We’re celebrating our relationship with our canine companions, and what better way to celebrate than by taking in a movie together?  So, gather up your dogs and a few snacks to share, and enjoy one of our favorite dog-themed movies. And don’t forget to share your favorite dog movies with us!


For those of you looking for a yummy popcorn recipe to share with your pups, look no further than this one for Cheesy Bacon Popcorn. This recipe has been taste-tested and approved by my two collies and given four paws up for taste!

So, without further ado, here is my top 10 list of favorite/must see/don’t miss dog-themed movies:


1.“Lassie Come Home.”  No dog movie list is complete without this classic.  Be sure to watch the original, 1943 version, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowall. Do keep a box of Kleenex close by. Lassie knows how to play your emotions. And for the record, Timmy never fell in the well.


2.“The Shaggy Dog.”

This 1959 Disney classic is like “Freaky Friday” from a dog’s point of view.



came out in 1974 and was so popular, that there were four subsequent movies featuring the beloved mixed breed mutt with a heart of gold.  You’ll need Kleenex for this movie as well.


4.“Lady and the Tramp”

There are many animated Disney movies featuring dogs, but this one is my personal favorite.  Fun fact: although Lady states that she is a Cocker Spaniel, the Disney animators actually used a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as their inspiration for her character.


5.“The Incredible Journey”

The original came out in 1963 and is a classic.  It was remade in 1993 as “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.”  Both are wonderful and feature the friendship of two dogs and a cat.


6.“Because of Winn Dixie”

is a 2005 film based on Kate DiCamillo’s book of the same name and features a lonely young girl and the dog she finds near a supermarket.  The dog helps her make friends and build a relationship with her father. More Kleenex needed for sure.


7.“Turner and Hooch”

This movie makes me laugh and cry every single time I see it, and I’ve seen this movie dozens of times.  Tom Hanks is terrific, but Beasley, the Dogue de Bordeaux who plays Hooch, is amazing.  I actually got to meet Beasley, as well as the pup you see at the end of the movie, a couple years after this movie came out.  So stinking cute.


8. “Best In Show”

If you enjoy satire, then you simply must watch “Best In Show.” This comedy came out in 2000 and pokes fun at the world of dog shows.  Be careful with this one or you will accidentally blow soda out of your nose when you laugh!


9. “The Secret Life of Pets”

I know it wasn’t a critic’s favorite, but I truly enjoyed “The Secret Life of Pets.” If you can’t laugh at a dog using a standing mixer to scratch it’s butt, then you simply are taking life way too seriously.


 10.“A Dog’s Purpose”

Again, the critics really panned this one, but I thought it captured the heart of W. Bruce Cameron’s book of the same name.



On a more serious note, there are a couple of canine-themed movies that sparked so much interest in the dog breeds featured in the film, that fanciers of those breeds feel it did their dogs a real disservice.  Well-meaning dog lovers rushed out to get Dalmatians following “101 Dalmatians” and Siberian Huskies following “Snow Dogs.”  Neither breed is a good choice novice owners and the popularity of these two breeds soared after the movies were released.  I know a couple of Dalmatian breeders who heaved a sigh of relief when interest in the breed waned after the 1961 movie.  When it was re-released on video by Disney and then followed up by a live-action version, interest peaked again.  While “Snow Dogs” does highlight the mischievous nature of Huskies as a breed, breeders and fanciers felt that it still created a surge of popularity which ultimately led to a lot of dogs being surrendered into rescue because the new owners were ill-equipped to deal with the energy level of these dogs.  I guess the bottom line is that the dogs in the movies are actors and while we hope their behavior represents their breed, there are always going to be differences. Frankly, real life isn’t Hollywood. And, speaking from experience, owning a collie is much different than what you see in the Lassie movies, even though I do actually have an 11th generation direct descendant of the original Lassie in my own home. Fall in love with all of these dogs at the movies, but do your homework before you bring home your next canine companion.



Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at ObsessiveBookFanatic@gmail.com


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