Dogs make movies even more special, don’t they? They can be the hero, the villain, or the victim, but there’s always a good story, lessons to learn, and some entertainment when there’s a dog on the big screen.
I’ve put together a list of the best dog movies to watch and included the trailers. I hope you enjoy them!
Fun-Loving & Happy Dog Movies
1. Hotel for Dogs
This is a must-see movie for anyone who not only loves dogs but works in animal welfare or rescue as well. It’s heart-warming, inspiring, and offers insight into animals that need a home and children in foster care who do, too.
Andi and her brother, Bruce, are in foster care and no pets are allowed there. They refuse to give up their dog, Friday, who is part of the family and makes up the trio. The siblings need to make a plan to house Friday and keep him safe.
Soon, many other stray and abandoned dogs turn up who also need a safe haven. Andi and Bruce – with the help of their friends – officially open the Hotel for Dogs.
2. Air Bud
Air Bud is the one that started them all: Air Bud: Golden Retriever, Seventh Inning Fetch, Spikes Back, World Pup, and Air Buddies. These are all wonderful family movies that are well worth watching.
This one’s a classic tale about a boy and his dog. Josh is a rather shy boy who would rather practice basketball on his own than with his teammates. But then he meets Buddy, and guess what?
Buddy has a fantastic talent for shooting hoops!
Josh and Buddy quickly become a famous pair on the school’s basketball team, but all the media attention sadly attracts the attention of Buddy’s former owner, who wants to cash in on Buddy’s success.
Follow the ups and downs of Josh and Buddy as they not only outwit Buddy’s former owner but also lead their school basketball team to victory.
3. Air Buddies
Air Buddies is part of the Air Bud franchise and will entertain kids all the way. Buddy from Air Bud (see above) falls in love and starts a family with his brown-eyed sweetheart.
This movie shares the uplifting and lesson-learning adventures of the Buddies – their 5 adorable little pups named Budderball, B-Dawg, Buddha, Mud Bud, and Rosebud.
Each pup has a different talent and personality, which makes them very relatable, cute and entertaining as they explore the world around them.
4. Snow Dogs
Dr. Teddy Brooks is a fancy dentist from Miami who inherits a pack of sled dogs in Alaska. But Brooks has to learn the tricks of the trade or he’ll lose the dogs to a mountain man pro named Thunder Jack.
Nana the Border Collie does her best to guide Brooks through the lessons he must learn to get Demon – a Siberian Husky and the pack’s team leader – to respect and listen to him as the new sled dog owner.
Challenges, adventure and personal growth ensue, with tons of giggle-worthy moments.
5. Cats and dogs: Catnapped
Cats and Dogs takes a humorous look at an intense rivalry between cats and dogs, who each have their own spy organization.
Mr. Tinkles, a white Persian cat, is an evil genius trying to take over the world.
In the movie, the dogs are trying to stop the cats from making all humans allergic to cats. There are cat-nappings, retired spies, important missions, and an amateur puppy spy learning the ropes – but can he beat Mr. Tinkles?.
This movie offers fun, games, and laughs all the way through.
6. Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore
In the sequel to the first Cat and Dogs movie, the rivalry continues between the species. But some adorable new characters are introduced to the story line, including a pigeon.
With Mr. Tinkles in Alcatraz, Kitty Galore becomes a rogue agent who makes plans to destroy all human and canine life. The dogs and cats have to put their ongoing conflict on hold to stop her from executing her master plot.
7. Cats and Dogs: Paws Unite
In the third Cats and Dogs movie, the stakes are even higher with a new evil mastermind at play.
This time the supervillain is a hilarious parrot named Pablo, who’s on a mission to break the long-standing truce between dogs and cats.
Our heroes are Gwen the cat and Roger the dog, whose partnership was formed from the great truce. This truce has kept the peace between cats and dogs for a decade, but Pablo has found an evil way to manipulate wireless frequencies that only dogs and cats can hear…
8. Because of Winn-Dixie
10-year-old Opal, who was abandoned by her mom years ago, moves to a small town in Florida with her father, who is a preacher. But Opal is very lonely in the new little town and misses her old friends.
One day, she’s in a store called Winn-Dixie when a dog starts running around and causing chaos. The shop owner threatens to send the dog to the pound, but Opal quickly claims the dog as her own and names the dog Winn-Dixie.
And then a wonderful friendship and journey unfolds…
With Winn-Dixie’s help, Opal begins mending her strained relationship with her dad and makes friends with others in the town.
9. The Secret Life of Pets 1
Max, a pet dog, is very happy to be an only child and the apple of his owner’s eye… but all that changes when his owner brings home another dog named Duke.
This creates some sibling rivalry, which all has to stop when the two brothers are forced to put their differences aside after learning their beloved owner is in danger and needs their help.
10. The Secret Life of Pets 2
We all love our pets, but do we really know them?
In this sequel to the original Secret Life of Pets movie, Duke and Max’s owner, Kate, creates new fears in her two canine children when she introduces a member to the household – baby Liam.
Of course, all of Max and Duke’s friends share their antics and adventures along the way with the new little guy. But Max and Duke’s fears disappear as they get used to little Liam, and they begin to love and protect him.
Max grows a lot in this movie emotionally thanks to a farm dog named Rooster, who’s full of wise words and encouragement. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
Here comes a lot of trouble… and love!
Marmaduke is based on a newspaper comic strip about the Winslow family and their Great Dane, Marmaduke. The film shows the adventures of Marmaduke when he moves to California with his family.
Marmaduke makes new friends, learns some lessons, and even finds true love.
12. The Shaggy Dog
Placing yourself in someone else’s shoes has never quite been this literal!
