Greetings, Manic fans. Les here today to talk a bit about dogs in films. I saw a “5 Cute Scene Stealing Movie Dogs” list on one of our Partners’ blogs, and it got me thinking. While I liked their picks, I thought, “Why stop at 5?” My thing is top 12 lists, so I’m doing one of my own, cool? Thanks 😉 This is a list of dogs in films that I feel were the stars of their respective films. Also, I’m not using any of the dogs the other list had, as I feel compelled to do an original list, instead(Although losing Dug from “Up” is a bit of a grind…oh well). This list isn’t ranked.


Warning: Small spoilers and awesome canines ahead…


Honorable Mentions:


Slinky(Jim Varney-“Toy Story”)


Do toy dogs count?  Of course they do LOL!  The loyal friend of Sheriff Woody(Tom Hanks), Slink helps in all the rescue attempts throughout the series.


Einstein(Freddie-“Back to the Future”)


This Sheepdog barely does anything in the film….but becomes the world’s first time traveler and just has a great presence on screen.


Buster(Frank Welker-“Toy Story 2”)


The Christmas gift for Andy, this rambunctious dachshund quickly befriends Woody and the gang.  He also helps Sheriff Woody in a rescue attempt to save Wheezy from a yard sale.


Toby(Frank Welker-“The Great Mouse Detective”)


A tracking specialist, this Basset Hound, owned by Sherlock Holmes, is an asset to Basil, the Great Mouse Detective as he tracks down his arch nemesis, Professor Rattigan.


The Tramp(Larry Roberts-“Lady and the Tramp”)


The happy-go-lucky street dog who wins the heart of the highly domesticated Lady, he’s funny, courageous and big-hearted.


Lassie(Lassie Come Home)


A beautiful and highly loyal Collie, Lassie was a hero’s hero. He always managed to save his family time and time again through cleverness and never say die attitude.


Dodger(Billy Joel-Oliver and Company)


A streetwise mixed breed with primarily Terrier, Dodger is just so cool from scene 1 all the way to the end of the film.  A New Yorker with a swave attitude and street resourcefulness to come out on top in tough situations.


And onto the main list…


Hooch(Beasley the Dog-“Turner and Hooch”)


There’s just something about huge dogs in comedy/dramas, and this dog, a Dogue de Bordeaux, is in a class by himself. Big, slobbery, powerful and devil-may-care about destruction of property, Hooch is the perfect team up with Scott Turner(Tom Hanks), a neat freak. And yet, with all the slapstick, there’s a huge heart in this dog that you come to love, along with one of the most emotive and expressive dog faces ever captured in film.




Another comedy trope is to have a really large dog come between a grumpy dad and his family and win his heart over throughout the course of the film. Beethoven, a wonderful St. Bernard, is instantly lovable and runs away with the picture. Benji(Bejean-Oh Heavenly Dog) Little dogs also make for great stars in films, and Benji is one of the greats. A mixed breed pint-sized mutt, this extremely well-trained dog made me believe he was Chevy Chase sent back from Heaven to Earth as a dog. Now that takes talent, my friends.


Benji(Bejean-Oh Heavenly Dog)


Little dogs also make for great stars in films, and Benji is one of the greats. A mixed breed pint-sized mutt, this extremely well-trained dog made me believe he was Chevy Chase sent back from Heaven to Earth as a dog. Now that takes talent, my friends.


Hosehead(Buddy the Dog-“Strange Brew”)


I’ll be honest here…I don’t have a clue what kind of a dog this is.  It’s black and it’s pretty ugly, but he gets one of the funniest scenes a dog ever had in a movie.  The boys must stop the drug-laced Elsinore beer from being drunk at Oktoberfest.  So what do they do?  They send Hosehead with a white stripe painted on his back.  He starts running, then a cape appears on his back and the dog TAKES OFF LIKE FREAKIN’ SUPERMAN!  I swear…I just laughed a lung up!  When he lands, everyone thinks he’s a skunk and runs away in a panic.  Hosehead chows down on brautwurst LOL!


Old Yeller(Spike-“Old Yeller”)


A contemporary of Lassie, Yeller, a Golden Retriever, was the frontier dog who protected his master and his family from a bear, rampaging pigs and a rabid wolf. Unfortunately, he’s infected and young master has to put him down in, arguably, the saddest moment ever captured on film.


Snoopy(Bill Melendez-“Snoopy Come Home”)


Do animated dogs count? OF COURSE THEY DO LOL! And, Snoopy, a Beagle, is one of the coolest characters ever dreamt up. Like Walter Mitty, Snoopy has an imagined personae for any situation, from the World Famous(fill in the blank) to Joe Cool, he’s courageous, resourceful and has a doghouse that’s bigger on the inside than the outside….OMG! SNOOPY IS A TIMELORD!!!!!!!(must make another blog…..)


Marley(Marley and Me)


And then there’s the world’s worst dog…Marley, a golden retriever who has no discipline and a penchant for destruction, nevertheless find his way into the hearts of his family and the viewing audience.


Snowy(“The Adventures of Tin Tin”)


A pint-sized bit of white fluff, this White Fox-Terrier is the companion/partner of Tin Tin(Jamie Bell) a reporter who has adventures all over the world. Snowy is extremely loyal and clever, saving his master time and time again just when the odds are against them.


Butkus(Butkus Stallone-“Rocky”)


It’s established early on that Rocky(Sylvester Stallone) is a pet lover.  It also turns out he likes buying pets so he can spend time at the pet shop so he can see Adrian(Talia Shire), the girl he’s sweet on.  Right after they connect, Adrian buys Rocky this magnificent Bull-Mastiff so he’ll have company while he runs.  An interesting note, this dog was Sylvester Stallone’s dog in real life, which explains why their loving relationship was so believable on the screen.


Pongo(101 Dalmatians)


The father of 15 of the 99 dalmatians, Pongo is an amazing father who takes care of his family(Even when the evil Cruela DeVil has his puppies kidnapped to use their pelts for a coat!).  He lets nothing stand in his way to save their lives…and not allow the other 84 puppies to come to harm, either.  What a DOG!


Nana(Peter Pan)


A very talented Saint Bernard, Nana is the “Nanny” to the Darling children, Wendy, Michael and Peter. I’m still amazed this dog can pour and administer medicine!


Gromit(Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the WereRabbit)


Another exceptional animated dog, Grommit is the pet/partner of eccentric inventor and cheese connoisseur, Wallace(Peter Sallis). He never speaks, yet his body language speaks volumes and he frequently proves he’s actually smarter than his owner.


And those are my top 12 favorite dogs in films. Did I miss any of yours? I’d love to hear what canine character captured your hearts, my friends. Peace.

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