldog Chance, and cat Sassy, but the pets make the false impression that they are abandoned by their family. So, in search of their human kin, they make it their mission to leave the ranch. It’s a wild trip, really.
This dog movie is a popular dog acting in a show in Hollywood, but he doesn’t know it. He thinks instead that his fictional powers are real. And when he learns that his human being, Penny, is in danger, he enters the real world and uses his fake powers to try and save her. The Academy and Golden Globe awards were nominated for this animated film. It should also be remembered that John Travolta and Miley Cyrus are quite a dream team.
101 Dalmatians (1996)
Do you know this dog movie? Given Glenn Close’s Cruella de Vil performance, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination, the live-action incarnation of 101 Dalmatians is especially amusing, although we love the classic animated version. Cruella is bad, as her eerie name suggests. She’s a fur-obsessed black-and-white-haired fashion designer and she wants to make a new coat using the spotted hides of Dalmatian puppies. Her mission is to get a litter of cute Dalmatian puppies stolen, and it’s up to the parents of the puppies, a few people, and a few other animals to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Another lighthearted dog movie series that got its start in the 1990s is Beethoven. This family-friendly movie is about Beethoven and his human family, a lovable, giant pup.
Beethoven helps the children resolve their different difficulties at first, but once an abusive veterinarian enters their lives, Beethoven must be prevented from being part of his dangerous experiments by the children and their parents.
Eight Below (2006)
This action film stars Paul Walker, whose character is a guide at the Antarctic research base. When a professor finds himself on a mountain in search of a rare meteorite, the guide offers to take him on a dog sled. However, as a storm strikes, their stay is cut short, and the two men must make the difficult decision to save themselves and leave the pooches behind. The bulk of this film focuses on what the dogs are doing to keep themselves safe. Don’t worry; humans haven’t abandoned them completely. They’re doing all they can to bring about a rescue.
Best in Show (2000)
This beloved off-kilter comedy centers on a group of competitive misfits who have joined the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show with their pets. Best in Show, filmed in documentary style, focuses on the classic behind-the-scenes craziness of national dog shows. The film follows the wacky dog parents as they travel to the show, compete haphazardly, and then move on with their lives. And because the actors Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Jane Lynch, and Jennifer Coolidge are part of the cast, you know you’re in for a few laughs.
Lassie Come Home (1943)
Lassie’s adventures are and have been enjoyed by generations of moviegoers, and this version of 1943 is also seen as the greatest. It starts with a family that is forced for financial reasons to sell their dog. We find out later that Lassie lives on a grand estate in the possession of a duke and his granddaughter, but the granddaughter realizes that Lassie is missing his former family, so she lets him flee and find his way home. By the way, the granddaughter is played by Elizabeth Taylor, who is young and cute.
Must Love Dogs (2005)
This is one of the great dog movies you shouldn’t miss. Diane Lane plays a single woman in this romantic comedy whose friends are pressuring her to start dating again after her divorce. Her friend tries to create a dating profile for her online and includes the “must love dogs.” criteria.
At the same time, the character of John Cusack has friends who are also pushing him to begin dating. The “must love dogs” dating profile is noticed online by one of his snoopy pals, so he reaches out on behalf of his friend and sets up a meeting at a dog park for the two characters. It’s the kind of movie to watch when you’re looking to fall for the charms of these two actors on a lazy afternoon.
Turner & Hooch (1989)
Tom Hanks plays Scott Turner, the uptight detective who is desperate to leave his small town for more glamorous city life. But when his uncle, who works in a junkyard, is found mysteriously murdered, things alter.
In Scott’s care, the friend leaves his giant dog called Hooch, which is when he figures that the dog will be able to help him solve the murder of his former owner.
Who doesn’t love an interesting dog movie? The genres and plots differ, but dog movies that combine the good qualities of dogs and the relationships between a dog and its owner are almost guaranteed to make you laugh, pull on your heartstrings and give you the warm fuzzy feeling inside. Nothing makes the holiday season cozier than watching the best dog movies with your most beautiful dog breeds. Grab a tub of popcorn and queue up one of these great dog movies this weekend. Which dog movies do you like most? If you want to add extra dog movies to this list, let us know in the comment below.