Prosecutor Dave Douglas is ironically fighting a case against animal rights activists. In the meantime, a 300-year-old sacred bearded collie has escaped from a laboratory and bites Dave.
Yip, you guessed it. Dave then transforms into a bearded collie himself and so the adventures and life lessons begin.
Based on the cartoon, Underdog is a household name indeed.
But this time around Underdog is digitally enhanced into the real world. The movie is about a lemon Beagle watchdog, who is exposed to a substance that gives him superpowers.
Luckily, he’s adopted by a 12-year-old boy and then uses his powers to protect the city from the bad guy: Simon Bar Sinister.
There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!
Beethoven is about the life and adventures of a huge Saint Bernard, who is given all of the love and care in the world by his adopted family. However, the family wants to catch Beethoven and use him as a subject for his deadly science experiments, along with some other local dogs.
Beethoven is the first installment of the Beethoven movie series that has many more titles well worth a watch, like Beethoven’s Big Break, Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure and Beethoven’s Treasure Tail.
Bolt plays a TV character who has amazing superpowers.
One day, Bolt is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood set to the chaotic streets of New York City.
Getting confused between reality and the world of TV, Bolt believes his superpowers are real. Armed with these fake superpowers, and accompanied by a cat and a hamster, Bolt sets out on an adventure to find his co-star and owner, Penny.
16. Lady and The Tramp
Beautiful through and through, this is a legendary, classic dog tale that can’t be missed!
Lady is a spaniel and the apple of Jim Dear and Darling’s eyes, until they have a baby. All is well until Jim and Darling take a vacation and leave Aunt Sarah and her two naughty Siamese cats to look after the baby, Lady and the house.
The cats create total chaos and Lady is blamed for it all. Lady then meets Tramp on the street and their love affair begins to blossom.
Expect drama, romance, giggles and absolutely adorable dogs.
17. Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Chloe, a spoilt and pampered Beverly Hills Chihuahua, is holidaying in Mexico. She manages to get lost in a rough neighborhood and doesn’t know what to do when she gets her first taste of life on the street.
In come 2 street dogs, Papi and Delgado, who lend her a helping paw to find her way back home.
This is the first of 3 movies and all 3 are well worth a watch.
18. The Fox and the Hound
Todd, a red fox, and Cooper, a hound dog, become friends during childhood. But all that changes when they grow up, as they give in to peer pressure and their natural instincts to become enemies.
The movie goes on to show how, despite their differences, these unlikely friends can form an unbreakable bond.
Bingo, a runaway circus dog, saves the life of a young boy named Chuckie, who doesn’t fit in very well with his friends.
Bingo and Chuckie soon become best buds and enjoy pinball, math, and skateboarding together. Sadly, Chuckie’s parents discover the stowaway dog and tell Chuckie that Bingo will not be joining them on their cross-country move.
The movie follows this 1000-mile adventure of loyalty and love between Bingo and Chuckie, as they encounter all sorts of outrageous people and hilarious situations on their quest to be reunited.
Kidnappers, hospitals, jail, and even dog catchers can’t keep these 2 beautiful friends apart.
20. 101 Dalmatians
This much-loved classic has not only led to a franchise of animation classics but ‘real world’ ones as well.
Roger is a bachelor who lives with his dog, Pongo.
Pongo decides that he and Roger both need to find love, so he plays matchmaker and sets Roger up with Anita and Perdita with himself.
Roger and Anita get married, while Pongo and Perdita have a litter of 15 gorgeous puppies.
Anita’s old school friend, Cruella de Vil, comes to visit and offers to buy the entire litter of pups. Roger declines the offer but Cruella hires 2 thugs – Horace and Jasper – to steal the puppies anyway.
Using the Twilight Bark that Pongo and Perdita sound out to all the other dogs, the hunt begins to try and locate the puppies and bring them back home safely.
Shaggy, Scooby Doo and the detective team are back for another adventure.
This feel-good movie rewinds back to when Shaggy and Scooby meet on the beach, and later meet the rest of the team.
After being squeezed out of Mystery Inc by their new investment partner, Simon Cowell, Shaggy and Scooby decide to go bowling. Here they are captured and chased by Rottens – little robots.
This movie promises to be the team’s solves their biggest mystery yet!
22. Dog Days
This movie is about the lives of 4 people and their doggy companions.
There’s Elizabeth, a news anchor, who likes asking her dog therapist for advice. Daisy walks dogs for a living and is in love with one of her clients. Garrett wants to find romance and keep his adopt-a-dog business afloat. Last, but not least, is Tara, a barista who dreams about life beyond her day job at a coffee shop.
Now bring on the dogs! The dogs in each person’s life soon start to influence their romantic relationships, friendships and careers in very funny and unforeseen ways.
23. Show Dogs
This is a cop movie, but with a canine catch…
Max, a police dog, joins forces with Frank, an FBI agent, to rescue an endangered baby panda from an evil gang of animal smugglers.
Max, a manly Rottweiler, goes undercover as a contestant in a dog show so the pair can rescue the panda and bring down the smugglers.
24. Top Dog
Starring action hero Chuck Norris, this movie pairs up Jake, a tough cop, and a dog named Reno.
It’s up to Reno and Jake to put an end to a very sinister criminal organization. But grumpy Jakes gets annoyed when Reno outsmarts him nearly every step of the way and gets all the praise.
This move is an action-comedy from the word ‘go’.
25. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
This popular movie is based on the TV series with Wallace, an eccentric inventor with a good nature, and his ever-faithful dog, Gromit.
Here Wallace and Gromit are pest controllers who must rescue a village being plagued by bunny rabbits before the local annual giant vegetable competition.