10 Best Dog Movies From the 80s: An Ulti-Mutt Ranking

Hop in the way-back machine for the best 80s dog films and share some tail-wagging nostalgia with your pup.

Published February 21, 2024

The 80s unleashed a pack of tail-waggingly great dog movies that have since become absolute classics. Seriously, they're the top dogs in the film world! Each one is a fetching tale that's stood the test of time, leaving paw prints on our hearts and memories to last a lifetime. 

Turner & Hooch


Is there anything more thrilling than seeing Hooch dash after the bad guys and unravel mysteries? His adorable antics not only stole the show but also our hearts. However, it’s impossible to ignore the sheer volume of his drool — it’s practically legendary!

Watching him in action was a delightful mix of awe and amusement, showcasing that unique blend of cuteness and chaos only a dog like Hooch could bring to the screen.

Need to Know

"Perfect balance of big slobbery dog, Tom Hanks comedy, and dog/human connection." -Amy Boshnack

The Fox and the Hound


The Fox and the Hound is a legendary classic, weaving the unforgettable story of an unlikely duo bound by a friendship that defies the norms — a young, spirited fox and a determined hunting hound.

This heartwarming narrative delves deep into themes of camaraderie, the bittersweet nature of farewells, and the twists and turns encountered on the path of life. This timeless classic captivated audiences with its exploration of loyalty, change, and the enduring power of connection.

Need to Know

"I loved The Fox and the Hound as a child because I thought the animals were cute, and it was a pretty deep story about friendship. I still remember that the soundtrack slapped, but I'm too afraid to watch it as an adult because I think I will just weep the whole time." -Casey Gamble

Milo & Otis


Milo and Otis is the ultimate tale of whisker-tickling adventure and paw-some friendship that charmed its way into our hearts! Milo, the adventurous and ever-curious kitten, strikes up an unlikely but utterly sweet friendship with Otis, the most adorable pug you could ever imagine.

Together, these two furry buddies embark on a journey filled with laughter, a dash of mischief, and endless fun.

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"That movie was really cute with all the different animals and their distinct personalities; it also got very 'real' in certain parts (if you know you know). THAT one was crazy to rewatch as an adult." -Casey Gamble

Oliver & Company


Oliver & Company takes the classic Dickens tale of Oliver Twist and spins it into a tail-wagging, whisker-twitching urban adventure! An adorable, homeless kitten named Oliver finds himself lost in the sprawling maze of New York City.

But fear not, for this little furball isn't alone for long. He soon joins a band of charismatic canines, each with a personality bigger than Central Park!

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"Oliver & Company has always been one of my favorites!!! I was an anxious kid, so I was always in awe of the top dog, Dodger's, carefree attitude. Billy Joel's 'Why Should I Worry?' is still on my 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' playlist that I listen to whenever I need to chill!" -Saleema Lookman

All Dogs Go to Heaven


All Dogs Go to Heaven might raise a few eyebrows among the parent crowd today, but back in the neon-lit, big-haired 80s, it wagged its way into the heart of family movie nights like a champ! A casino-owning pooch with more swagger than a rock star and a bark that's all bite, Charlie finds himself on a rollercoaster ride that's part redemption arc, part tail-chasing adventure.

This flick serves up a doggy bag full of love, second chances, and a side of redemption that'll have you rooting for the underdog from start to finish.

Need to Know

"Growing up, the profound connection between Charlie, the charismatic German Shepherd, and Annmarie, the kind-hearted orphan, struck a chord with me, even as a child." -Amber Drake



Life just wouldn't be the same without Tim Burton's wacky classics — Frankenweenie being one of them. This 1984 sci-fi movie tells the story of a boy who brings his beloved dog back to life.

With a monstrous and frightening appearance, you can imagine the neighbors and his family wouldn't be convinced this afterlife version would be the same. This story truly shows how connected we are to man's best friend in an entertaining, albeit morbid, charming way.

Need to Know

"I remember seeing Frankenweenie on TV as a kid and realizing it was actually possible to combine a crazy dog obsession and love of sci-fi, with a twist of the absurd. While it's just a short, it's definitely a stand-out among my favorite dog movies as a kid for that moment. Definitely a must-see for sci fi families with a family pet!" -Jane H.



This classic horror tells the tale of a loving saint bernard dog that was bitten by a bat. Think about it for a minute — what could happen if you were bitten by one of these critters?

Now, dial it up 20 levels. That's Cujo! This pooch goes from being man's best friend to the terror of the town, attacking anyone who comes near.

Need to Know

"I remember being a kid and my Dad telling me about a 'super scary' movie that had to do with a rabid dog, probably to make me afraid of rabies and keep me from going near bats and raccoons. It definitely caught my attention." -Amber D.

Oh! Heavenly Dog


There's something incredible about a dog movie that combines dogs, action, and drama, all in one film. Oh! Heavenly Dog follows what appears to be a stray dog named Benji (AKA Chevy Chase), who sets out to figure out who murdered him. 

Need to Know

"This movie is really special. It tugs at your heartstrings and keeps you on the edge of your seat, bringing you back to your childhood days. It still remains a classic decades later." -Amber D.



K-9 features a cop who prefers to work alone — flying solo! Then, boom, out of nowhere, he's slapped with a partner for this massive case chasing down an international drug kingpin. He starts off losing his mind with his new partner, but as he learns the dog's remarkable skills, the cop starts to warm up. 

Need to Know

"K-9 is a fun buddy-cop film for dog lovers and brings you right back to the 80s. Don't expect much in the way of plot, but that's fairly typical for movies that have helicopters blow up cars in the first five minutes of the film." -Jane H.

Dog City: The Movie


Dog City: The Movie is a classic comedy that takes the audience on a ride through Dog City in the 30s. The main character, Ace, inherits a saloon, but without the money to pay for protection, he finds himself the target of a bully that owns most of the city.

Need to Know

"Dog puns galore! It's silly, ridiculous, and exactly what you'd expect a film noir piece about gangster dogs from the Jim Henson studios to be." -Jane H.

Grab Some Popcorn


Pop a bag of popcorn and get ready to time-travel from the comfort of your couch as we dial the clock back to the rad 80s with a dog-themed movie marathon that's sure to unleash waves of nostalgia! 

Whether it's following the tail-wagging adventures of crime-fighting pups or getting teary-eyed over the heartfelt journeys of man's best friend, each flick is a four-pawed trip down memory lane. So, fluff up those pillows, grab your favorite snacks (maybe sneak a doggy treat or two), and let's bark and roll through the golden age of dog movies.

10 Best Dog Movies From the 80s: An Ulti-Mutt Ranking