If you were asked which is the most famous dog in film or television, your answer would probably depend on your age. For the older ones, Lassie is a reference in dog movies, while for the middle-aged, it might be Beethoven. Younger children are likely to answer any of the names of the members of the Dog Patrol.
Dogs are great actors, even though the filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock said that you should never work with animals, as they are more difficult to direct than humans. But, at the same time, the feelings that dogs are capable of transmitting on the big screen are also unique.
There are dogs that have made us cry, laugh, frighten us… On the eve of the 95th edition of the Oscars, which take place on 13 March, we are going to make a selection of the best dog films. If you haven’t seen them, we recommend you do so. And if you’ve already enjoyed them, it’s also a good time to watch them again.
We mix reality with animation, drama with comedy… but in all the titles, dogs are the main characters of the story.
This sable-coloured Scottish Collie made up to 7 films. The first, The Invisible Chain, in 1943. Her family is forced to sell her due to financial problems, but Lassie escapes from her new owner and travels 800 kilometres to return home.
The breed: Collies are very intelligent and affable dogs, good-natured and perfect for families with children.
2. The Lady and the Tramp
A romantic comedy, although its protagonists are Reina, an upper-class American Cocker, and Golfo, a mongrel drifter. Based on a novel by Ward Greene, it was the first animated film released in Cinemascope. Love beyond race and social class.
The breed: Cocker Spaniels are happy dogs, although they need to be socialised from puppyhood so that they do not become fearful. They do not like to be alone and are very family oriented.
3. 101 dalmatians
Another animated classic that needs no introduction. Pongo and Perdita have a litter of 15 puppies, joined by 84 other Dalmatians trying to escape from the evil Cruella de Vil, who is interested in them to make a coat out of their fur. A fun, exciting film with touches of humour.
The breed: Dalmatians, with their distinctive black-on-white spotted coat, were working dogs, used as guardians of carriages and stables and as companions to firemen. They are very active and energetic dogs, which is why it is not ideal to confine them in a flat.
As a puppy, Beethoven escapes from a gang of thieves who rob the pet shop where he was staying. An adorable family picks him up from the street and he starts living a dream, in a huge house with a garden and children. But Beethoven grows into a dog weighing over 80 kg, which causes some domestic problems.
The breed: Beethoven is a St. Bernard, the world’s most famous cattle dog, originally from the Swiss Alps. It is a breed of affable, affectionate and calm character, very loyal to its own and very nurturing.
5. Turner & Hooch
A comedy starring Tom Hanks, a detective who decides to adopt a stray dog. Little by little, the relationship between man and dog grows closer, until Hooch becomes not only the detective’s best friend, but also his best partner.
The breed: Hooch is a Dogue de Bordeaux, a breed of French origin, robust, strong and an excellent watchdog. He is affectionate with his family, protective of children and generally quite tame.
6. Jack London’s White Fang
In this adventure film, a young man travels to Alaska to claim his father’s inheritance at the height of the gold rush at the end of the 19th century. There he strikes up an endearing relationship with White Fang, a sled dog. The film is adapted from a novel and has been remaked for the big screen and made into a TV version.
The breed: White Fang is a cross between a wolf and Husky, a working dog originally from Siberia, used to pull sledges and help keep children warm at night. The Husky is friendly and playful, loyal to his family.
7. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
A drama based on true events, which tells the story of the incredible story of Hachiko, a dog who, after losing his master, spent ten years waiting for him to return at the entrance of the train station where he waited for him on his way home from work. Hachiko was honoured with a statue in Odate station square in Japan.
The breed: Hachiko is an Akita, a Japanese breed that was used as a hunting, defence and attack dog, often used to hunt bears. He is a quiet and very affectionate dog, loyal and protective of his family.