Favorite Dogs in Movies and TV

Chief the dog looking excited about our favorite iconic dogs in movies and TV.

Lassie is cool. I grew up watching Lassie shows on tv, but in no episode did I ever feel true pain or feel really close to the ol’ girl. Not like when I got to a certain chapter in “Where The Red Fern Grows”, or “Marley and Me.” No, I never messy-cried with Lassy. And while I don’t think a movie’s ability to make you cry should be a factor in how good it is, it certainly speaks to the degree that the movie has developed your connection to the characters. These are the best movies about dogs that I've ever seen!

Dogs have always been able to push our emotional buttons just as easily than some human characters, and a good dog actor can really make or break a movie. The movies and TV shows below are some of my favorites for various reasons, chief among them is their amazing iconic dogs and famous dog actors and actresses! Let me know if there’s anything you think I missed!

1. Homeward Bound
This has to be number 1. There are no exceptions. This is undeniably one of the best dog movies of all time. I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more. Bonus: Watch how Max’s character happily wags his tail while reciting, “No, my owner needs me. I’m going home.”

2. Turner and Hooch
My personal favorite, a cop-buddy classic with a lovable beast of a dog. And the acting? Superb (Tom Hanks was alright, too, I guess).

3. The Fox and the Hound
Lovable movie, brutal finish. This is not a happy ending in my eyes.

4. Air Bud
Name a better movie on dog's contribution to sports, I'll wait. Air Bud is as good a sports role model as Michael Jordan, Shaq, and Stephen Curry!

Side Note: Can you imagine telling your Dad you lost your starting spot on the basketball team because a dog outplayed you?

5. Marley and Me
Instant Classic. If you’ve ever owned a lab, you know this is a spot-on representation of lab ownership. Touching and genuine, funny and heart-wrenching.

6. Frasier
Just because Eddie is a great pup, I think this deserves an honorable mention.

7. Lassie
Just because this show never made me cry doesn’t mean it isn’t a mainstay. There are very few shows for dogs, but I have a feeling that any pup from the Collie family can look back and be proud of Lassie and the legacy of her work.

this dog looks like a famous dog actor in films about dogs

8. Game of Thrones
Simply put, the Direwolves of the Stark Family are amazing. I don’t care that you hardly see them I’d watch a spin-off of Ghost if I could. And as far as dog names from tv shows goes, Ghost and Grey Wind take the bone-in stag cake!

9. Secret Life of Pets
The voices on this movie are hilarious. Another movie made for kids that totally works for adults, in my opinion.

10. Old Yeller/Where The Red Fern Grows
We've got to pay some homage to the old dog movies that have kickstarted entire generations of emotional dog-centric cinema! I’m lumping these two together at the end, but not because they aren’t great movies. I am putting them here because I read the books and was so shell-shocked that I couldn’t bring myself to cry my way through the movies. No thanks, written trauma was enough for me.

Did you like our list of dog movies? Did we miss some films about dogs that you really love? Let us know in the comments and tell us why you loved it!


Jeffrey Magnusson

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Jeffrey Magnusson

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